Fisherman Magazine Update

If you’ve been looking for the perfect window to the offshore grounds, the Friday through Sunday forecast from NOAA Weather could be to your liking. Following a few scattered showers and thunderstorms on Thursday, fair winds and calms seas are forecast from the Hudson to the Baltimore through Sunday. Bigeye and yellowfin are popping up along the offshore grounds, and with over 1,300 white marlin releases in last week’s White Marlin Open, this summer is also proving to be one of the finest billfish seasons in our region in recent memory. Closer to shore, the usually more dependable summer flounder bite has been a bit hit or miss depending on where you’re ported, but in recent days the more consistent catches of big fluke have come from the Raritan, Axel Carlson, and the deepwater sites at spots like the Cape May Reef and the Old Grounds. If you’re hitting the reef and wreck sites this week, keep a spinning outfit rigged with a light bucktail or some live peanuts in the live well as a few mahi have also shown closer inshore in recent weeks; in the surf, it’s bucktails and Gulp! for the flatties, smaller baits and light tackle for kingfish.

Dolphin, dorado or mahi, however you refer to this tasty and brilliantly colored fighting fish, just remember a bull of a fish could put you in the running for great prizes in The Fisherman’s Dream Boat Challenge! A 19-pounder is currently tops in that category for the month, and in addition to the other great prizes being offered to Fisherman subscribers this season, just an ounce heavier this month could also earn you a pair of Costa polarized sunglasses. We have one report this week of dolphin being trolled up along with bonito from 12 to 18 miles off the Jersey coast to boot! August is also time for doormats, particularly in the North Jersey region where we’ve had several reported 10-pound-plus fish hit the scales in the past several days. Try peanut bunker or live snappers in the tournaments this weekend; pink colored Gulp! is working too which may be indicative of more inshore squid. While a one-fish bag limit has limited most of the directed effort, quite a few weakfish catches are being reported throughout the range, especially along the South Jersey waters. Triggers and sheepshead round out the catch along local rockpiles from the Delaware Bay north along the coast, while the white marlin bite at the canyons has been described in this week’s offshore report as “epic!”

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