Some very decent reports of offshore big-game fishing have surfaced recently.

One family-fun trip occurred Wednesday on the Jessie James with Capt. Mark Schrenk. He took the family “young guns” — 28-year-old son Stephan, nephews Matt Mohnack, 21, and Joey Mohnack, 26, and cousin Ken Kashline, 24, on a ride to Tom’s Canyon, a well known inshore stretch of water 81 miles off Atlantic City.

They caught a dozen yellowfin tuna and “gaffer” mahi. Then while reeling in one of the yellowfin, it acted different because a blue marlin “lit up” and attacked. According to Capt. Mark, the blue marlin, estimated at 350 to 400 pounds, ate the tuna and the lure they were using. Schrenk said each of the “young guns” took turns fighting the blue marlin. Schrenk said it went “airborne” with many jumps and tailwalking.

They got it boatside and released it. Another craft — the Oh Well — in the area took a photo and sent it to Schrenk.

It was the first Canyon run for Matt, and it was a trip none of them will likely forget.

Schrenk charters out of Brigantine.

Here’s a big-game backup from Dan Ponzio and his Atlantic City-based charterboat War Dance.

He took a crew out on the 4th of July. They went 40 miles off and came back with an 80-pound bluefin tuna. Dan said those bluefin will be off Atlantic City for three to four weeks.

One of the methods Dan developed for tuna is to catch ling, put a hook through the back and live-line it with a weight.

We have an amazing variety of species residing in our waters.

Kingfish rule on some of the beaches such as around the Eighth Street Jetty in Avalon and the rock piles around Atlantic City. Other reports have mentioned Strathmere, Ventnor and Brigantine.

The always positive Noel Feliciano reported from One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City he can now add some small spot to the lineup on his roster that already included three Spanish mackerel, “some” croaker, snapper bluefish, spike weakfish, triggerfish, summer flounder and striped bass mainly at night.

Dick Herb runs the Escapade charters out of Avalon. He reported Friday he had big triggerfish, including one that weighed 2¾ pounds while anchored up on an inshore shoal. He said that was the biggest triggerfish he ever saw.

He also said he is catching undersized summer flounder inshore, and he said they are thin as heck.

Robin Scott reported from Ray Scott’s Dock Marina in Margate that the back bays still have plenty of summer flounder. She said her rental boats and pontoon boats and private boats come back with keepers.

Robin said blowfish are in the mix in the back waters there.

Brook Koeneke is running his twice-daily schedule on the Duke O Fluke pontoon partyboat from his newly renovated “upscale” dock at Higbee Avenue in Somers Point. They are catching lots of fish with few keepers.

Brook said Friday he had “no complaints.”


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Michael Shepherd is the retired sports editor of The Press. His column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in print and Mondays and Fridays online.

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