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I know when we fish the sj shark tourney they are already there!

I cant say for shore but the smaller BFT arrive when the water is somewhere in the 62-63degree range.:D
 

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We get them over 47 "every year over July 4th weekend

Never pay much attention to water temps as all I am concerned about is bait on the bottom. (sand eels) If they are there the bigger bluefin will be also. We will be trying earlier this year for bluefin as I am sure they are around much earlier than early July but we just never tried for them. Have caught many many many footballs under 27 inches by early June before and seen the small ones while sharking in early June. We always run south and work the 20 fathom line from Cape May in early July.

Report from July 3, 2007
Caveman Sportfishing Report Today 9 BFT Over 47" On The Hooked Up I
I ran a make-up charter today with Capt Steve Spagnola, Barry Groswith from West Chester, PA plus a couple of Capt Steve’s friends from Wildwood, NJ. We left South Jersey Marina at 3:00 am. I ran the HOOKED UP I very slowly at around 15 kts on the way out because of recent reports about lumber and debris. We arrived at the tuna grounds about 5:30 a.m. and had the trolling lines in by 5:45 am.
I decided on our destination based on the Chlorophyll charts from the night that showed green warm water with hard edges of cleaner blue water butting against it. This location has produced Bluefin 80-100 lbs plus around July 4th for us in the past so I decided to start trolling there this morning. It turned out to be a great decision as we were hooked up with our first bluefin within 10 minutes. The bite continued all morning until around 10:30 am when everyone decided they had enough tuna fishing and it was time to head back to Cape May. Almost all of the bluefin were caught on 9 inch Tracker Ilanders with horse ballyhoo. Capt Steve Spagnola provided the ballyhoo from “ OFF THE HOOK” Bait and Tackle run by Chuck & Mary in Cape May. Capt Steve keeps his boat there and the ballyhoo were some of the best I have ever seen and that includes many great baits we get during the winter when giant bluefin fishing out of Morehead City, NC. I am sure these great baits contributed to our success today.
We never trolled more than 5.5 kts with the current and our average troll speed was 5.2 kts all day. I firmly believe many boats troll too fast when tuna fishing but that is certainly up for debate. We ended up trolling just two lines and never had more than 5 out at a time as the action was so fast and furious. Water temps were between 70.2 and 72.6 with very nice deep blue water the further south we trolled. There were reports of fish from Masseys south and there was no one spot that was any better than any other as we had fish where ever we went today.
We started trolling about 38 miles from our dock and never were more than 46 miles from Cape May. We had bites on the lumps in 98 feet of water but actually caught more fish in 130-140 feet of water. The secret today was fishing waaaaaaay back at least 200 yards behind the boat or more. We rigged our shot gun reels with 130 lb. Jerry Brown Spectra on our 50s with 100 yards feet of 100 lb top shot of mono and ran at least 22 lbs of drag at strike so we could put the heat on these fish in order to release the bluefin with a decent survival rate. We used leaders that were made for giants in Morehead City and most of our Ilander’s were rigged with 200 lb fluorocarbon leaders with 7691 southern style 9/0 & 10/0 Mustad tuna hooks. There was no need to get fancy and in reality one only needed to fish large ballyhoo waaaay back with an Ilander. We customized our Ilanders by coloring the jig heads with finger nail polish; a trick the New England commercial boys showed us down in MHC when fishing giants but today just good old Ilander with the skirts cut way back worked great. The best color was pink and the old standby Blue and White. We had great medium ballyhoo but never had a bite on these as they wanted the horse size only.

By the second week of July we have always had a few 80-125 lb. bluefin show up where we fished today so maybe on our next trip we will see some much larger bluefin tuna hit the decks of the HOOKED UP I. We have some open dates for regular 6 person charters and will be doing some make-up trips for small parties and singles over the next week or so. If you would like to get in on some very great inshore tuna fishing, give us a call or e-mail. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail and I will do my best to answer any of your questions.

Congratulations to Barry Groswith who went 5 for 6 on some very nice bluefin today!

Picture of two bluefin over 47 inches and one 46 inches. On today's trip all the fish were over 47 inches in the 60-70 pound range except for the one at 46 inches.


