• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On June 23, 2017
  • Comments
  •  1

Bluefin tuna have been crushing anglers’ lines in the 20 to 50 mile range off the Jersey Coast and as we move into July, the bite should only get hotter.

General spots like the Glory Hole, Chicken Canyon and Triple Wrecks with water depths from 150 to 250 feet have held tuna in the 50 to 200-pound class, with one of approximately 435 pounds boated two weeks ago.

While a chunk bite is preferred down south, the central and northern Bluefin seem to like trolled and jigged offerings. As you mark fish and/or find that right temperature break, start dropping back Mold Craft squid Daisy Chains and Squid Nation Spreader Bars. Drag them at a 5 to 7 knot pace. Other lures in the spread should include Williamson Big Game Catcher and Tuna Catcher lures in purple/pink, zucchini and mackerel color patterns. Also drop back some Joe Shute or Ilander skirts in blue/white covered over a whole medium to horse ballyhoo, dropped way, way, way back 600 feet, or attach them down on a #32 planer and set them 300 feet back. Some anglers will rig long 10 to 12 inch Hogy or RonZ soft baits in place of ballyhoo and troll them in the same fashion. The tried and true cedar plug put in the prop wash will always garner strikes from short biting tuna. When fish are marked below, start dropping jigs on their heads. For metals, Williamson Benthos 3-1/2 to 7 ounce jigs and Shimano Butterfly jigs work well. For soft baits on leadheads, utilize the Hogy Harness jig or RonZ 4x jigs.

When trolling, heavy duty set ups are mandatory as there’s always a chance at getting schooled by a 400-pound plus fish. Stand up 50 to 100-pound class rods like the Penn Tuna Stick TS5010ARA56 or Shimano Tallus TLCSTH2SSBLA matched with Penn International 50VSW or Shimano Tiagra TI50WA 50 wide reels are proper guns to bring to the fight. Spool up with 80-pound Quattro or Hi-Seas line and implement a 300 to 500-pound Sampo Coastlock BX8CZ snap to lock on the trolled offerings. Bluefin offer the small boat angler some options to tangle with big game as many times they can be within 15 to 30 miles. Look for the BFT bite to be going strong all summer long, and prepare your arsenal now.

Suggested Gear


Tiagra 50WLRSA Reel

Tiagra reels feature an innovative hydrothermal drag system that virtually eliminates the drag setting variances that affect todays big game reels. They combine technology with years of expertise to deliver a reel that is truly superior.



Tallus Stand-Up Straight Butt Rod

Shimano Tallus Stand-Up Straight Butt Rods feature TC4 blank contstuction, Aftco roller stripper/tip, and a custom carbon straight butt.


Bluewater Candy

Jag Wingz Lures

Known as a deadly offshore fish attractor, these premium skirts are the “go to” lure of many charter captains as well as anglers all over the east coast. These JAGs come in both a 3-1/4 and 8 ounce size with powder coated bullet shaped heads with large eyes and a skirt made from hair and bling.



10in Replacement Tails 4 Tails/Bag

RONZ Action-Tails have a life-like wiggle that is achieved without the use of unnatural looking paddle and curly tail designs. RONZ tails are built using the finest soft bait plastics manufactured in the USA. The texture of this plastic has proven to be the #1 fishes’ choice and its durability will please the angler



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