Early summer canyon trolling has generally been very good so far, and we can only hope there won’t be the usual mid-summer slump that often occurs during the tournaments. Last week’s score for the Canyon Runner fleet from Point Pleasant was 119 yellowfins kept out of 219 trolled by the two boats — along with giant tuna releases of 300 and 400 pounds, nine bigeyes to 170 pounds, five white marlin and a swordfish. Though there are few charters left, they do have room on some open trips. Call 732 272-4445.
Capt. Dave De Gennaro has room on an open boat July 4 canyon trip aboard Hi Flier from Barnegat. The price is $350 for the 50-90-mile trip which departs at 2 a.m. and returns at 4 p.m. Last Thursday’s trip produced a 40+-pound yellowfin for Dave Flood of Mantua, NJ, plus another similar yellowfin and two dolphin caught casting at a buoy with light tackle. Call 732 330-5674.
On Friday, Hi Flier will run a scouting trip to Barnegat Ridge to seek school tuna, bonito, little tunny, Spanish mackerel or whatever else may have moved in there. The cost is $175 per person.\
Most party boats will be making their usual trips on July 4, but afternoon trips may be affected by the fireworks viewing. Check before coming down.
The Big Mohawk from Belmar has moved the sailing time to 5 a.m. tomorrow. They had a 9 3/4-pound pool-winning fluke on Tuesday when there were some limits and several 4-5-pounders.
Also at Belmar, the Golden Eagle didn’t get the blues and chub mackerel up inn the slick, but did very well with sea bass and ling.
The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands had a 5-pound fluke to take today’s pool, but there was no drift when the tide reached the point when large fluke were encountered the last few trips.
At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported lots of small blues biting mullet baits in the surf — and Joe Varrato caught a small cobia in the surf. Betty & Nick’s reports the bay is loaded with peanut bunkers. Blowfish are also plentiful, even at the docks.
The good Spanish mackerel bite at Bay Head wasn’t repeated today, though a few were picked eventually. I switched to Mantoloking, and soon had a double of small blues on a Tactical Anglers Crossover popper and a fly teaser — but never raised a thing after that. A move back to Bay Head only produced my first two hickory shads of the year on the teaser.
Joe Melillo at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant had a good Spanish mackerel bite in the surf Sunday evening, and recommends the 1.5-ounce Run-Off Swimming Sand Eel jig.
While casting at Bay Head Tuesday evening, I caught a Spanish mackerel, but the only other fish I caught was a spike weakfish that hit a Crippled Herring. Another one was reported there this morning. After my weak was released, Lou Morales asked me for identification of a fish he caught on metal. Being a lure fisherman, he didn’t recognize a kingfish. What that small king was going to do with a metal lure is a mystery as it was far larger than its mouth.
Vinny D’Anton stuck it out in Shark River and ended up releasing four school stripers on his Chug Bug and a Tsunami Sand Eel.
The July 4 forecast is for southeast winds at 5-10 knots.