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Offshore Report

Report from Friday, June 23.

| Sandy Hook | Shark River Inlet | Manasquan Inlet | Barnegat Inlet | Great Egg Harbor Inlet | Townsend's Inlet | Cape May Inlet | Last Week's Report |
Sandy Hook
Fishing sharked the Mudhole yesterday on the Sour Kraut from Leonardo, Capt. Joe Baumle wrote in an email. One thresher shark swam into the chum slick, but refused to bite a bait. The angling seemed slow on other boats, too, because of warm water that pushed into the area. Sour Kraut will begin tuna fishing inshore, because the fish regularly began to be reported to swim the water.

A couple of customers departed for offshore fishing yesterday, one for sharks, the other for tuna, said Johnny O. from Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands. All offshore baits are stocked.

Shark River Inlet
The year’s first tuna charter will sail offshore Sunday with XTC Sportfishing from Belmar, Capt. Scott said. Reports sounded like small yellowfin tuna began to be boated at offshore canyons, and a few bluefin tuna might’ve been biting inshore. Inshore waters were loaded with sand eels, so there seemed no reason for bluefins not to be there. Scott will find out on the trip. XTC is also sharking, and a handful of makos, lots of blue sharks and a couple of threshers are in.

Shark trips were canceled Tuesday and Wednesday aboard because of forecasts for wind, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters from Belmar. Wednesday’s trip probably had the weather to sail, but the charter needed a couple of days’ notice, and forecasts were questionable.

The Katie H from Belmar will compete in Mako Mania on Saturday and Sunday, Capt. Mike said. That will kick off blue-water fishing aboard for the year, and afterward, the vessel will switch to tuna offshore. Mike heard about no tuna mid-range but will search during the weekend’s sharking.

Manasquan Inlet
Southern canyons are being flooded with warm, beautiful, blue water for tuna fishing, and Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach is docked in Cape May to take advantage on charters and open-boat trips. The year’s first trip for the fish overnighted last Friday to Saturday, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The boat arrived on the fishing grounds Friday evening. A bunch of sharks including a mako were fought aboard that night. Ten gallons of calamari were also reeled in. Watch a video of the squid. In the morning, a 125-pound bigeye tuna, numerous bluefin tuna to 100 pounds and some yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds were trolled. A limit of over and under bluefins was kept, and the rest of the bluefins were released. Boats fishing inshore lumps also landed some bluefins 100 pounds and heavier, and Mushin will also take advantage of that angling. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are available into July. The crew expects the fishing to remain strong and expects more and more billfish to arrive in coming weeks. Telephone for availability.

The Tin Knocker from Point Pleasant competed Sunday in the Brett T. Bailey Mako Rodeo, Capt. John said. The fishing aboard bagged a 306-pound thresher shark and released eight blue sharks and two brown sharks. The water was 65 degrees, clear and blue where the boat fished, and Tin Knocker will mostly shark fish the next week or so, and will begin fishing for tuna at offshore canyons afterward. Bluefin and bigeye tuna are currently biting at canyons.

Shark fishing seemed a little tough but caught a few makos, blues and threshers, said Alex from The Reel Seat in Brielle. Not much was heard about tuna fishing because of rough seas this past week.

Barnegat Inlet
The forecast looks good for Sunday and Monday, Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier form Barnegat wrote in an email. So he’s running open-boat trips or charters for inshore pelagics those days. “Maybe Barnegat Ridge ... Resor ... Fingers ... Bonita … Bluefin … Mako? I’m game!” he said. Telephone him if interested.

Nothing was heard about sharks like makos and threshers yet, said Vince Sr. from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals in Barnegat Light. Strong wind probably prevented the fishing much of the week, though. He wasn’t asked about tuna, considering he heard nothing about sharks closer to shore. Plenty of customers run for tuna once that gets going locally. Bobbie’s features boat and kayak rentals but also a complete bait and tackle shop and a fuel dock. Baits stocked include live spots when they become available for the season.

Great Egg Harbor Inlet
Maureen Klause from Ocean City weighed-in a 126.4-pound mako shark yesterday that she landed on 6-pound line, said John from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. That was a potential world record for the line class, he said, and Maureen fishes to break records. That was the only shark John heard about this week. Tuna were supposedly boated lately, but that was unconfirmed.

