Variety continues to make fishing exciting off the New Jersey coast. John Sowerby is the captain of the Cape May charterboat Hooked Up 2. He said Monday that yellowfin tuna action is really good. He has been trolling up quality yellowfin at Wilmington Canyon.

He said he had a recent trip in which his crew quit at 11. John said there are no small ones. He said they each weighed between 50 and 75 pounds.

He has been fishing for 35 years and the range he fishes has expanded over recent years. He said in the “old days” they would go 75 miles. Now it is sometimes 90 miles out.

Tuna can still be located relatively inshore. He said bluefin tuna are spread out from Wilmington Canyon to Lindenkohl Canyon and inside at Massey’s.

The “fish are there,” and the fishing is “outstanding.” He also said now is a “great opportunity” to go tuna fishing. John said it is a trolling action.

While offshore catches are sometimes spectacular, summer flounder are the fan favorite.

It looks as though no matter which way you want to turn — drifting the back bays or working the inlets from a boat or from the beach or rockpile or on the inshore reefs and shoals in the ocean — summer flounder can be caught.

There are a lot of summer flounder shorter than the 18-inch minimum required to be a keeper in state marine waters and 17 inches in the Delaware Bay and tributaries.

There are decent reports about keepers in the two- to four-pound range.

Robin Scott said Monday that they called all the rental boats back to Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate as the spectacular rain, thunder and lightning storm blew up on Saturday afternoon.

Many of them waited it out at her marina on Amherst Avenue in Margate. And they went back after the maelstrom subsided. And Robin said they all caught keepers that day. Kingfish reports are way more than decent. They are a favorite for many surfcasters, jetty and rockpile fishers, and pier crews. They seem to be spread out from Cape May County along the beaches of Atlantic County now solidly residing in the surf of Long Beach Island.

Noel Feliciano said Monday that fishing with bloodworm, chunks of shrimp and Fish-Bites artificial worms on small hooks is the hot combo.

Inshore trolling is super, too.

Mike O’Neill runs the Stray Cat open/charterboat from Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor Inlet. He has been catching bonito, bluefish and Spanish mackerel 8 to 12 miles off. On one recent trip they loaded up with 60 fish.

Family fishing tournament

The 22nd Sunshine Foundation Fluke and Bluefish Family Fun Day Fishing Tournament is Saturday. Signups start 6 p.m. Friday at the captain’s meeting at American Legion Post 439, 420 Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor Township. Registration is $70. Fishing is from sunrise to 3 p.m. and weigh-ins. from 2-4 p.m.

In addition to first, second and third heaviest fish for summer flounder and bluefish, youth age 22 and under are eligible for heaviest summer flounder, bluefish and sea robin. Call Tom Siciliano at 732-367-6457.

And also Saturday, the 26th Duke of Fluke will be based at Sterling Harbor Marina in Wildwood. Reigstrations are 7 p.m. Friday with a final sign up 7 a.m. Saturday at the Marina, 1020 Rio Grande Ave. in Wildwood.

Fishing is from 7:30 a.m. to the 4 p.m. weigh-in.

Prizes are first, second and third single heaviest fish and five heaviest fish total weight; single heaviest for Dutchess; and single heaviest for junior age 14 and under. Call 609-729-1425.

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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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Contact: 609-350-0388 ShepOnFishing@yahoo.com

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