Though they normally don’t show up off the Jersey Shore until late summer, tuna trollers are already reporting quantities of little tunny jumping on their lures. I remember that happening once before, at least a decade ago, when they were mixed with small bluefins on the mid-range grounds. However, the bluefins being caught lately have been mostly much larger tuna such as the photo below which disappeared from yesterday’s blog when I published. That bluefin was trolled last Sunday from Capt. Dave De Gennaro’s Hi Flier out of Barnegat,
Capt. Chris Di Stefano was fishing aboard Frank Criscola’s center console from Brielle when the only fish of the day was trolled last week — but it turned out to weigh 54 pounds with the gill removed. Ironically, it was the same time last year when Chris took his son out and put him into a bass over 50 pounds on their boat from Shark River Yacht Club.
Fluke reports have been sparse with cold water still prevailing in the ocean and shorts dominating inshore. However, Greg Bazsa of Carteret did well Friday from his boat in Raritan Bay with four shorts and three keepers up to one of the biggest reported so far — an 8.25-pounder that was weighed at Fred’s Tackle in Sayreville.
Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno fished Island Beach State Park this morning and managed to get poppers to the only surface flurry they came across. Jerry said those blues were jumbos. There were lots of anglers on the beach, and they saw a few blues caught on bait.
At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported mostly big blues in both the surf and bay, but also weighed a surf bass of 38 inches and 17.9 pounds landed by Paul Berger in the surf on a bunker head.
Betty & Nick’s weighed two stripers this morning of 12 pounds on bunker and 15 pounds on clam. They also noted that big blues are in the inlet and hitting yellow Ava diamond jigs.
As of this morning, the Big Jamaica from Brielle had two openings on the Sunday 10 p.m. tilefish trip. Call 732 528-5014 for info.
Gary Caputi was fishing for the mid-range bluefins today, and reported that they moved from the areas where they had been. He still managed two large little tunny, and said one boater making his first trip of the season managed to find the whales later in the day to make the only good tuna catch.
There was lots of boat traffic in point Pleasant Canal this morning, and I was happy to settle for a 21-inch birthday striper on a shad jig.
The forecast for Monday is south winds at 10 knots early, but becoming 10-15 with gusts to 20 in the afternoon with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.