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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Massive schools of bunker have showed up right off some local beaches near me. There have been bluefins coming in to have their fill as well as blues and even some cobia. Anyone have any tactics for pod hopping for tuna they’d be willing to share?
 

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No perfect answer to this one. It will likely be a constant battle with bluefish and shark. Getting baits deep is important. Single baits far from the boat outperform bars and chains if that's your preferred style.
 

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Luck and boat position. Guys get them on poppers every year. I got a big inshore fish last fall on a white mojo 2 miles from the beach. But this year the number of big fish of jersey and Long Island has been wild
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Luck and boat position. Guys get them on poppers every year. I got a big inshore fish last fall on a white mojo 2 miles from the beach. But this year the number of big fish of jersey and Long Island has been wild
In terms of boat position, you want to be outside the school casting to the boarders of them correct? Not casting into the Center of the school.
 

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Totally depends. The guys off OBX snag a bunker and throw it high in the air to the center of the school. Once it hits the water the school opens up around the splash and sometimes a fish will come up and slam the lone bait in the center.
 

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We have had overs and giants crushing bunker schools outside of Manasquan and Shark River inlets. Guy's are getting then live lining the bunker just like you would for Stripers.
 

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I've never personally caught on a jig that close to shore but I'll try in the morning and let you know how it goes. Will grab a bluefish and check the stomach to see what jig silhouette to use.
 

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I've never personally caught on a jig that close to shore but I'll try in the morning and let you know how it goes. Will grab a bluefish and check the stomach to see what jig silhouette to use.
Curious, if you are trying to catch bluefin tuna
why you cutting open bluefish to check what they are eating?
 

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They are eating the same thing as the tuna.
We have had overs and giants crushing bunker schools
Ok, so if we know
Bluefin are eating Bunker
And Bluefish are eating Bunker.

Why are we catching a bluefish
to see if it's eating bunker,
when we already know
the bluefin, our target fish are eating bunker?

Not getting the bluefish to bluefin connection
other than the blue part.

Maybe we need to check striper stomach contents too?
 

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I didn't write about catching bluefish. I just commented on why cut them open. Only thing I can think is it's alot easier to catch bluefish.
I know guy's here in NJ that will live-line bluefish for these big tuna's. I have never done it though.
 

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I didn't write about catching bluefish. I just commented on why cut them open. Only thing I can think is it's alot easier to catch bluefish.
I know guy's here in NJ that will live-line bluefish for these big tuna's. I have never done it though.
I know it wasn't your comment originally.

Just don't understand the checking of bluefish stomach contents
to determine what jig to use on Bluefin Tuna.

Bluefish as bait for bluefin usually works better offshore and in deeper water.
 

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This might be a dumb question with an obvious answer but I'll swallow my pride and ask anyway:

How do you know a bunker pod has tuna on it? Marks on the sounder? Birds working like if stripers were tearing up the bunker? Or do you need to see them on top?
 

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I know it wasn't your comment originally.

Just don't understand the checking of bluefish stomach contents
to determine what jig to use on Bluefin Tuna.

Bluefish as bait for bluefin usually works better offshore and in deeper water.
It will tell me if there are sand eels this far inshore.
 

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It will tell me if there are sand eels this far inshore.
Ok, you will know sand eels might be inshore.
How does help,
when you know the bluefin tuna are feeding on BUNKER?

Going to fish a sand eel profile because bluefish ate it,
in a school of bunker being persued by bluefin tuna?

Or, are you targeting bluefish on your trip and not tuna.

PS> tunasquan, like it, assume you are coming out of Manasquan inlet.
I'm north of you about 35 miles.
 

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This might be a dumb question with an obvious answer but I'll swallow my pride and ask anyway:

How do you know a bunker pod has tuna on it? Marks on the sounder? Birds working like if stripers were tearing up the bunker? Or do you need to see them on top?
You will see the tuna exploding on the surface,
most obvious sign.
In this case, you get kind of close to the school and toss
your live bunker into the melee. Time to use popper or surface lures
if you want to go that route.

You can also see the bunker schools being pushed around,
where a section of a school moves quickly in one direction
and shimmer or shower the water en mass.
In this situation, you want to be further away from the school
and put your bunker between you and the outer edge of school,
does not need to be close to edge, you want to get the bait down, more important.

Often tuna will stalk a school and be 150-300 feet away from a school.
You can drift around with a bait in the water and see if you mark some life
on the bottom machine. Usually the trailing end is where to try first.

Effective technique is to get 6-8 ounce sinker on the line about 10-12 feet
from the bait, and slow troll around a school, not close, or between schools.
Between 1.5 -2.5 mph, SOG, speed over ground, is good range to work in.
Want the bait down half way in the water column, or where you might be marking fish.

Some days, porgies work wonders on BFT as live bait.

If there is lots of boat activity on the inshore schools
and fish aren't biting. point the boat offshore and motor
out 2-3 miles, you will find more fish out there

Good Luck
 
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