The 39th annual South Jersey Shark Tournament out of South Jersey Marina in Cape May gets the shark tournament season going for big money contests. It runs through June 8, with boaters fishing two out of three days.

At Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina, Bob Matthews reports tuna, sea bass and striped bass are the best bets. He’s weighed stripers up to 42 pounds recently, with early morning bunker spoon trolling providing a  pick of trophy bass.

There was some improvement in the river fluking as a rental boat returned yesterday with eight keeper fluke. More normally they catch two to four keepers with three times as many shorts.  Small stripers are being caught in the surf at night, and bluefish during the day.

Nick Honachefsky of Saltwater Underground joined Chris Driscoll, Christian Palmisano and Brian Keating as they ran 30 miles offshore on Fortunate Son to troll two 45-inch bluefin tuna yesterday on Chatter black and purple side trackers among dolphins and a whale.

There was no word as of 5 p.m. from the Golden  Eagle and Miss Belmar Princess as to whether they were able to find the jumbo blues encountered yesterday.

I cast a jig in Point Pleasant Canal with ideal conditions on the outgoing tide after daylight, but never had a bump. Jerry Lasko said he missed a few hits in another area of the canal before daylight, while Maren Toleno caught a small striper on a Bomber.

Thursday’s forecast is for southwest winds at 10-15 knots with gusts to 20 before diminishing to 5-10 in the afternoon. There may be some morning showers.

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