As time passes, some old school hot spots get lost in the shuffle, but one in particular trumpets its loud, boisterous call to attract new anglers – the Elephant’s Trunk. Located between 40 to 47 miles from Cape May Inlet and Townsend’s Inlet, the Trunk is an expanse that covers a lot of ground from tip to east and west walls. The namesake is due to the fact the area on local charts resembles the proboscis of an elephant with mouth extended open as if to grab a peanut.
Running along the 30 fathom line, the Trunk is actually a depression roughly 180 to 195 feet surrounded by higher ground. The real estate really shines from summer through fall as offshore pelagics gravitate to the area. Sharking is top notch as makos and threshers always patrol the ledges looking for an easy meal, especially spring and fall months. However, tuna and dolphin fishing is legit here. Commercial scallop boats drag the area with frequency, spouting up a wild chum slick mix of scallops and clams and other debris to which the bluefin and even yellowfin tuna will come in to feed and follow.
If you hail a scalloper on the VHF and bargain with a few “iced and canned” cooler necessities from home, you may get a bag of fresh scallops to send down on freelined 60-pound fluorocarbon leaders with 8/0 hooks and absolutely hang a mess of tuna. Local captains will set up on a chunk slick during night hours to attract plenty of bluefin and yellowfin, and the coolest aspect is that you can be doing overnighter tuna chunking without having to run 80 miles to the canyons.
Mahi are always running hard through the area and will eagerly hit trolled feathers and squid spreader bars. Some dolphin can hit the big boy 30-pound plus mark around here. There’s always going to be a mess of other speed demons cruising through as well which can include little tunny, bonito, and even a stray king mackerel or two during the late summer early fall months.
Incredibly, white marlin actually make their way into the Trunk during late summer and early fall, and if you can find mid to high 70-degree water break eddies, chances are you can drop a ballyhoo with blue/white Ilander or Joe Shute skirt back to hang a whitey. As the Elephant’s Trunk lies three-quarters of the way to the canyons, on any given year, study the temperature charts and see where the warm water eddies are moving as the Trunk usually gets a little side shift from the breaks, bringing in complete canyon activity only 40 some miles from shore.
Plug in the numbers for the tip of the Elephant’s Trunk (N 38 32.882 / W 74 04.467) and avoid the usual zoo of other competitive spots!