Some tuna trips are slated on the Stray Cat from Longport, and news was scarce about tuna in past days because wind prevented trips, Capt. Mike said. News about sharks was scarce for the same reason. A couple of Saturdays remain in August for charters. Book before they’re gone.

Townsend's Inlet
Tuna fishing for yellowfins and bluefins became good at Poorman’s Canyon, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Big boats that could take the seas lately trolled the fish.

Tuna were reported biting around Baltimore Canyon, a little far for local boaters, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City. But anglers hoped the fish were headed this way. Nothing was heard about sharking on the ocean in the weather this week.

Cape May Inlet
Tuna – two bigeyes, two bluefins and three yellowfins – were trolled at Poorman’s Canyon on Saturday during daytime on a trip that Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May joined on a boat from the dock, George said. One of the bigeyes weighed just over 100 pounds, and the other weighed just under. One of the bluefins weighed 87 or 88 pounds, and one of the yellowfins was undersized. Tuna are biting, and telephone George if interested in the fishing. Many boats seemed to catch that day. The warmest water was 65 to 66 degrees at the canyon on the trip, and the water was clear. The trip departed for the fishing at 1:30 a.m. in fog that began to clear once the sun came up. Tuna usually begin to show up closer to shore, like at the Hot Dog, in June’s third or fourth week. George heard about none yet, but they could show up. People who sea bass fished inshore, before sea bass season closed Monday, sometimes saw bluefin tuna. Those fish always seem unwilling to bite and on the move. One angler who sea bassed near the Cigar during the weekend kept seeing a bluefin that was eating undersized sea bass that the trip released. The tuna wouldn’t touch hooked sea bass when the anglers livelined them. South Jersey Marina in Cape May’s Canyon Club Overnight Tuna Tournament today to Sunday was looking at rough forecasts. George heard nothing about shark fishing in past days, and the fleet all seemed interested in tuna now.

Wind kept a shark trip from sailing Sunday on the Prime Time II from Cape May, Capt. Steve said. A number of trips were weathered out recently aboard. But this is time for sharks on the boat, and Steve knew about actually some sizable makos caught. A few thresher sharks were landed, but threshers seemed scarcer than usual so far. A boat from the docks trolled a bluefin tuna, three yellowfin tuna and two bigeye tuna at Poorman’s Canyon at night on an overnight trip. The bluefins and yellowfins weighed 60 to 80 pounds, and the bigeyes weighed 80, were small for the species.

Plenty of sharks including makos are biting, said Capt. Tom from the Fishin’ Fever from Cape May. He heard about makos to 300 pounds this past week. Farther from shore, tuna fishing began to go well. A great run of bluefin, yellowfin and bigeye tuna was underway at the canyons. Inshore tuna fishing will pick up any moment, he believes. The inshore hills are loaded with sand eels. Sand eels are schooling everywhere from 6 miles from shore to 40 or 50 fathoms.

Nothing about sharks or tuna was heard in past days in rough weather for the angling, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. A 310-pound mako was the heaviest shark in the South Jersey Shark Tournament in Cape May two weeks ago.

Last Week's Report
Shark River Inlet

XTC Sportfishing from Belmar competed in last week’s South Jersey Shark Tournament, Capt. Scott said. No qualifying makos were hooked from the boat, but two of the fish to 130 pounds and a bunch of blue and brown sharks were landed aboard. The water was chilly or 59 to 61 degrees but clear, and seas were very rough Thursday during the fishing. On the previous Monday, XTC tilefished offshore of Atlantic City on the way to Cape May, pumping in a good catch. Bluefin tuna were seen on the trip, but the outing didn’t stop and fish for them. Bluefins are currently swimming canyons offshore, and Scott hopes they’ll pull inshore soon for one-day trips.

The Katie H from Belmar will compete in Mako Mania in two weekends on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, Capt. Mike. Afterward, trips aboard will begin big-game fishing more often than inshore fishing that the boat does every year until this time. Bluefin tuna and bigeye tuna were reportedly fought from Hudson Canyon, though that was unconfirmed.

