Fri., Aug. 1, 2014
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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, August 1.

| Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Shark River Inlet
The Katie H from Belmar was splashed back into the water, after upgrades and maintenance, Capt. Mike said on Sunday. A fair number of canyon tuna trips are booking that will start in late August. Tuna were currently trolled at the canyons, and the angling wasn’t great, but the catches were good news. None really bit on the chunk at night yet, and canyon trips on the Katie H usually start when that begins. The boat will also fish for bluefin tuna closer to shore, on the mid-range ocean, currently. No boats from the docks fished for bluefins in past days, Mike said that day, and the last one heard about, at the time, found no bluefins, but decked mahi mahi. That didn’t mean bluefins weren’t in, and the trip could’ve fished a location that ended up unproductive, or the fishing could’ve been slow that day, or some other reason could’ve caused the trip to blank out.

Bonito and chub mackerel were in the mix on bluefish trips in past days on the party boat Golden Eagle from Belmar, the report on the vessel’s website said. Small blues were angled.

Sometimes bonito and false albacore were fought on bluefish trips on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, Karin said. All the fish were jigged east of Shark River Inlet on Ava 27s, emails from the boat said. The blues were small, but anglers usually caught as many as they wanted.

Manasquan Inlet
On a day troll with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach last Friday, plenty of yellowfin tuna were boated at a canyon, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The trip also went 1 for 3 on white marlin. A photo included in the email showed eight yellowfins back at dock, and the trip’s tuna weighed 65 to 80 pounds, Alan said. Two yellowfins were trolled in the first 15 minutes of fishing. Then Mushin moved away from a fleet that was developing, “to find our own,” Alan said. The trip did find its own yellowfins, and multiple hook-ups were nailed on several passes. The tuna were aggressive, and ballyoos skirted with Ilanders and Joe Shutes caught best. “Plenty of tuna fishing to come in August and September,” he said. Trips are still being booked, and Mushin means a relaxed state of readiness. The crew pride themselves on sharing the concept on outdoor adventures.

Bluefin tuna were trolled on ballyhoos early last week in the Chicken Canyon and Atlantic Princess wreck area in 30 fathoms, Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle said during the weekend. The catches dropped out during the weekend, maybe because of boat traffic. Mahi mahi were around in the inshore ocean. Farther from shore, Toms Canyon fished fairly well for yellowfin tuna, some of them good-sized, around 60 pounds, during the weekend. Lots of white marlin roamed the area. A few yellowfins were chunked at night, but were finicky. Squid needed to be livelined to catch them. The crew from the Canyon Runner will give the shop’s next free seminar, on offshore fishing, in mid-August. The date will be announced, but the seminars are usually held at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. The seminars are free, and if attendance becomes full, the first to show up are the people who get to attend.

The party boat Gambler’s tuna trips will be launched on September 24, and it’s time to think about booking. Click the link for the schedule. There’s still room, but don’t wait long, Capt. Bob said.

Barnegat Inlet
Trolling for bluefish, small ones, and bonito was good on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. A trip beat them up well on Tuesday, and lots of bonito hit on that trip and a trip on Sunday, for whatever reasons. A trip also waxed blues and bonito last Friday, and the blues weighed 1 to 3 pounds, and the bonito weighed 2 to 4 pounds, on Sunday’s and Friday’s trips. Ted wasn’t asked about the weight of the fish Tuesday. A bluefin tuna trip is set for Wednesday, and nothing specific was heard about the tuna this week. But a few bluefins swam places like Chicken Canyon and the Triple Wrecks. Fishing wasn’t that good on a trip for bluefins aboard Saturday near the Chicken. One of the tuna was fought quite a while, but pulled the hook near the boat. A mahi mahi was landed, and two were lost. All the fish were trolled, and weather and seas were calm. The color and quality of the water, 73 to 74 degrees, was good, and not a lot of bait schooled. Maybe tuna moved on that swam there just previously. The season’s first canyon tuna trip is booked for September 12, but the boat could fish the canyons earlier, if charters book.

Open-boat trips were supposed to fish for bonito at Barnegat Ridge on Thursday and today on the Hi Flier from Barnegat, Capt. Dave DeGennaro wrote in an email. The trips were scheduled for the afternoons, and here’s an excerpt from the edited email: “I usually don’t run offshore in the afternoon, but the weather (looked) great. No storm activity and light winds should make for a flat ocean. The bonita (sic) are there – I’ve been catching them (and so have) a few other captains I spoke with. We have to fish through the small bluefish that have also taken up residence there. The ridge has beautiful bluish/green water right now, and is loaded with small sand eels. Every fish we catch is gut-loaded with them. With that kind of food available, there’s no telling what species could move in next. Three people max. All fish are shared. We’ll also run open-boat 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. or later Saturday. I’m looking to push offshore a little farther on this one. Tuna and mahi are the quest. Thirty to 40 mile range if the weather is mint. If not, we’ll stick with the ridge. So far, the long-range forecast looks like we can run off on Saturday. We’ll be armed with a trolling arsenal, as well as bait and jigs. I troll 20-class to keep it sporty with the school fish. If the bigger fish are around, we have three 50-class outfits as well. Three people max. All fish are shared.”

