BONITO AND SPANISH MACKS IN THE SURF

BONITO AND SPANISH MACKS IN THE SURF

  • Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On August 17, 2018
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  •  2

In the last week, the Jersey surf has turned into bizarro world and has resembled Florida more than the Garden State.

With 76 to 80 degree surf water temperatures sitting on New Jersey, an influx of pelagic speedsters have moved into the area waters from roughly Barnegat Inlet up to Sandy Hook. Bonito and Spanish Mackerel have come close enough to catch from the beach as confirmed reports of landed bonito and Spanish came from Manasquan to Long Branch this week. I just got off the beach yesterday and landed my first ever Jersey Spanish, and bonito were blowing up right amidst all the daytime swimmers, it was absolutely nuts.

To start, a medium action rod roughly 7 to 9 foot is a good start to effectively launch 1 to 2-ounce metal lures out past the breakers. I’ve been using a Shimano Teramar TMS-70M matched with a Quantum Iron 30 spooled with 20-pound Power Pro braid, uni to uni knotted to a 5-foot section of 20-pound Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon leader then tied directly to the lure. Most of the schools are just outside of casting range, so you need every piece of gear lined up on your side for maximum castability and range.

With all the small peanut bunker and rainfish inundating the nearshore waters, match lures with the same profile to cast out. Deadly Dicks, Crippled Herrings, Williamson Gomoku jigs, and tail less Ava 007 jigs all have been working effectively. The key is to cast out as far as humanly possible, let the lure sink for a three count, and begin reeling in as fast as you can ripping the lure up in the top 5 feet of the water column. Generally blindcasting is the modus operandi, but keep your eyes peeled for both species to be vaulting out of the water. If you do spy a jumping bone or Spanish, immediately run to the area and begin casting as they will stay in a localized area for a minute or two before moving on to chase down another bait pod.

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