39 11.7 N / 74 20.7 W
LAT/LON position for the Dog Lump as published in Captain Segull’s Sportfishing Chart #ONJ19
A certain little spot packs a big bite in South Jersey. About 14 miles on a slight southeast course out of the Great Egg Inlet sits the Dog Lump, where the nautical contour lines elicit an uncanny resemblance to an actual dog—ears, nose, body, tail and all—but all those funny looking lines tell of drastic changes in water depths that attract late summer and early fall pelagics.
The extremes of the Dog Lump drop to 76 feet along its north side, 74 feet along the southeast side and rises to a height of 54 feet at its pinnacle. The average depth runs between 58 to 61 feet on the whole lump. And for the kicker, there’s a tiny lump of 60 feet that rests a tiny bit behind the tail, affectionately known as the “Dog Poop” lump. Without a doubt, this can be a troller’s paradise to kick up false albacore, bonito, Spanish mackerel, skipjack tuna and mahi.
Lucky anglers will run into a few football bluefin tuna, with some even between the 27- to 47-inch mark or greater, so it might be wise to drag some larger offerings too such as squid spreaders, daisy chains and cedar plugs. Those BFT may be cruising those contours in October and into November as they move their way southward.
From late September into October, water temps should still be hovering in the low 70-degree or high 60-degree range. What you pull behind the boat depends on your speedster preference, but in general 3- to 5-inch Williamson feathers, Size 0 or 00 Clarkspoons, and 4-inch squid skirts on small spreader bars do the most damage to fool any inshore pelagics. Work a zig-zag pattern, stitching all the lumps together, running between a 5- and 7-knot pace.
When you do hook up, chances are it’ll be mayhem with multiple rods going down. You’ll have to battle through bluefish on any given day as well, which can be a nuisance when trolling your expensive feathers and squid skirts. If you do happen to hook into some chicken to gaffer size mahi on the troll, you can pull the engines out of gear and toss over some live peanut bunker or fresh spearing to keep the schools around the boat, then pick them off with light spinning tackle one after another.
Without a doubt, the Dog Lump offers up fast and furious pelagic action within range of the small boater.