A fisherman shoots a barracuda while freediving off the coast of New Jersey
Hurricane Lee is heading toward the coast, but remains on its path far out to sea, meaning fishermen could see lazy land bulging from the storm if Lee maintains its current path.
This swell could be large, with waves reaching 20 feet high offshore in deep canyons by Friday, according to NOAA forecasts. This is the extreme end of expectations. The coast should start to see what builds from Wednesday night into Thursday and anglers will know more about what they are up against at that time and whether or not they can run offshore into tuna areas.
A boat that set off offshore over the weekend in search of yellowfin tuna returned to the dock with a large barracuda. They are not caught by traditional means either, but by hunters using spearguns and free diving. The hunter was area youth Danny Velardi, 16, of the Manahawkin section of Stafford.
Velarde said they were coming from shore where they landed six yellowfin tuna and stopped on a buoy about 50 miles offshore that had a mahi-mahi on it. He jumped with his uncle. The barracuda was waiting for him when he got there. Shoot the fish through the gill plate in the abdomen with a spear.
more:Flying Tiger catches a 350-pound blue marlin in Toms Canyon
False albacore were attacking the waves at Island Beach State Park Monday morning, according to Grumpy’s Bait & Tackle in Seaside Park. A couple of anglers messaged the store about the bite as it was happening. The fish were hitting the hoagie epoxy jigs. Ray Kericho at the store said albies have been running with blues, which have been in the surf and at the mouth of Barnegat Inlet, but on Monday surf anglers were mostly pulling albies.
The bonito was in a feverish mood. Party boats probably put on their best display of fish so far this season over the weekend. George Hamway of Wayne caught 25 bonito on his Queen Mary party boat on Sunday. He used pearl-colored, 5-inch Tsunami soft plastic minnows with a split tail. The fish wanted to be retrieved very quickly, according to Captain Dave Riback. Anglers also enjoyed some blues and false albacore.
Bonito and Spanish mackerel have been hitting the beach in the Monmouth Beach area and the Sea Bright area. Giglio’s Bait and Tackle has had reports of its regulars catching colorful fish on metal and Exo gear. Anglers launching from kayaks caught the fish a few hundred yards from the sand.
more:What’s the Biting: Get the latest fishing reports here
There are still a little over two weeks left in the fluke season, and there are a fair amount of fish to be taken. Capt. Ryan Bogan aboard the Jamaica 2 said they had a lot of bites Sunday and several anglers caught the three fish limit. The price of large fish rose over the weekend to 7.2 pounds.
Larger boars are biting on rock piles and reefs around the Atlantic Highlands but fishing is still a bit slow. Capt. Francis Bogan of the Paramount reported high hooks were around 10 points Sunday. There are some grunting triggerfish in the same locations.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radle isn’t reporting the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he works as a history professor. Contact him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; email@example.com.