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
Trolling whacked blues and bonito 8 to 15 miles from shore on the Stray Cat from Longport, Capt. Mike said. Small mahi mahi gathered at lobster pot buoys in the area. The water was 74 ½ degrees and good-looking. “It’s the right stuff, believe me,” he said. The trips trolled No. 1 and 2 Clark spoons for the bonito, and if any larger were fished, “you kind of strike out,” he said. But bluefin tuna came up once in a while, so 7-inch cedar plugs in red and white were dragged for them. “Very exciting on a 4/0 reel,” he said. Bluefins also swam the Cigar and the Lobster Claw, and bluefins and yellowfin tuna roamed the 40-Fathom Fingers. Tuna Clone feathers in black and red or black and white were trolled for them.

Townsend's Inlet
This was an offshore tournament week, so anglers kept quiet about fishing, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. He heard nothing specific about the angling in past days, but the fish were there, he said. Previously, during the weekend, he said bluefin tuna and plenty of mahi mahi swam 30 fathoms, and yellowfin tuna, white marlin and mahi gathered at Lindenkohl Canyon.

Tuna were scattered all around the ocean, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. Lots of mahi mahi swam from 10 miles from shore on out.

Cape May Inlet
Two bigeye tuna 170 and 160 pounds, a 90-pound yellowfin tuna and a couple of mahi mahi were trolled at Wilmington Canyon on Wednesday with Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters from Cape May, Capt. Frank said. No white marlin showed up, though trips aboard usually hooked a white or more lately, and many boats targeted whites at the canyon during the day, because of tournament fishing coming up. Ballyhoos, lures, spreader bars and a splash bar were trolled, and the water was good-looking. Seas were a little snotty inshore on the way out but improved offshore. A trip Saturday bailed mahi mahi, lots, three 70-pound yellowfin tuna and a white. The trip sailed 17 hours, a long time, because the boat often had to be skirted around stormy weather. The mahi included two big, 30-pound bulls and three 15-pounders. The rest, many, weighed 8 or 10 pounds. The white grabbed a hook near a lobster pot buoy. All the fish were trolled, and the trip first fished Wilmington and Vries canyons and the south tip of Baltimore Canyon. Then the trip trolled the whole area inshore to the tip of the Elephant Trunk, because the boat was being skirted around weather. Another trip was supposed to sail for bluefin tuna inshore yesterday aboard. ***Update, Friday, 8/1:*** The trip Thursday fished for bluefins at 19-Fathom Lump and the Elephant Trunk, and actually trolled two yellowfin tuna, Frank said. The trip also totaled five large, bull mahi mahi 20 to 30 pounds that were trolled, and the final mahi was caught near the East Lump, while the trip trolled back to port. The water was 77 degrees almost everywhere, and seas were 4 feet, but not bad.

Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May sent a friend to where the Heavy Hitter’s been sailing for tuna in 30 fathoms, George said. The trip trolled seven bluefin tuna and two yellowfin tuna and broke off an especially large yellowfin on the troll. Mostly bluefins but a few yellowfins mixed in swam those depths. Bluefins so far were smaller, were unders, this year. They were all larger, were overs, last year. Trips aboard have also been finding mahi mahi in the area. George heard about wahoos caught inshore for the first time this season, he said in the last report. Canyon tuna fishing farther offshore didn’t sound so good. One boat might chance into seven or eight yellowfins. But otherwise trips picked up one or two or a bigeye tuna. Lots of mahi swam those waters. Closer to shore, a few bonito showed up at 5-Fathom Bank, George heard. Small bluefish could also be trolled at the bank.

Five-Fathom Bank harbored bluefish and lots of life, including bonito, mahi mahi and skipjacks, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle from Cape May. Fishing appeared good for bluefin tuna and sometimes yellowfin tuna toward areas like the Hot Dog and Massey’s Canyon.

Last Week's Report
Shark River Inlet

Fishing limited out on three bluefin tuna, released another, and also bagged a mahi mahi on Saturday 50 or 55 miles from shore with XTC Sportfishing from Belmar, Capt. Scott said. All the fish were trolled, and an overnight trip to Hudson Canyon last week on Wednesday to Thursday totaled four yellowfin tuna, 15 or 20 mahi and a dozen tilefish. All of the mahi and two of the tuna were trolled, and two of the tuna were chunked overnight. The next canyon trip will sail on Monday.

Bonito and false albacore were sometimes mixed in during bluefishing trips on the party boat Golden Eagle from Belmar, a report on the vessel’s website said. The bonito and albies were jigged, and Saturday’s trip fought aboard 15 or 20 bonito and a few albies.

Sometimes bonito were jigged on Ava 27s during bluefishing east of Shark River Inlet on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the vessel said. Small mahi mahi were seen, and a few were landed, on nighttime trips aboard last weekend. A thresher shark was even eased in during Saturday’s daytime trip.

