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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, September 12.

| Attention: | Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Note: It was the best of times, and the worst of times. The best for offshore fishing, the worst for weather, so far this year.

Few boaters braved seas in the weather most of the week. That will happen to some extent through fall, until bucking the weather becomes futile.

It was the peak of the big-game season, and that’ll continue.

Shark River Inlet
None of the fleet sailed in the weather, said Capt. Mike from the Katie H in Belmar. A day-trolling trip for tuna was scheduled for today, and an overnight trip for tuna is slated for Saturday to Sunday. He was waiting to see whether today’s trip might be scrapped, because of wind, when he gave this report, and the overnight trip was already scrubbed by Wednesday, because of forecasts. The anglers simply rescheduled, and Mike doesn’t mind sailing in 3- to 5-foot seas, but didn’t want the anglers to take a beating. The overnight fishing grounds was a long way to sail, and the water surely got all “torn up” in the northeasterly this week. The chance was too great that maybe the angling wouldn’t produce. Let another boat head there and find the fish again, he said. Some good fishing for tuna happened before the blow. Most boats landed yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna that Mike knew about. But some docked longfin tuna. Most trips boated tuna at night at the canyons, but a few trolled the fish during daytime there. That could change.

On the party boat Golden Eagle from Belmar’s three scheduled tuna trips, five spots remain for September 28, and nine are left for October 19. October 5 is sold out, and click here for info about the outings.

Manasquan Inlet
Fish like bonito, frigate mackerel and mahi mahi were sometimes mixed in on bluefishing trips, Eric from The Reel Seat from Brielle said on Sunday. Trips targeted bonito and false albacore, scoring well, toward the Mudhole, at places like Little Italy and the Monster Ledge. A smattering of bluefin tuna were found along the Mudhole, and the angling should pick up in fall. Fishing for yellowfin tuna inshore seemed to slow that produced previously. Or maybe boaters by-passed the fish to reach yellowfins, good catches, at Hudson, Toms and Lindenkohl canyons. The fish there were chunked in evenings and early mornings, but some were trolled during daytime. Bigeye tuna and longfin tuna were also caught. Medium-sized, weighted, single lures, like Green Machines or Tuna Clones, caught best on the troll. The fish favored green, purple and rainbow colors.

***Update, Friday, 9/12:*** Five spaces remain for the year’s first tuna trip, a 48-hour one, on September 23 on the party boat Gambler from Point Pleasant Beach, Capt. Bob said. Then three trips per week will fish for tuna through October, and see the Gambler’s tuna schedule online.

Barnegat Inlet
On the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, lots of bonito 3 to 5 pounds and blues 1 to 3 pounds were trolled on Saturday, and false albacore were mixed in, Capt. Ted said. Great fishing, he said, and the year’s first overnight trip for tuna is slated to fish the canyons this weekend. But the angling might be weathered out, and Ted gave this report early in the week, before the weather. The tuna fishing sounded fairly steady recently, and the tuna were hooked both during daytime and nighttime.

Cape May Inlet
A trip steamed to Lindenkohl Canyon early Saturday morning with Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters from Cape May, Capt. Frank said. Four longfin tuna and a yellowfin tuna were trolled at the Lindy. The fishing was slim pickings, and the tuna were small. Bigger tuna reportedly swam there previously, and maybe they pushed north to Hudson Canyon, Frank figured. That was out of range from Cape May, and the trip moved to Wilmington Canyon to the south. A small mako shark was trolled and released there. Seas were becoming rough, reaching 6 to 8 feet, and the trip started heading for port. The 30-fathom line was trolled on the way in, all the way to the Misty Blue wreck, in hopes for a catch like a wahoo. But nothing bit.

Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May fished offshore last week on Thursday on a charter, he said. A white marlin and a half-dozen gaffer mahi mahi were landed at Baltimore Canyon. Offshore boating seemed mostly weathered out this week.

Last Week's Report
Shark River Inlet

Nine yellowfin tuna 50 to 60 pounds were chunked on an overnight trip to the canyons Wednesday to Thursday on the Katie H from Belmar, Capt. Mike said. The anglers, not seasoned, broke off nine or 10, so about 20 of the tuna might’ve been caught otherwise. All the fish were chunked at night, and a 150- or 160-pound mako shark was also chunked. That fish was actually hooked within 10 minutes of chunking, and caught on monofilament, not wire. The fishing gave up a good pick all night. Trolling for tuna during daytime wasn’t really happening during the trip. A dozen mahi mahi were trolled at the lobster pot buoys on the way home. Nighttime tuna fishing is unbelievable right now, he said. Anglers should go now if they want tuna. Space is available on weekdays this month, and some weekends remain in October. But if anglers can sail now, the fish are there, and the trips might get into the fish before weather closes in. Another trip is supposed to fish overnight Saturday to Sunday for tuna, but will likely be weathered out. Plenty more of the trips are booked aboard.

