Skipjack, false albacore blitz Jersey Shore coastal areas


Inshore fishing was electric this week as high energy skipjack and false albacore crashed on the scene. There was even a king mackerel landed in the fray.

Light speedsters, which also included bluefish and Spanish mackerel, chased bait pods up and down the beaches, according to Captain Dave Riback on the party boat Queen Mary. He kept pace with them as his rates used small diamond jigs and epoxy lures to pull them into the boat. The fish were mostly 2 to 5 pounds. He also landed a large king mackerel on the boat on Tuesday.

The fishing was best during the morning hours, which is when the tide was out most of the time this week. The south wind picked up in the afternoon and the bait and fish seemed to disperse when it did.

Farther out, in water depths of 100 to 120 feet, schools of mackerel are still thick atop the ridges. The Golden Eagle party boat whipped them into a frenzy, churning water. Captain Rich Falcone said the macks sometimes backed off when bluefish began to take over the slicks. A few skipjack were also attracted and landed.

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Porgies jump into the boat along the rough bottom in the Monmouth Beach and Shrewsbury area where Captain William Egerter Jr. on the party boat Dauntless jumped into the rocks. The pace of the porgies bite is so fast that Egerter said he has anglers with full coolers at lunchtime. Pork chops are the size of a dinner plate and come in two at a time.

Captain Tom Buban of the party boat Atlantic Star reported a catch of a 5 1/2 pound triggerfish while on the ocean edge of Sandy Hook.

The lucky shot is the best of the whole season. While the recent string of doormats has grabbed headlines around the docks, the number of limited catches reported by boat captains is equally pleasing to hear. It all adds up to the fact that the Nets have been very busy.

Captain Jerry Postorino on the Fish Monger II charter boat had three straight days of boat limits with a lucky hit of up to 8 pounds, to go with a ton of runbacks. Two trips had a dozen anglers on board, while one trip had 9. He thought Tuesday was the best day of the season, but Wednesday’s action was just as good.

Davin Marquez, 12, of Point Pleasant Beach, holds a false albacore he caught on the Queen Mary.

Offshore the tuna fishing has been quite good with a number of tunas, swordfish and a few more wahoos caught recently. Toms Canyon has been the most productive canyon lately, although captains raced to Hudson and Wilmington Canyons, or stopped short of settling on spots like Bacardi.

Captain Howard Bogan Jr. on the Big Jamaica returned from an offshore race on Wednesday with a decent catch of tuna. He said they had a swordfish right away, within the first 10 minutes of setting up. The fish, however, had to be detached, as it was a bit too small. It was around 4 am. The first yellowfin tuna, weighing approximately 65 pounds, was landed shortly thereafter. Then a second right after it weighed about the same.

At sunrise they jigged a few more yellowfin and longfin tuna and caught some mahi-mahi. Bogan said they probably could have done better on tuna if more anglers had tried jigging.

The surf has been a changing dynamic all week. Morning low tides with tons of bait giving way to choppy afternoons with the southerly wind. Fluke and Bluefish were present in most localities. However, the presence of the bait could attract a number of species at any time.

When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel isn’t reporting the news, you can find him in a classroom where he’s a history teacher. Contact him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; [email protected]


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