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Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., June 15, 2020
Capt. John Decker had a party from Michael’s Warrior Project aboard the Kraken last Friday and scored a 210-pound thresher (along with a blue of about 100 pounds and one white guesstimated at 200 pounds).

The bluefin bite off the Jersey Coast was phenomenal last week, anywhere from pop up locations just 8 or 9 miles off the beach to some of the midrange hotspots like the Princess, Triple Wrecks and Chicken Canyon (pick up the June print edition of The Fisherman for a few LAT/LON numbers and how to recommendations from Nick Honachefsky and Capt. John Raguso). I joined my friend Capt. Dave Degennaro and his sons Nick and Max aboard the Hi-Flier out Waretown for troll trip to Olie’s on Saturday afternoon; there’s a good chance this ol’ “black cloud” shut down the bite for most of the fleet on Saturday, but I’ll be back at my desk most of the week so expect the action to pick up again rather quickly. A bunch of false albacore out there now, and I hear some big bonito, but our action was relegated to the way back ballyhoo which fooled a little 40-pound mako. In addition to the makos, expect to find a few threshers on the inshore and midrange grounds now, especially with the acres and acres of bunker inshore.

North Jersey field editor JB Kasper said he felt there was a bit of a change in the local action from the previous week. “The most notable change was the downturn in the striped bass action,” JB wrote for his weekly report at The Fisherman this week, adding “While fishing was good early in the week it progressively got slower as the week moved on.” Dogfish and bluefish seemed to take over much of the fishing in the Raritan by late in the week, with some of the best striper action still coming off Highlands, Monmouth Beach and the Shrewsbury Rocks. “Up and down water temps in Raritan Bay made the fluke fishing unpredictable at best,” he said, writing “The best of the fishing was in the shallow waters of the lower bay and in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers.”

Along the Central Jersey coast, it’s that bluefin bite not far from Manasquan and Barnegat getting most of the attention, though good sized stripers were still being livelined just off the beaches as well. But according to Central Jersey field editor Ashley Viola, the summer flounder pounding is finally starting to get going. “The water is slowly starting to warm up, which is helping to get fluke biting,” Ashley wrote in her weekly reports submitted on Sunday night, adding “They are hitting Gulp, killies, spearing, and squid.” She said the sea bass fishing is still good, just not as good as it had been, though ling are helping to fill coolers as well as well along the party boats which are officially back in business to start the week of June 15 (see our latest news report at TheFisherman.com under the New Jersey banner).

“Keeper flounder are still being caught in good numbers in the back bays of South Jersey,” reported South Jersey field editor Anthony Califano this week, adding “More throwbacks are being seen each week, but there are plenty of keepers hitting the deck.” In addition to the bay action, Anthony said keepers are also starting to show up at the inlets and local reef sites in Atlantic and Cape May counties. “Sea bass fishing slowed down a bit this past week due to the strong NE winds that hampered the effort, but the last week of the open season is upon us and there are plenty of fish on the reefs,” Anthony reminded. After June 22, we go on a week-long break with no sea bass harvest in New Jersey, with a one-fish “bycatch” limit reopening on July 1. Meanwhile the drum fishing has started tapering off in the Delaware Bay.

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