NJ tuna fishing

Old 03-25-2004, 11:57 PM
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Default NJ tuna fishing

I know this is a little early but I've been thinking about trying my hand at some inshore tuna fishing this year, when and where do they come closest to shore? I usually head out of either Shark River or Manasquan Inlets in my whaler...and was thinking about either the Mud Hole or the Klondike...would I be better off trolling or chunking? I've been wanting to do this for a number of years and I've finally made the decision that I'll give it a go this year...there's nothing wrong with hooking into a 2 pound fluke but I like to experience the feel of a nice tuna at the end of my line...type of tuna really doesn't matter, bluefin, yellowfin, etc...just want to do battle with them...besides, it looks like I might actually have time to do it this year! So where and when would I have the greatest chance of incoutering one of these fine fish and have the best chance of catching them!

Thanks again for the assistance...

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Old 03-26-2004, 04:41 AM
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Default RE: NJ tuna fishing

If you don't already own the quite costly tackle necessary, you might want to round up a couple of friends and find a good charter captain to take you out to get a taste of what it is like before getting fully committed. Just to set up to have a meaningful shot trolling or chunking, you would need four 30 or 50lb outfits that could cost anywhere from $500 to $1000 apiece and then all the lures, gaffs, etc. etc. It is not a sport for the faint of wallet. It is also a mighty big ocean out there and tuna are wide-ranging predators. Finding them without experience is a real challenge. I don;t have too much experience inshore down there, but typically the first shots would be at the Mudhole area in June. It is very unpredictable from year to year, however.

On the other hand, once you get a taste, you are likely to get the disease. I have become a total junkie over the years and will drop anything to get out when they are running. There was an incredible medium school bluefin run offshore late last fall at the canyons. I had the pleasure of making two trips as captain of a friend's large Viking and there is nothing like catching a 150-200 lb tuna on standup tackle.
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Old 03-26-2004, 06:46 AM
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Default RE: NJ tuna fishing

Watch out you could get bit by the tuna bug. The first thing you need is the "F' ing tuna permit. Than you need to be able to tell the difference between a school bluefin and a school yellowfin. Third you need to know the exact tuna regulations for the day you fish. Fourth if you catch a bluefin you must call the catch in within 24 hours. Trolling in the mudhole will be your best bet. The school bluefins usually move through pretty quick in late June. If you can find a good school chunking sometimes gets them to the back of the boat. Most of these fish are under 40 inches so you can catch them on Penn 4 O's and 6 O's. We have even caught several on Spinning reels like the Penn 850 or 950. You are going to need trolling baits. I think most of them are designed to catch fishermen first and tuna second. Always put at least one cedar plug in the spread. Good luck
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:08 PM
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Default RE: NJ tuna fishing


Re: Trolling,

I 'd try fishing the "Lump Line", that is, the 10-15 fathom curve starting at the Klondike Lump and working northwards towards Long Branch. On the return trip south, try running a bit further offshore (15-20 fathoms). Pick up a couple of ceder plugs, some 1 oz Jap Feathers or small Tuna Clones, and round out your selection with a few Clark (squid) spoons and trolling drails.

Re: Chunking,

Try the same areas in late summer, for a mixed bag of false albacore (little tunny), atlantic bonito, skipjack tuna, "football" bluefin tuna, and the ocaasional "exotic" (dolphin, spanish & king mackeral, etc). I would suggest you use zoo smelt and sardines instead of butterfish, and that you also try fishing diamond and bucktail jigs as well as chunkbaits in the slick.

Becaise you're fishing inshore, you can go light in the tackle department. As CB said, a school bluefin, false albie or a bonito caught on a light spinning or baitcasting outfit will give you a memorable fight.

If you need any help in selecting tackle, rigging lures, etc.. just send me an email (my address is in my profile).
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Old 03-31-2004, 06:03 PM
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Default RE: NJ tuna fishing

First of all what size is your boat? I would wait until late september and october. get 2-3 30-50 lb outfits and chunck at the 25-30 fathom curve for bluefin. you can get fish from 15lbs to 100's of pounds.
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Old 04-01-2004, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: NJ tuna fishing

I'd try trailering south to the hills off Cape May since the demise of all the bait in the mudhole by the commercial fleet in the 70's and 80's Bluefin has be tough. You can catch em up there but certainly not like we used to
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:17 AM
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Default RE: NJ tuna fishing

late back,

what are you smoking ?????? Wait until Sept ?????????

I have gotten reports of Bluefin (solid reports) Not to far away.

Everyone said the Tuna fishing was piss poor last year, Well we dam near limited out on Bluefin everytrip and had a great YFT Bite at all of the Canyons.

This year will be even better, The mackeral are here alittle earlier and in better numbers, which means the season may start off good this year, If that is the case look out,
I will target TUNA fish inside of ONE MONTH, NOT SEPTEMBER
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:48 AM
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Default RE: NJ tuna fishing


What rods and reels are you going to fish with?
I also am trying mine hand at tuna fishing this year in the same area.
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