The NMFS has issued bluefin tuna regulations that will provide anglers with a shot at reasonable landings from expensive offshore trips.
Those boaters with Angling category permits will be able to boat two school bluefins from 27 to less than 47 inches plus one large school or small medium from 47 to less than 73 inches.
The Charter category provides three school tuna plus one large school or small medium. Headboats are allowed six school tuna and two of the mediums.
These regs become effective on May 6. It’s too bad they weren’t posted earlier, because the Jamaica from Brielle was “pestered” by school bluefins during their first tilefish trip on April 23. They were only allowed to keep one at that time and had to release others that hit diamond jigs and tilefish rigs. The Jamaica was also covered up by dogfish on that trip before making a move. A few fluke also had to be released after being hooked in the canyon depths. Call 732 528-5014 for info on upcoming tilefish trips.
Opening day fluking was better than expected on the half-day Sea Tiger II from Atlantic Highlands. One angler even managed a limit with two slots and one over 18 inches.
Bob Mathews reports from Fisherman’s den in Belmar Marina that the slot is producing legal fluke on his rental boats as well as for anglers casting from the L Street pier/
There is a 70% chance of showers tonight. They may continue into the morning, but winds tomorrow are only predicted to be northeast at 5-10 knots.