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.
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.
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.
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.