Manasquan Inlet

A 454-pound thresher shark was landed last week, said John from The Reel Seat in Brielle. Little else was heard about sharks that week locally, but a few were brought in. Bluefin tuna were boated both inshore and offshore. A few bigeye tuna were heard about from canyons to the south in deep water.

Mushin Sportfishing from Point Pleasant Beach last weekend set up in Cape May to target tuna, sharks and tilefish into July, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The fishing’s been great in recent years aboard, and looks promising. Solid catches are pushing north along the 100-fathom line. Charters are booking for the angling, and some open-boat trips will run. The boat competed in the South Jersey Shark Tournament from Cape May last weekend and hung no makos but had good action on a variety of other sharks. The fishing aboard took place 50 to 60 miles southeast in clean, green, 63- to 64-degree water. On the previous weekend, Mushin walloped a 537-pound mako that made all the news and was covered in the last report here. The fish was landed at a southern canyon on an overnight trip when Mushin was moving the boat to Cape May.

Barnegat Inlet

After postponing shark fishing last week because of weather and cold water, a trip sharked last Friday and scored with Tuna-Tic Sportfishing from Forked River, Capt. Mike said. The trip bagged a 75- or 76-inch mako, estimated to weigh 175 to 200 pounds, and returned early, because the anglers were ready, after nailing the shark. A trip Saturday released 36 blue and brown sharks aboard, and the water on Friday’s trip was 57.5 degrees when the mako bit. The water was 60 or 61 degrees by the end of Saturday’s trip. A short time is left for ideal sharking. This is it, he said, and dates are available for fishing on the boat.

A shark trip is booked for Saturday, June 24, on the Super Chic from Barnegat Light, Capt. Ted said. Sharking sounded okay currently, and Ted hopes it holds up.

Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle’s brother competed in a private shark tournament with 15 boats entered, Kyle said. Only two of the boats landed sharks, but a 250-pound mako won. Some thresher sharks were among the tournament’s catches. Baits for sharks like flats of mackerel and shark chum is stocked.

Absecon Inlet

Mako shark fishing was pretty good currently, like 35 miles from shore, said Tanner from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon. Blue sharks and makos were heard about. Great Egg Harbor Inlet

A few sharks were tackled along the 40-fathom line, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat from Longport. That’s where most trips searched for them, and bluefin tuna swam the canyons farther offshore. Twelve-hour tuna charters are beginning to book up, and anglers must’ve gotten word about tuna beginning to bite. If enough anglers want, an open trip will fish for tuna at inshore places like Massey’s Canyon and the Lobster Claw.

Mako sharks were reported lit into sometimes, said Will from Fin-Atics in Ocean City. No thresher sharks were heard about. Farther from shore at the canyons, bluefin tuna supposedly swam. That was unconfirmed, but buddies boated bigeye tuna while canyon fishing. That was to the south, Will thought.

Townsend’s Inlet

The owner of Sea Isle Bait & Tackle in Sea Isle City’s brother cracked sharks aboard the other day, Cameron from the store said. Cameron knew no specifics. But sharking’s been relatively good. Not much news about tuna tumbled in.

Cape May Inlet

Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing from Cape May ran a shark trip, bagging a 125-pound mako and releasing a 160-pounder and a blue shark, some brown sharks and a tiger shark, Capt. Tom said. Sharking will remain good to the Fourth of July, he thinks, and a few bluefin and yellowfin tuna were around. That angling was improving, and the buefins were rumored to swim offshore and inshore, and the yellowfins held offshore.

Most local charter boats seemed to be getting geared up for tuna fishing, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter from Cape May. Bluefin tuna are being trolled at Poorman’s Canyon or in that area. A few yellowfin tuna are biting there, but 95 percent of the tuna are bluefins. Closer to shore, sharking seemed to turn out lots of blue sharks, not many makos, from what George heard from last weekend’s South Jersey Shark Tournament in Cape May.

Mako sharks could be located, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May. Blue sharks and brown sharks were cranked from the ocean, but not many thresher sharks seemed to be. Farther offshore, all the way out, small bluefin tuna and small yellowfin tuna roamed local canyons, and so did sizable bigeye tuna. The Common Sense returned Wednesday night with three bigeyes.