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.
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.
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.
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.