My blog earlier this afternoon contained Jeff Merrill’s wrap-up of the MidAtlantic. While that was attracting attention, there were some good catches in NY/NJ Bight.

Capt. Joe Massa ran his My Three Sons over to the Rockaways on Friday with a live well full of live bunkers he castnetted — and fed one of them to a bluefin of 80 inches (see photo below) which can’t be retained under the present regulations. Though Massa had never caught a giant before, he had no problem cranking it in from the 50-foot depths with the big game rod in a swiveling rod holder. That commercial method of fighting giants is efficient, but isn’t a sportfishing catch — and doesn’t provide the thrill of actually fighting a giant with a rod. With giants in such shallow waters, it’s possible to use lighter tackle with enough braided line to tackle giants which can’t beat you by going down. I wish I had this opportunity when I was into giant fishing — but at 86 I’ll leave that to the young bucks!

Many southern species move north in late summer, but I never heard of a tripletail in N.J. before. I’ve only fished for them in Florida around channel markers and crab trap buoys, but they’re actually oceanic fish which hang around weed lines and floating debris. That’s where Steve Caponi of Hazlet found one that hit a Tsunami Shad being cast to school dolphin offshore of Highlands. Steve weighed the 17 1/2-incher in at the Tackle Box in Hazlet at 3 1/2 pounds. Though the state doesn’t have a record for the species, Steve is submitting it for such a designation.

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