With smooth puffers common, jacks biting inshore, red drum hitting in Cape May and great whites prowling the inshore waters, you really never know what you might see come up on the end of your line. Some monster lemonfish, also known as Cobia or crab-eater, are pulling drags from New York to Maryland this summer. These fish love to hang out with large sharks and rays and can often be found right ion the middle of that bluefish, false albacore or tuna blitz. Often mistaken as sharks themselves, these fish fight hard, test tackle and grill up like the best fillet mignon.

Capt. Jim Cawthern of Howell, NJ battled and bested a giant cobia off the Jersey Coast recently aboard Capt. Rich Kosztyu’s MR Charters. The 82 pounder was just five pounds off the state record and had it not lost weight to a ripped gaff and a night of continued fishing, surely would have eclipsed the old mark. (Capt. Jim’s blow by blow account was featured in issue 39 of the New Jersey Delaware Bay edition and it was quite a tug of war with a great ocean beast.)

In New York waters angler Tony Caroleo was fishing on New York’s Jamaica Bay when he caught and released what appeared to be a small tarpon measuring just over 12 inches long. Tony, who has caught many large tarpon in Florida waters, was surprised at first but then realize in the context of his catches that day and over the preceding weekend, it wasn’t improbable. After all, in addition to the porgies and weakfish he expected, he also hauled in several blue runners, plenty of triggerfish, several sheepshead; plus some small jacks. All of this in 20- to 30-foot depths while using clam baits near Floyd Bennett Field.

Denise Marie Theiler and Tom Pagliaroli joined Sea Isle City Capt. Al Crudelle aboard his Bayhound and they landed a huge cobia of around 60 pounds on a jig as well as a hammerhead shark-variety afloat, for certain this season.