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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, October 17.

| Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY FRIDAY
Shark River Inlet
Weather finally calmed, and XTC Sportfishing from Belmar fished at Hudson Canyon overnight Sunday to Monday, Capt. Jody said. At night, three yellowfin tuna and probably eight longfin tuna were boated, a few on bait, a few on jigs. Three swordfish – two pups and one 90-pounder – and probably 20 mahi mahi were also caught at night. Weather was rough on the way out on Sunday, but calmed at night, and was calm on the trip home on Monday. A trip also fished the Hudson overnight Thursday to Friday aboard, bagging three yellowfin tuna and a couple of tilefish at night. In the morning, probably 12 to 14 longfin tuna were trolled. The water’s been weedy for trolling, but the weeds were bearable, though the trip had to work to troll. Both trips fished on the east side of the canyon. On the trip Sunday to Monday, when Jody was at the helm, some boats fished on the west side, but moved to the east, because all the bait and fish swam there. Capt. Scott skippered the other trip. Otherwise, trips were weathered out with XTC. Another charter is supposed to fish offshore this Sunday to Monday, but forecasts look like the fishing will be weathered out.

Manasquan Inlet
Hudson Canyon’s east wall gave up a fair number of longfin tuna at night on the chunk and on jigs, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle. Butterfish caught best for bait. Boaters willing to deal with weeds trolled the longfins during daytime on typical tackle like ballyhoos on Joe Shute skirts or spreader bars. Closer to shore, fishing for mahi mahi was great at the Glory Hole and Chicken Canyon. Practically every lobster-pot buoy held the fish, and trolling caught best, on usual tackle like ballys on Joe Shutes, jet heads or spreaders.

Barnegat Inlet
In weather that finally broke, an overnight trip fished offshore Sunday to Monday on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, the boat’s Facebook page said. Fifteen longfin tuna, a yellowfin tuna and five mahi mahi were decked. The trip got set up to fish at 9 p.m., and a steady bite began an hour later. The longfins averaged 40 pounds, and two weighed 50 to 55. The yellowfin was 60 pounds. Another trip is supposed to fish for tuna tonight to Saturday. Forecasts look like that might be weathered out.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
On the Stray Cat from Longport, Capt. Mike tried trolling this past week, but no fish like false albacore bit, he said. Seas were rough during the effort. A trip trolled albies and blues last week aboard.

At Fin-Atics in Ocean City, Justin knew about nobody who sailed as far from the coast as offshore for tuna, except one trip that broke down 80 miles from port, he said. Even inshore trips were scarce in rough seas, and wind is supposed to continue blowing this weekend. Anglers are expected to fish inshore for sea bass once sea bass season is opened starting Saturday, if weather allows. “Big if,” he said.

Cape May Inlet
A friend’s trip trolled two bigeye tuna at Wilmington Canyon, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters from Cape May. Melanie Anne was going to try to fish for tuna on one more trip this season. A shark trip was scheduled for this weekend aboard. Frank saw signs of sharks on the mid-shore grounds while returning from tuna fishing recently.

The ocean was too rough to hear much about fishing there, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. But bigeye tuna and wahoos were heard about from Wilmington Canyon.

Last Week's Report
Shark River Inlet

More than 20 tuna, half yellowfins to 60 pounds, half longfins to 35 pounds, were whipped on an overnight trip Saturday to Sunday on the party boat Golden Eagle from Belmar, a report on the vessel’s website said. Twenty mahi mahi to 15 pounds were decked, and more than 40 tuna were also lost, because of somewhat tough fishing conditions: The lines ran to the bow. Still, there was constant action from the time the boat was anchored, and five tuna were hooked at once a couple of times. See the Golden Eagle’s tuna schedule online.

Manasquan Inlet

Grumpy’s Tackle chartered an overnight tuna trip Monday to Tuesday on the party boat Gambler, fishing on the west wall of Hudson Canyon, Capt. Bob said. Seas were somewhat rough, but the fishing was good. Yellowfin tuna 50 to 80 pounds and longfin tuna 40 to 50 pounds were fought aboard, during night and in the morning, on both bait and jigs. A 150-pound blue marlin was landed and released at night on bait. The trip did no trolling, and during the night, the fishing for tuna was like a pick, one hooked now, another later. At sunrise, a flurry erupted, and sometimes four were hooked at once. All anglers bagged at least one tuna, Bob thought, and one angler bagged four: a yellowfin and three longfins. The trip fished at one place the whole time, because plenty of tuna swam, and seas were kind of rough. Open-boat trips are fishing for tuna throughout the month. Three of the trips were weathered out this season. A tuna trip was fishing aboard Thursday, when Bob gave this report in a phone call. This weekend’ trips look like they’ll get the weather to fish aboard. Most weekends are booked, but more spaces are available on weekdays. See the Gambler’s tuna schedule online.

Not a lot of smaller boats fished in winds and weather, but party boats fished for tuna to the north, like in the Fish Tails area, said Eric from The Reel Seat in Brielle on Sunday. That’s at Block Canyon, and the trips chunked a mix of yellowfin tuna and longfin tuna, kind of good catches, at night. Jigs definitely caught well at night, too. When smaller boats could reach the area, the trips scored similar catches. Weeds made trolling for tuna difficult offshore, but when trips on the smaller boats could find spots to troll without weeds, they reeled in longfins. Not much was heard about mid-shore fishing. A bluefin tuna was boated here and there on the mid-shore grounds. Mahi mahi pushed a little farther offshore than before, like to the Glory Hole and Chicken Canyon areas.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet

Fishing sailed Wednesday on the Stray Cat from Longport, Capt. Mike said. Weather was actually nice, he said, and wind calmed by 10 a.m. So the trip steamed a little way from shore, trolling false albacore and bluefish. Lots of bunker schooled 15 to 20 miles off on the trip. The ocean was 68.9 degrees and extremely clean, especially considering how rough the weather’s been. Seas became snotty on the way home.

Cape May Inlet

None of the charter boats seemed to leave the harbor in the weather this week, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters from Cape May. Melanie Anne will try to fish for tuna on one more trip this season, probably far south, at Washington Canyon. The anglers for that trip wanted to fish this week, but were weathered out. A shark trip is supposed to fish two weekends from now. Frank saw signs of sharks on the mid-shore grounds while returning from tuna fishing recently, and is offering sharking. The shark trip’s anglers didn’t want to fish this weekend, because of weather forecasts.