NJ Saltwater Registry

NJ Saltwater Fishing Registry
Canyon Tuna Fishing - Are You Ready !
Written by Ron Nuzzolo   
Sunday, 29 August 2010 08:16

ron_nuzzolo.jpgFishing remains a bit slow. With warm waters most fish will shut down and look for deeper cooler waters. Drifting for fluke and sea bass remain the only game in town. Piers, docks and rock piles are continuing to produce small snappers, porgies and all the crabs you can scoop up within reach. Anglers are coming across a few small weakfish but no solid reports yet. With warm bay waters in August, baitfish like spearing and sand eels are thriving which is always a good sign for the fall.

If you?re not fishing for fluke or sea bass then you are looking at two options.

Option one:
wait until the waters cool down and get ready for fall bass and blues.


Option two: break open the check book and take a shot in the canyons for tuna.

A charter in the canyons can run anywhere from $350 to $600 per angler, but worth every dollar to the experienced angler. Fishing the canyons is all about preparation. Being prepared is half the battle. Your Health being the most important factor. You need to be in decent shape if you plan on fighting any offshore fish. Finding the right day, weather, tuna reports, water temperature and even the moon are all equally important when fishing the canyons. Food, ice, bait, fuel and tackle add up quick and can cost you several hundred dollars before you even touch a fishing pole. Finding the right captain is everything. Do your homework and talk to the captain you choose, make sure you are both on the same page.

The canyons are not a place for amateurs. You can have everything lined up, weather, great captain, excellent reports and the day you get out there the bite is turned off. To enjoy a trip to the canyons the captain?s experience will make all the difference in the world. Every angler who has experienced the canyon will have a great story to tell, you will never forget your trip to the canyons.

 Canyon Bluefin Tuna
NJSWF Bob Maehrlein with a nice Bluefin Tuna caught aboard The Phyliis Ann

The canyons are a place equivalent to the Serengeti?s of Tanzania or the to the Amazon jungle. For the most part you are about a hundred miles offshore which leaves you no room for error. You need to be prepared for everything and anything. A hundred miles from Sandy Hook and its like National Geographic in your own back yard. Whales and dolphins for as far as the eye can see can appear and disappear in minutes. Whale sharks, giant sea turtles, schools of big squid can light up all around the boat. Sharks by the dozen can show up like a hungry pack of hyenas and keep tuna away from the boat all night. The biggest problem is other boats. What looks like a city of lights the Canyon is a huge place but anglers will jockey into position for water temperature and water depth. This is where an experienced captain makes all the difference between a bad trip and an amazing lifetime experience.  (Read More)

Most anglers arrive in the canyons in the early afternoon and start trolling for tuna and everything else that hangs out with tuna. Marlin so big you can?t stop them when they hit the line, Mahi Mahi that jumps until they have nothing left. Long fin, Big Eye & Yellow Fin tuna that will test your arms, back and your stamina to the very end. Believe me; you will question yourself physically and mentally with these powerful fish on the line. I have seen a two hundred pound Big Eye tuna beat four men at once.

At night the fun starts all over again. Get ready for the night time chunk. Night time in the canyons can be the loneliest time and then in a flash all hell can break loose. Get tuna started on a night time chunk and get ready for an intense battle that will test you and your tackle. Battles that can go on all night into the morning hours. Tuna and sword fish can hit the line at 40 mph and in water that?s like a torpedo .This is what every tuna angler hopes for. But be careful what you wish for. I have fished the canyons for the past 25 years and I have seen some experienced anglers get beat up so bad by tuna that they will never fish them again in fear of a heart attack. I have seen some of the best retire the canyons after a battle with a big eye or yellow fin. If I can measure the strength of an 80lb. to 100 lb. tuna it would be like getting into fight with someone bigger and stronger than you and remember it?s a fight to the finish, are you ready for that? Anything bigger than a 100lb tuna will test multiple anglers with ease. It?s the power and challenge of these fish that get anglers hooked for life. Fighting tuna is like testing for a black belt, for most anglers is the final stage in a fisherman?s conquest.

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