Cape May, New Jersey

Once the water begins to warm up in summer, pelagic species, particularly tuna, arrive in the waters off southern New Jersey.


If you really want to test your mettle and your tackle, then this is definitely the fishery for you. Bluefin of all sizes will quickly exploit the weaknesses in any gear or angler, but the experience is one you will remember forever. For smaller tuna, you can use a 12- or 13-weight rod, but don't bring anything short of a 14-weight with a heavy reel that has at least 600 yards of backing for the bigger ones. If a fish takes anything more than that, you'll never get it back anyway. Intermediate- and fast-sinking fly lines such as Rio's Leviathan, which was developed specifically for the bluefin tuna fishery, are ideal. Fast-sinking lines usually have a smaller diameter that reduces its drag in the water and therefore the pressure on the tippet. For flies you'll definitely want baitfish imitations in sizes 3/0 to 6/0 - particularly ones that resemble butterfish, menhaden or herring, and all of them should be tied on the heaviest hooks possible.

For more information, contact Shore Catch Guide Services at 732-528-1861,