Joe Carney, Bill, Steve, Rich, and little Ricky chartered the Gone Fishin' out of Utsch's Marina. Looks like Captain Mark and first mate Mark Jr. found where the fish were biting.
South Jersey Marina hosted the Sixth Annual Mid-Atlantic Tuna Tournament last week with 44 boats weighing in a total of 85 tuna. The winners shared the $179,720 total purse.
The big winners were Dorothy Jo with a 191 pound bluefin and D.A.Sea with a 188 pound bluefin and a 60 pound yellowfin. Top Gun came in with a 64 pound yellowfin to win that category. All the details are on the Website www.SJMarina.com
The South Jersey Charter Fleet took several trips this week to the inshore fishing grounds where they bagged lots of bluefish. King mackerel, bonito and even a stargazer were mixed in with the catches. The offshore trips were also quite productive. Big Game on two trips had six dolphin, three bluefin tuna and a king mackerel at 11.6 pounds. Nor'easter II went toward the Hambone on two trips and weighed a 130 pound bluefin tuna.
Sterling Harbor reports that flounder are being caught off Cape May Point, along with all the small bluefish you want. Flounder are also being caught at the Old Grounds and the back bays. There is a good bluefin tuna bite at the 30 Fathom Line around the Elephants Trunk. The tuna are being caught while trolling, butterfly jigging and chunking with butterfish. There were yellowfin tuna and dolphin caught between the Wilmington and Baltimore Canyons.
Captain John Sowerby, Caveman Charters, tells me that the bluefin tuna fishing is the best he has ever seen in our area with bluefin weighing 150 to close to 200 pounds. These fish are not for those who do not have first class tackle capable of handling big tuna, plus it takes a good deal of knowledge on where to fish for them and how to get them to bite on the troll.
In addition to the big bluefin there are lots of very nice fish in the 45-50 inch range. Look for the Jersey Shore Classic this weekend, which benefits breast cancer research.
Congratulations to primary mate, Jeff Hudson, who fished with a private boat for the tournament and caught the biggest tuna at 191 pounds. Jeff will be back for the rest of the season with Captain John, with all his skills and knowledge on hooking up and landing big fish.
Captain Ray, Tide Runner, Cape May, says stripers are still providing the bulk of the fishing action on plugs and flies especially with the cold water. Black and dark color lures and natural colored flies are doing the best. The best action has been early evening into the night with schoolies and occasional keepers showing up. He did get some keeper size weakies on small yellow/white clouser flies along the beach front, but the water has to warm back up for better action.
Bucktail Willie, fishing around Strathmere and Corson’s Inlet, has found striped bass fishing to be outstanding early in the morning. Water cooled into high 50s on top of the tide and bass were feeding heavy and being caught on surface poppers and bucktails. Several legal size fish caught along with numerous in the 20-26" range. As water began to warm up, the bass bite slowed down.
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