New Jersey Canyons Overnight Tuna Fishing Report
Starting September 6th this season, we have both THATS RIGHT and LOW PROFILE running overnight canyon tuna trips. We have been fishing the Canyons from the Carteret to the Wilmington. As expected, the week leading up to the dark of the moon in September has once again been a great week to target tuna on the overnight chunk. Also the troll bite decided to take a turn for the better as we've had some great catches come over the rails the last week, including a pair of 200# class Big Eye Tuna, and an unbelievable 203# Allison Tuna. Also on the troll the White Marlin Bite has been outstanding. On a few days where we had a reasonable amount of trolling time, we've gone 3-4, 2-4, 2-6, and 2-2 on Whites...pretty good considering that both boats are primarily running a Tuna Spread with mostly heavy tackle capable of landing those Big Eyes...
On the Overnight Bite, it hasn't been an all out red hot blitz all night, but it has been a consistent good bite. The best of the bite continues to be from about 4am to 7am, and on many nights there has been an all out blitz during this part of the night. Often we get a bite going about 10:00pm that allows us to pick a few fish also, and on many nights we will continue to pick away at them until about 4am when it usually gets hot and heavy. The fish we are catching are big and bad. The average fish is 70-75 pounds and we have caught fish to 90 pounds on the chunk. Most of the fish are being caught on 50 pound leaders, which is what is allowing us to maximize the number of bites. The downside has been long fights with more tangles and break offs than normal. When the fish come, the often come hard and having 3, 4 even 5 hooked up at a time isn't uncommon. Plenty are coming to the boat, but typically just as many or more are being fought and lost. Some of these battles are lasting over an hour, and even close to 2 hours. These fish will test your angling skills as they are very aggressive and unpredictable. Most nights we are catching between 6 and 15 fish. We had one very tough night when both boats struggled to get any tuna to the boat due to a very strong current that was directly up into the wind, which also kept the bait from balling up under the boat. Even on that night however, the next morning's troll produced 3 longfin and 2 white marlin. We are getting a good number of swordfish bites as well, with most coming on the tuna rigs and eventually being lost due to chaffed leaders, but we did manage to boat a 57" fish on our last trip, after battling it for 1 1/2 hours on a 50 pound fluorocarbon leader.
The main body of fish we are now setting up on has been in the same spot for over month. The amount of bait in the area is unbelievable and as long as that bait holds in these canyons, the fish should stick around. The rest of September and October should be outstanding if the beginning of the season is any indication as to what to expect out of the remainder of the season as we move in the peak months of late September and early October.
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