Manasquan Inlet

An overnight trip fished the canyons offshore Friday to Saturday with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Great water, bait and tuna were found. Chunking at night for tuna was a little slow, though some boats caught on the chunk. But trolling during daytime more than made up for that. Trolling for yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds was solid in four different areas, at least, at one canyon. “That is a very positive sign for future trips,” he said. Offshore and inshore trips are still being booked. Mushin means a relaxed state of readiness.

Bluefin tuna, not a huge population, but good-sized fish to 80 and 100 pounds, swam in the Atlantic Princess wreck and Chicken Canyon area in 30 fathoms, and lumps in the area held bait, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle. Mahi mahi were around, and a customer talked about trolling some at the Mudhole on jets and feathers. So, there was fishing for inshore pelagics. Farther offshore, boaters sort of split time between fishing Hudson and Toms canyons. They trolled good catches of yellowfin tuna, many trips totaling 8 to 15, and plenty of white marlin. Fishing for tuna at night on the chunk didn’t seem phenomenal. But trips could at least fish for sharks in the dark for something to catch overnight.

Barnegat Inlet

An open-boat trip is slated to fish for bonito at Barnegat Ridge from 6 a.m. to 12 noon Monday on the Hi Flier from Barnegat, Capt. Dave DeGennaro wrote in an email. The trip is limited to three passengers, and all fish are shared.

On the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, fishing’s been trolling bluefish 1 to 2 pounds and bonito 2 to 4 pounds, Capt. Ted said. At Barnegat Ridge or someplace? he was asked. “Yeah, they’re not in any one spot,” he said. A trip Saturday will sail for bluefin tuna on the mid-shore ocean. Sounded like a pretty good little bite, he said, and he was excited to fish for them.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

Trips trolled blues and bonito, lots, at Atlantic City Ridge on the Stray Cat from Longport, Capt. Mike said. A couple of tuna broke off, offshore of the ridge, including on Wednesday. The ocean in those areas was gorgeous, 75 degrees and held lots of life. Mahi mahi swam along practically every lobster buoy. A trip Sunday trolled bluefin and yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi in 30 and 40 fathoms in 8 foot seas and 25-knot winds that weren’t forecast. The next open-boat tuna trips with space available will fish August 16 and 24. Telephone to reserve while openings last.

Townsend’s Inlet

Tuna seemed spread along the entire coast, from Virginia to Massachusetts, both at the canyons along the Continental Shelf, and at the inshore spots, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. He heard about a couple caught at practically every inshore spot he knows, throughout the week. The fish didn’t seem to school anywhere, and all trips usually picked a couple, but none mugged them. A trip would be heard about that bagged two yellowfin tuna, or another would be reported that gaffed one bluefin tuna.

Offshore fishing was typical for the time of season, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service in Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Bluefin tuna fishing was good in 30 fathoms, and good catches of mahi mahi could be made in the area. Recent trips aboard got into them, covered in previous reports.

Cape May Inlet

A 56-inch bluefin tuna and three mahi mahi, two larger, and one smaller, about 10 pounds, were boated Saturday with Ryan Moore’s charter on the Heavy Hitter from Cape May, Capt. George said. The trip fished near the Elephant Trunk in 30 fathoms along hills. All the fish were trolled, and the trip chunked a little in the morning. When no fish bit on the chunk, the trip got up on the troll at 8:30 a.m. Bluefin fishing was good for the fleet last week on Thursday and Friday around Massey’s Canyon to the Hot Dog and the Tea Cup. On Sunday, a bluefin charter aboard sailed 10 miles from shore then returned to port, because of rough seas. George let the anglers know about forecasts the night before, discouraging them, if they were uneasy about the seas, but they wanted to try. They said they wanted to try again another time, after returning. The seas were possible to fish, but a couple of other boats also turned around. A trip this week on Tuesday aboard trolled two bluefin tuna, unders, between Massey’s Canyon and the Hot Dog. The fishing was sort of slow, and anglers complained on the radio, but the trip on the Heavy Hitter, Ross Restuccio, owner of South Jersey Well Drillers’, charter, managed two of the bluefins. No mahi mahi were hooked like they were on previous trips. Some boats scored better, like a friend’s that landed 10 bluefins, smaller fish, about 30 inches. But some scored worse. Also, on one day, a trip would be heard about that ran into a load of yellowfin tuna at a spot. Boats would sail there the next day, finding none. George heard about wahoos caught for the first time this season.

Trips will fish offshore on Saturday and Wednesday with Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters from Cape May, Capt. Frank said. A friend’s trip this week on Wednesday whaled catches, going 5 for 8 on yellowfin tuna and catching 50 mahi mahi and two wahoos. All the fish were trolled, except one of the tuna was boated on the overnight chunk. The trip got up on the troll the next morning, and bailed the rest of the fish. Mahi swam all over, and two were large, and the rest were small or 10 or 12 pounds. When the trip crossed the 30-fathom line on the way home, the two wahoos were trolled at once. They were good-sized or 40 pounds dressed.