Located southeast of Cape May, New Jersey, Hot Dog Lump is a perennial tuna hot spot during the summer months. Fishermen set up over this elongated hump to chunk butterfish in hopes of attracting yellowfin and bluefin tuna.
Fishermen can count on yellowfin in the 30- to 80-pound range, and bluefin as heavy as 200 pounds to be feeding over the Hot Dog when the water temperature hits 70 degrees.
The Hot Dog is a popular spot, and when the bite is on, it can look like a floating city after dark as boats from New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware turn on their lights for a night of chunking. The schools of tuna will move through the fleet, scarfing up the free chunks, and occasionally taking a hook bait. It’s exciting to hear a reel begin to scream on a nearby vessel, and you know the tuna are near, and it’s just a matter of time before one mistakes your hooked butterfish for a free-floating chunk.