With XTC Sportfishing from Belmar, nine yellowfin tuna 80 to 90 pounds and a bigeye tuna 50 or 60 pounds were boated on a trip to the offshore canyons Saturday to Sunday, Capt. Scott said. All the fish were chunked at night, and no tuna bit on the troll during daytime. A trip was supposed to overnight at Hudson Canyon on Thursday to today. An inshore trip tried for tuna last Friday, but only false albacore and a mahi mahi were landed. XTC previously fought bluefin tuna, and most recently yellowfins, inshore at the Chicken Canyon. The yellowfins were found there most recently on an overnight trip last week from Wednesday to Thursday aboard.

Manasquan Inlet

Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach competed in last week’s Manasquan River Marlin and Tuna Club’s Offshore Open, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The fishing aboard landed three bigeye tuna to a 155-pounder that was entered, and also tackled yellowfin tuna and some longfin tuna. An inshore trip last week on Wednesday nailed bonito and blues, solid fishing, at the ridges and lumps. “Lots of hot canyon and inshore fishing to come!” Alan said. “Some hot bites of bigeye happening.”

Bonito were still targeted at ridges and lumps, said Dave from The Reel Seat from Brielle during the weekend. Plenty of bonito schooled a little farther from shore, like at Little Italy. No much was heard about bluefin tuna last week, because trips fished for yellowfin tuna that swam not only the Chicken Canyon, like before, but also the Glory Hole. The yellowfins were mostly trolled, but sometimes were popper-plugged or jigged. White marlin and a few wahoos were around at inshore haunts. On offshore trips, tuna fishing was pretty good at the canyons. Yellowfins were taken, and bigeye tuna gave up an especially good bite. Most tuna bit during daytime, and nighttime fishing wasn’t that good yet for tuna, he said at the time. Some boats managed no tuna at night last week, and some got a shot of the catches, and then maybe another shot, and so on.

Barnegat Inlet

An open-boat trip was supposed to sail for bonito and mahi mahi on Tuesday to Barnegat Ridge on the Hi Flier from Barnegat, Capt. Dave DeGennaro wrote in an email the previous day. Results were yet to be heard at press time. False albacore started to show up in the mix, too, and weather and seas looked great for the trip. The trip was going to troll and also chum with spearing. Charters are also sailing.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat from Longport didn’t know how fishing for bonito was that trips aboard trolled before, he said. That’s because the boat’s trips stuck with fishing for summer flounder and croakers that was good. But he knew a few mahi mahi and triggerfish remained in the area. He also knew white marlin fishing was off the hook between 50 and 100 fathoms, like toward Wilmington Canyon, all along the line in those depths, in that area. The bite was south of Hudson Canyon and moving south. Tuna swam Hudson Canyon, somewhat south of the Hudson and offshore of 800 feet.

Bonito sped around from Avalon Shoal to Sea Isle Lump, the last time they were heard about, said Bill from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. Water is warm, so Bill suspects bonito are still there. Lindenkohl Canyon attracted lots of tuna, mostly yellowfins, and a few longfins and bigeyes. Most were trolled during daytime, and a few were chunked at night. The farther north, the better the tuna fishing, and the father south, the better the white marlin fishing.

Townsend’s Inlet

Not much was reported about offshore fishing, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City.

Cape May Inlet

Tuna fishing was pretty good at Baltimore Canyon in past days for bigeyes and yellowfins, said Mike from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. The shop’s owner was tuna fishing Thursday, when Mike gave this report. Bonito and Spanish mackerel were around in the inshore ocean.

Not much was heard about tuna from Cape May in past days, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. He hoped tuna started biting at night soon.

To boat tuna, trips had to sail far north to Lindenkohl, Toms or Hudson canyons, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters from Cape May. So trips needed to sail overnight, and a couple of trips aboard are booked to do that on September 20 to 21 and 26 to 27. Closer to Cape May, white marlin and lots of mahi mahi swam.