The yellowfin tuna bite in the Hudson Canyon is as good as it gets.
Anglers who took to the west wall of the canyon Saturday night experienced a crazy bite as the tuna fattened up and reeled in the sardine and butterfish size. Tuna, some of them over 100 pounds, are giving anglers a run for their money and providing enough steaks to feed a neighborhood.
Gene Murphy, his son Justin, both of Toms River, and a family friend left the dock at 3 a.m. Sunday on Virginia Lee II, Murphy’s 25-foot Grady White. They went out on the west wall around 7 am and not long after that found themselves on the bottom with the tuna skinning line from their standing tuna fishing rods. Murphy said they landed 5 tuna up to 90 pounds and probably could have landed more if they hadn’t filled the ice box.
Murphy’s son Justin, a seasoned party buddy who ran the boat into the canyon, landed his first tuna in the melee. The fish weighed 80 pounds. Murphy said they were back at the dock by 4:30 Sunday.
Capt. Howard Bogan of the 125-foot Jamaican said the boat went out overnight Saturday into Sunday and filled the boat with a catch limit of yellowfin. One of his rates also landed a super fast 55-pound wahoo. Bogan said all the tuna were caught on bait or jigs.
Inshore, the striped bass cooled off a bit as the bass weren’t in as much of a mood to hit despite the bunker readings and presence. Friday and Saturday seemed to be slow, but by Sunday morning at least a few boat captains were back on the fish.
Capt. Jerry Postorino of the Fish Monger II didn’t have much luck Saturday. In fact, after little cooperation, he took the porgfish from their party and kept them busy for the rest of the day by floundering. On Sunday, they returned to the striped bass and brought several “lunkers” to the boat to catch and release them.
Speaking of walleyes, the fishing was red on Saturday. Captain William Egerter Jr. from the Dauntless filled a bunch of buckets with the pan-sized fish.
Surf fishing was slow for the most part. There were no heavy bass over the weekend for surfers who participated in the Long Beach Island Fall Surf Fishing Classic. In fact, there is still a bass on the board caught by Stafford’s Matthew Shapiro. The bass weighed just under 8 pounds. The tournament saw plenty of blackfish entered by anglers hitting Barnegat Inlet.
There are some bass playing at night. Giglio’s Bait & Tackle in Sea Bright reported an overnight bass catch on local beaches. The angler was casting a metal-lipped swimmer.
Fall trout season is underway. New Jersey Fish & Wildlife started the mid-fall last week and will end Wednesday with about 20,000 14- to 16-inch trout. In addition, 1,000 hatchery rainbow trout were also released. These breeder-sized fish measure 18 to 22 inches in length.
Greg Bogan of Brielle Bait & Tackle said a few anglers are going up the Manasquan River, armed with lures or live bait. Brick’s Tom Magistro weighed in a 4-pound rainbow trout Sunday at the store. Bogan said he landed it on a night crawler.