Wayne O’Neil from Twin Lights Marina at Highlands, Paul Presti, brother John and Paul’s son Paul Michael docked a 205-pound thresher shark Wednesday on the Old Gray Mare, Marion O’Neil wrote in an email. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips and dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The full selection of offshore baits is stocked. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.
Shark River Inlet
XTC Sportfishing from Belmar competed in the South Jersey Shark Tournament from Cape May this weekend, Capt. Scott said. Seven or eight mako sharks 80 to 150 pounds, none a winning fish, and five brown sharks were landed. The trips fished 50 miles from shore, and the water was 66 to 67 degrees with excellent clarity. Reports during the event sounded like yellowfin tuna were boated at Lindenkohl, Spencer and Wilmington canyons. One angler reported a few bigeye tuna taken on the angler’s trip at the Wilmington.
Shark fishing seemed good at traditional places, like the Fingers to the Monster Ledge and at Little Italy last week, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle. A healthy number of mako sharks in the upper 100 pounds to 200 pounds were landed. Farther from shore, tuna fishing was great at southern canyons like the Carteret and the Spencer last week. Lots of yellowfin tuna to 50 pounds were trolled on ballyhoos and spreader bars. A few bigeye tuna and marlin, both white and blue, were trolled at the canyons then.
Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach opted to tuna fish last weekend, instead of competing in the shark tournaments, Capt. Ray wrote in an email. Forecasts looked good for taking advantage of the good tuna angling at the southern canyons. The trip, on Sunday, worked up and down the Continental Shelf, a little inshore of 100 fathoms, at a couple of small temperature breaks. Fourteen yellowfin tuna, not big, and a few gaffer mahi mahi were boated. Half the tuna were kept, and the rest were released. A marlin was raised that didn’t bite. A decent spread of fish seemed to swim the waters, and they weren’t picky about biting. The fish bit ballyhoos, plastic lures and spreader bars. A couple of trips were supposed to shark fish this week aboard. But if forecasts were calm, Mushin planned maybe to push farther offshore for tuna, instead.
A shark trip is slated for Sunday on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. Sharking’s been good or fairly steady, from what he heard. Makos, threshers and lots of blue sharks roamed.
One trip subdued a 450-pound thresher shark, said Grizz from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Catches of lots of blue sharks and some makos were reported. Shark supplies are stocked, like 22-pound flats of mackerel, 4 and 5 gallons of bunker chum and 4 gallons of mackerel chum.
Little Egg Inlet
Thresher sharks roamed close to shore, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle in Mystic Island. A 350-pounder was the biggest caught known about, hooked maybe 2 miles from the coast. Brown sharks, required to be released, swam along the coast. Browns and sand sharks also swam Great Bay. Mako shark fishing was good along 30 fathoms. Yellowfin tuna fishing had been good at southern canyons like Lindenkohl, Spencer and Wilmington.
Great Egg Harbor Inlet
There was a “hiccup” in tuna fishing, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat from Longport. But a few 40- and 50-pound yellowfin tuna began to move between the 30- and 40-fathom lines. That was good fishing, on the troll. Mike neither saw nor heard about bluefin tuna yet that usually arrive inshore soon. Mako sharks and tiger sharks swam the inshore ocean. Not many thresher sharks were heard about this year. “But there’s a lot of life outside the 30 line,” he said.
Weather kept boats from sailing for sharks and tuna, said Ed from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. Previously, good sharking for makos and blues was cracked at the 750 Square and 19-Fathom Lump. A customer released two makos last week on Wednesday. Also before the weather, good tuna fishing was lit into at Wilmington and Spencer canyons, mostly for yellowfins 30 to 50 pounds.
***Update, Saturday, 6/20:*** Probably nine or 10 yellowfin tuna, many small, but some to 41 pounds, were trolled at Wilmington Canyon aboard today, mostly on ballyhoos, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City. The fish covered up the spread two or three times, all before 7 a.m., an early bite. The 71- to 73-degree water, in flat seas, was good-looking, clear and blue, and lots of pilot whales swam around. One of Jersey Cape’s inshore shark trips fought and released dusky sharks and a 5-foot hammerhead shark 4 miles from shore Saturday on mackerel fillets. The water looked beautiful and was 68 to 70 degrees, depending on location. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
A shark trip is slated for Saturday with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing from Wildwood, and sharking seemed decent in last weekend’s South Jersey Shark Tournament from Cape May, Capt. Jim said. Some decent-sized makos, and thresher sharks to nearly 500 pounds, were entered. Threshers sometimes also swam close to shore, near the surf, foraging on bunker schools. Sand tiger sharks and duskie sharks swam Delaware Bay. Those are required to be released, and anglers fight them and let them go, an opportunity to wrestle big fish without the longer trip offshore. Fins & Grins is sharking on both trips, inshore and offshore. If bluefin tuna move into the inshore ocean, the boat will steam for them.
Cape May Inlet
Good catches of yellowfin tuna were reported from Wilmington and Baltimore canyons last Friday and Saturday, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. All who fished those waters Sunday caught none, who George knew about. The South Jersey Shark Tournament was held in town during the weekend. A couple of mako sharks and a few threshers were entered, from what George heard. Sharks must be 200 pounds or heavier to be entered. Bluefin tuna sometimes show up in the inshore ocean as early as this weekend, Fathers’ Day weekend. George ran into them once during this weekend in a recent year. The Heavy Hitter is available for all of this fishing, and telephone if interested.
This shark season seemed good, and 20 fathoms seemed the targeted waters for mako sharks and thresher sharks, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. One boat during the weekend reportedly tied into 30 yellowfin tuna, including 18 keepers.