Tarpon Off The Jersey Coast

Tarpons were caught in bunker nets off the New Jersey Coastline

When the Gulf stream moves north all kinds of fish that we never normally see in our waters comes with it.  We have seen tarpon before in older pictures and hear rumors of some caught here and there.  Last year a barracuda was caught in the Delaware bay by a buddy of mine, I have seen the picture.  This year despite the temperatures there are some fish here early, such as these triggers and spade fish.  I haven’t seen any butterfly fish in the nets or traps yet but that will happen soon enough.  

Last year we had some real problems with man o wars washing up on the beaches, lots of them, in October too. Now we have tarpon being caught off the Jersey coast and they are following bunker schools, which makes sense, they follow the food, but the water temperatures don’t seem to be right for these fish.   However a few days ago, two tarpon were caught off the Jersey coast near Cape May by seine netters working bunker schools.

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Adam DiMedio … “Hi Rich. We all couldn’t believe it (haha) none of use knew they were ever around here, even in small numbers.  Not much of a story to tell.  We set the seine boat around a really nice school of menhaden and they just so happened to be in there.  Two at fifty to sixty pounds. Released the first one we saw and just couldn’t resist a picture with the second one, which also was released, alive and well.  You and everyone probably won’t believe me when I say this, but we hardly ever have any by-catch.  It actually amazes me.  My six years of seining I’ve seen one striper in our net.  Mostly the occasional sand bar shark. The fishing is pretty darn clean.”

Fish On!
Rich King

tarpon, cape may, new jersey, delaware bay, atlantic fish, gulf stream,
Blake Walker holding one of the tarpon netted off the Jersey Coast … photo by Adam DiMedio

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