• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On September 17, 2018
  • Comments
  •  2

Jersey continues to enjoy the oddest summer in recent history, as tropical speedsters abound in local nearshore waters.

Pelagics in the form of bonito, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, mahi mahi and false albacore are running rampant in the 80 degree waters that extend from right off the beaches out to 10 miles. The easiest way to hook up is by dragging feathers, spoons and metals.

Light gear trolling outfits work best here. Set up with 7-foot Fin-Nor Tidal Inshore Rods matched with Shimano Torium 20 Reels, spooled with 50-pound Power Pro Braid. Tie on a Sampo Snap Swivel via Palomar knot or offshore knot. Trolling lures usually come pre-fitted with a strong 60 to 80-pound monofilament leader of 4 to 5 feet long, crimped at both ends and you can just clip the lure leader onto the snap swivel.

Go with small 3 to 4-inch feathers such as the Williamson Flash Feather in black/purple, Dorado Catcher in Bleeding Dorado or blue/pink colors, and No Alibi Feathers in green/yellow. Size 00 Clark Spoons are also top lures to send back as they sway back and forth in the water column. You may also simply drag metals like Ava A17 jigs, Williamson Gomoku jigs and Deadly Dicks in the spread. Set 3 to 5 rods out and keep your speeds around 5 to 6.5 knots, working over ledge contours, the outskirts of weedlines and around any flotsam and jetsam floating in the water.

Once you do get a hookup, keep the engines in gear as many times three or four more hits will come from the school. If you don’t get any other hookups immediately, then pop the engines out of gear, or at least slow them down to reel in the fish. If you do hook up with a dorado, reel it to boatside and keep it in the water as many times the hooked mahi will attract other species to come investigate. Toss a handful of spearing or peanut bunker overboard and begin casting soft baits to see if anything has followed the hooked mahi. Now’s the time to experience tropical action in the Garden State. Get trolling!


Leave Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *