Fishing continues to be good on all fronts in the Southern Ocean County area, but probably the most exciting action is a red-hot bite on tuna, both in the canyons and even closer to shore. There is action on bluefin, bigeye, and even some yellowfin tuna.
Two boats from the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association hit gold with offshore tuna trips. The “Miss Liane” with Captain Ray Lopez recently went 9 for 9 on bluefin ranging from 18-20 pounds and 2 for 2 on big eyes weighing in at 105 and 135-pounds. Captain Nick Perello did an overnight trip on the “Pension Plan” picking up two small bluefin along with a 71.5-inch bluefin tipping the scales at 218.5-pounds.
This was an especially noteworthy week for Nick as his new Coast Guard documentation came in, and he can now function as an independent charter boat captain. He has made the journey from Junior Mate to a full-fledged BHCFA charter captain.
Greg from Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom is excited about the positive reports from the inshore, mid-shore and offshore waters. He notes that this past week the bluefin tuna fishing exploded with an abundance of fish with even the small boats on the action. He got good offshore fishing reports on tuna along with Dan Latoof’s 500-pound blue marlin.
Captain Dave DeGennaro of “Hi Flier” fishing has been catching 30-40-pound stripers on the snag and drop in tight to the beach along with some great action on tuna. One day he went “mid-range” and scored 9 for 9 on 20 to 35-pound bluefins plus a big false albacore. He says the tuna are just 20 to 30 miles from the inlet right now and feeding on sand eels and squid.
There continue to be multiple reports of striped bass around. Captain Steve Purul of “Reel Fantasea” sportfishing has been putting his anglers on decent bass action around Barnegat Inlet along with some of those feisty bluefish. The fun part about this fishing with Steve is that he likes to use artificials with light tackle.
Elsewhere in the ocean the bite of black sea bass on the inshore wrecks and structure continues strong. Captain Carl Sheppard on the “Starfish” and Captain Gary Dugan on the “Irish Jig” both had successful trips recently with plenty of action and fish fillets for dinner.
The fluke action in our local bays continues steady with some big fish being caught along with a lot of short fish. Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has been fishing practically every day and is finding good fluke action in shallow waters with ten or more keepers a day common. A recent 4-hour trip with Gino and Robert Arbasetti in the bay resulted in 9 keepers up to 24-inches in the fish box.
I fished this week with Joe Hummel and Dave Rinear and was fortunate to land a 25.5-inchfluke that weighed an even 5-pounds. As with most fish being caught lately, I took the fish on a jig tipped with a Gulp bait.
Andy Tonnesen at Tony’s Bait and Tackle tells me that there are small bluefish popping up at any given time in all the bays. He advises to look for bird play, especially close to the inlets. For fluke, he says to fish the flats with light bucktails baited with live minnows or Gulp around Double and Oyster Creek Channels in Barnegat Bay and the Sedge Islands off Beach Haven and Tuckerton.
Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven reports some nice striped bass being caught on the beach at night with two confirmed at 37 and 43-inches caught on bunker. One of their customers, Bo, limited out on small blues on the beach on salted bunker.
Surf City Bait and Tackle reports a few weigh-ins over the past couple of days including some nice fluke off the beach along with Dave’s 30-inch striper and Tre’s 8.64-pound bluefish.
Anyone with questions or fishing reports is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.