Jeff Crilly got more publicity for not catching a shark yesterday than he ever did winning tournaments with his 31-foot Big Nutz Required II. While chumming for sharks around 30 miles `southeast of Manasquan Inlet in about 210 feet near the Resor wreck, Crilly’s crew saw a great white estimated at 16-18 feet and probably 2,000 pounds cruise into their slick and eat the chum bag just as much smaller blue sharks are prone to do. They got it all on video which was played on the 11 p.m. Channel 7 news yesterday, though the announcer butchered the name of Manasquan Inlet.
Though white sharks can show up anywhere. I never saw one when I was sharking during the early days of the sport in western Long Island — and then out at Montauk where big boat skippers predicted a dire ending as I started sharking with a 19-foot Mako center console — and later began chartering from Montauk with a Mako 25 and sharks as my primary target.
Since they are primarily mammal eaters, the attraction of bunker chum probably isn’t that interesting to whites under normal circumstances. Ironically, I’m sure I saw shite sharks twice while fishing for yellowfin tuna on the mid-range grounds off the Jersey coast. It appeared they were about to hit hooked tuna, but both tuna evaded them.
There haven’t been any tuna reports lately due to the weather, but that changed today. Capt. Fred Gamboa posted on Facebook about a great trip today on his Andrea’s Toy out of Clarks Landing in Point Pleasant as his party was releasing bluefins by 9 a.m. and took the time to add a 90-inch mako shark that weighed 292 pounds before getting back to the inlet by noon.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar has had shots at small blues north of the inlet every morning, though only a few were jigged Tuesday before they added a boat limit of sea bass and some ling. That boat is chartered on Friday. The Big Mohawk is sailing for sea bass by reservation over the weekend, but may have some spots left for Friday.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for southeast winds of 10-15 knots with gusts to 20. It will shift to southwest after midnight.
Vinny D’Anton, Frank Manzi, Tommy Cox and Jim Louro all had a pick of fish on poppers in Shark River this morning with mostly 5-pound blues and small stripers.