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aj bruno said:
I can't wait to kill some more bft this year!
I cant wait to find ONE!:eek:
 

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We bailed them about every trip in the Spring. This day we had a dozen or so by 9:30am... Check out the dates.. We will start our trips in june, around the tournments we fish..





 

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bear 13 said:
We bailed them about every trip in the Spring. This day we had a dozen or so by 9:30am... Check out the dates.. We will start our trips in june, around the tournments we fish..





Man, that not going to help this itch I have!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Bear they are great pictures and thanks for posting them but the questions was about water temps and when is the earliest fish will be found in the spring. I actualy had a guy in a tackle shop tell me they are out there right now in 45 drgrre water. He said you dont hear about it because no-one fishes for them this early. My feelings are its too cold but im just a begginner at this.
 

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barrell said:
Bear they are great pictures and thanks for posting them but the questions was about water temps and when is the earliest fish will be found in the spring. I actualy had a guy in a tackle shop tell me they are out there right now in 45 drgrre water. He said you dont hear about it because no-one fishes for them this early. My feelings are its to cold but im just a begginner st this.
They may be out there.BUT it is not in the 45 degree water. They may be in the eddy that broke off outside the Wilmington. They are definitly NOT in 45 degree water. I have however seen em caught as late as January. I was on the Clean Sweep when it was done. It was actually Dec 30th. O think they had em on next trip as well. All where released.
 

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Let's break down all the good information that you missed so far in this post:

The larger tuna follow the sand eels, and Capt. John has indicated that, for his style of fishing, the sand eels don't show up en masse on his secret 20 fathom lumps until the first week of July, which is, not ironically, when our summer-time bluefin take up residence on the Delmarva hills.

Having said that, there are bluefin to be caught in 62-66 degree water starting the first week of June. These are migratory fish, chasing tinker mackerel, anchovies and sardines and that are much harder to catch. You'll want to run to the 30 line and fish the usual spots for these northbound fish. You may see them when sharking inshore, but you'll catch more in the deeper water, especially just inside the canyons (which is Bear's point, and the Pez Machine guys will back me up).
 

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Barrell, Point is temp is alot less important to BF, IME. Giants have been recorded in temp below 32 degrees and as high as 80.. You wanna catch BF don't look for a magic temp... Best of luck
 

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fatboy said:
They may be out there.BUT it is not in the 45 degree water. They may be in the eddy that broke off outside the Wilmington. They are definitly NOT in 45 degree water. I have however seen em caught as late as January. I was on the Clean Sweep when it was done. It was actually Dec 30th. O think they had em on next trip as well. All where released.
There is no reason giants would not be in 45 degree water especially if they are on mackerel or herring out there. Bluefins can control their body temperature to an extent unlike most other fish. The big fish aren't shy of cold water, which is why the mudhole used to be packed with them feeding on cold water fish (ling, whiting, macks, sand eels, etc.)
 

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last year.

50-100# fish were on the 20 line last year pretty early.

on our way in from the poormans in mid june the fish where stacked up pretty good, had some fish feeding right on top during the mid afternoon.

Im sure Fishy, remembers, we saw one big fish boil on top and kinda just looked at eachother.


by mid july most of the charter boats were hauling nice fish regularly , i saw Hooked Up II come in everyday with flags flying high,

-ZAR
 

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O you mean the one that my Pop stole from me while I was cutting his bait???? :)

If i remeber correctly it just cracked 100, like 104 or something. I could be wrong though. She was 58" in length..
 

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104 is correct.
 

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WreckinBall said:
There is no reason giants would not be in 45 degree water especially if they are on mackerel or herring out there. Bluefins can control their body temperature to an extent unlike most other fish. The big fish aren't shy of cold water, which is why the mudhole used to be packed with them feeding on cold water fish (ling, whiting, macks, sand eels, etc.)
I dont think he was talking about giants. I dont even know they are here consistantly. I think he meant you average schoolie to mid size blue-fin. I could be wrong but I dont think they are in water much lower than the mid-60's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The reason I asked is I was going to run out to the wreck/cigar area this week and poke around if the ocean calms down. I didnt want to waste my time if there wasnt a chance in hell of catching. Is there a preffered early bait? Last season( my first )I trolled ballyhoo/ islanders way back like everyone was saying and caught nothing but Mahi on them when it warmed up. All three of my bluefin hit the teaser in the wash.
 
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