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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, September 26.

| Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Little Egg Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Shark River Inlet
Most trips with XTC Sportfishing from Belmar were supposed to fish for tuna, but they were cancelled, because of weather, Capt. Scott said. The fishing was reportedly alright. Lots of yellowfin tuna were chunked at the Fish Tails at Block Canyon at night. That was too far to sail from Belmar, but Hudson Canyon gave up some yellowfin, longfin and bigeye tuna on the chunk in the dark.

A trip tried to reach Hudson Canyon to fish for tuna Sunday on the Katie H from Belmar, Capt. Mike said. But seas pounded the boat, so the trip fished the middle grounds instead. No tuna showed up at the middle grounds, but 50 mahi mahi to 12 pounds were whaled. A friend had reported catching mahi, so the trip ran there. The lobster pot buoys were loaded with the dolphin, and the water was 74 degrees, clear, blue and good looking. Mike guessed that all the east wind lately pushed in the good water. Three overnight tuna trips were weathered out recently aboard. Mike asked the anglers for this trip whether they wanted to attempt to reach the canyon, but if that turned out impossible, did they want to fish the middle grounds? They said yes. Seas were every bit of 4 to 7 feet, and were up to 9 or 10 feet a couple of times, on the way out. Wind calmed later in the day, but too late to sail to the canyon. Mike heard nothing about the Hudson’s fishing, because during the short windows of weather possible to sail to the canyon, nobody he knows made the trip. But tuna surely remained at the Hudson. Forecasts kept calling for seas like 4 to 7 feet or 5 to 8. Two tuna trips to the canyons are slated for this weekend aboard. Mike hoped they’d get the weather.

Manasquan Inlet
Party boats, large vessels, were almost the only to fish, because of weather, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle. Some steamed far north for tuna at the Fish Tails at Block Canyon, catching well. The trips chunked yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds and a handful of longfin tuna at night. A good population of bigeye tuna seemed mixed in. When smaller boats could sail in short windows of weather, they trolled a bunch of mahi mahi on feathers and jets. They also trolled bonito and a few false albacore on Clark spoons.

Five overnight trips to the offshore canyons were cancelled because of the tough stretch of weather with Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The angling was great when boats could reach the water. An inshore trip trolled and jigged lots of bonito and false albacore on Sunday aboard. The trip attempted cod fishing, but abundant sea bass never gave cod a chance at the bait.

Barnegat Inlet
Plenty of bonito and blues were trolled on Saturday on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. A tuna charter was supposed to sail today, but offshore forecasts looked rough.

***Update, Friday, 9/26:*** From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “Before all this wind and awful weather, Barnegat Ridge was looking very good with albacore, bonita, mahi and a few bluefin tuna. My last trip there was last week on Thursday, and we had a pair of 30-inch and 32-inch bluefins, along with some nice bonita. The water was blue and 70 degrees. After that, as most of you know, the wind blew hard north/northeast, let’s see … EVERY SINGLE DAY! I finally hit a few tuna there, and then I can’t get back. Most of the hard wind lately blew from the northeast, and that usually improves water quality and fishing. I can’t wait to get out and see what’s swimming there now. The forecast has the wind starting to diminish late Saturday, with light and variable wind through Monday. I’ll run an open-boat trip to Barnegat Ridge from 6 a.m. to 12 noon Monday. Three people max. All fish are shared. Call on my cell to reserve a spot. After that, I’ll move the boat to Manasquan Inlet for October, like I have for the last two seasons. I can access the Shrewsbury Rocks, where the striper fishing starts earlier, and it’s only 20 miles to the Mudhole, where we can target albacore and tuna on the good weather days. I’ll have the boat back in Barnegat by November 1, where we’ll jump right into the striper fishing. See you out there.”

Little Egg Inlet
When reports were last heard about tuna, the fish were located north of Hudson Canyon, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle in Mystic Island. One customer’s trip chunked and jigged 50 yellowfin tuna 40 miles north of the Hudson at night. But no customers reported fishing this week in the weather.

Cape May Inlet
Just bad weather, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. A trip aboard was supposed to fish for tuna overnight last weekend, but was cancelled, because of weather. No boats seemed to fish from Cape May in the storm and winds this week.

The last time anything was heard about tuna, a few longfin tuna were picked at Lindenkohl Canyon, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. Otherwise, seas were 7 to 11 feet!

Last Week's Report
It happens every year.

September comes, and weather starts to close in on offshore fishing, in the change of seasons. At the same time, the angling for tuna and other big game starts to peak.

Sometimes, many trips sail in a burst, during a window of weather. Often, trips are tied to a dock in a blow. This week was more like that.

This report usually lasts until about the first week of November.

Shark River Inlet

Plenty of bonito and false albacore swam inshore, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters from Belmar. Albies shot all over the ocean right off Shark River Inlet one day this week.

False albacore pushed tight to shore and into inlets, Bob from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar wrote in an email.

Manasquan Inlet

When offshore boaters could sail in weather, tuna fishing became better to the north at Block Canyon or the Fish Tails, said Eric from The Reel Seat. Yellowfin tuna 60 to 80 pounds were chunked all night long. A handful of bigeye tuna were chunked, and trolling for bigeyes during daytime seemed to slow somewhat. But longfin tuna were trolled there. Longfins were sometimes trolled at Hudson and Toms canyons. Closer to shore, fish like bonito and frigate mackerel were sometimes mixed in during bluefish trips. Bonito fishing was good at places like Manasquan Ridge. Sizable mahi mahi to 15 and 20 pounds were picked from the inshore ocean. A few false albacore and Spanish mackerel were, too.

Scattered false albacore popped into the surf, mostly hooked on Ava A17s, said Dennis from Murphy’s Hook House and Go Fish Bait & Tackle in Toms River.

Barnegat Light

Bonito, blues and false albacore were trolled last week on Thursday and Friday on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, excellent fishing, Capt. Ted said. Seas weren’t great, “but we were able to get the day(s) in,” he said. The conditions were worse on Thursday’s trip than on Friday’s, but once the boat plowed through seas to reach the fishing grounds, seas were fine for trolling. Clark spoons were trolled, and an overnight trip for tuna was weathered out last weekend that was supposed to fish the offshore canyons.

Little Egg Inlet

Tuna held north of Hudson Canyon, the last time reports were heard, during boatable weather, said Chris from Scott’s Bait & Tackle in Mystic Island. Whether tuna now bit closer to locally, like at Lindenkohl Canyon, wasn’t reported, in sporty seas. But lots of yellowfin tuna were boated far north, when trips sailed.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet No news came from ocean boaters, because of a swell, said Justin from Fin-Atics in Ocean City.

Townsend’s Inlet

Two trips fished the Cigar, each trolling a couple of bonito and a couple of mahi mahi, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City.

Cape May Inlet

White marlin fishing was productive for a couple of trips at Wilmington Canyon, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. Tuna fishing sounded off locally, but that can change quickly, and when tuna were taken, they were mostly hooked at night.