Lobster Claw - The Fisherman

Lobster Claw

2018 6 Lobster Claw Map

As bluefin tuna have been summering over in Jersey’s midshore waters the past few years, an oft overlooked spot is in the limelight again – the Lobster Claw.

A 50- to 60-mile run from Great Egg and Cape May Inlets, the unusual hot spot is defined by a winding ridgeline along the 30 fathom line inside of the Lindenkohl and Spencer Canyons off of Cape May. The Claw offers up shots at big gamefish without having to run the extra 20 or so miles to the canyons.

Depths range from 150 to 180 feet, with the shallowest spot existing on the northwest side, which comes up to roughly 150 feet. If you look at it on a map, its outline appears as a big lobster claw grabbing downward, and one of the hottest spots to hit is the gap between the big and small “pincers.” All sorts of midshore pelagics hang in the area including bluefin tuna, mako sharks, mahi, king mackerel, wahoo and even yellowfin tuna.

2018 6 Lobster Claw App

Tuna wise, 30- to 70-pound class bluefin are the common fare, though dependent on water temps and prevailing currents, medium and large bluefin can move through of 80 to 200 pounds anytime between June and September; 40- to 60-pound yellowfin can push into the area from July through October. Trolling feathers, tuna clones, spoons, Daisy Chains and the like over the edges during the morning usually snatches up a few bluefin and yellowfin, and the day chunk bite is actually hotter than the nighttime.

Many sharpies anchor up on the northwest side to set up on a butterfish chunk slick to score with bluefin up to 150 pounds. Scallop boats regularly drag the area, bringing in bluefin like Pavlov’s dog, and a well-bartered bag of scallops from the deck of a commercial boat could get you the sweet baits that will have you chunking bluefin all day long. Yellowfin patrol the area and pounce on the trolled offerings during the sunup and sundown hours.

Shark anglers looking to battle a mako can drift over the varying ridge depths at the south part of the claw to cover ground, and the area is not too far a run from the sharking hot spot, the 750 Square, if you need to switch up spots. Various lobster pots also dot the grounds, allowing savvy anglers to run from pot to pot casting bucktails to pick of mahimahi that can range from chicken size of 2 to 3 pounds up to gaffers into the 20-pound bracket. It’s always a good bet to troll feathers zig-zagging around the pots first to pull any mahi that may be eager to chase down a trolled bait before you go pot hopping.

Put the Lobster Claw (N38 50.425 / W73 34.688) in your playbook this year as it’s within range of most mid-size boaters allowing you to get in on some tuna, shark and dolphin action without having to run all the way to the canyons.

Images courtesy of Navionics & the Navionics Boating App.

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