Tuna Tango Underway in South Jersey
The April into early May blitz of giant bluefin that prematurely shut the season for giants down May was a warm up waltz for the hot dance that is occurring mid-range, offshore and in the canyons with small-to-medium bluefin.
The Resor, Atlantic Princess and Triple Wrecks areas are rife with ‘fins and when the conditions are right, the rods are bending.
Actually, the bites pretty intense from 15- to 30 miles out when you find the fish. To the south, in the Elephants’ Trunk, and in the Lindenkohl, Toms, Poor Man’s and Baltimore canyons, the bigeye and yellowfin are showing, with a few of the former also hit north in the Hudson Canyon.
Oh yeah, it’s Tuna Tango time!
Trolling, jigging, popping, you name it, it’s putting meat in the boxes. Right now, it’s primarily bluefin, and these are ranging from 20-pound “footballs” to 45 pounds. Bigger fish are certainly around, with more than a few in the 60- to 70 pound class being decked.
Hot trolling setups are the ChatterLures Side Tracker (rainbow and black/purple), and Sterling Wide Tracker (green and zucchini) spreader bars at a 5.5- to 6.5 clip. Ditto the blue/white and pink/white Joe Shutes/ballyhoo combo at the same speed.
Not into the pulling game? Try popping for explosive, heart-attack inducing strikes. The Streaker Chugg Norris popper in the Red Head and Holo Ghost Shad patterns, and the Tsunami 8-inch pencil popper in the Blue Sardine color are putting mounds, rows and
piles of sashim, and loin steaks, on the tables.
Muscling up? It’s jigging for the full body workout. When it comes to the metal, the meat maker in this early part of the season has been the 120 gram (4-oz.) Nomad Streaker jig in the sand eel pattern. Sand eels numbers are off the charts and are a fave tuna snack, and this has been the most effective metal according to any number of captains and tackle shop owners.