A group of anglers experienced an enjoyable surprise while fishing off Long Beach Island on Sunday.
Michele Casteel and guests departed early from Little Egg Harbor for a day of striper fishing in a 21-foot Caravelle center console boat.
After casting for a bit off the Beach Haven water tower (known as the “red tower”), they headed north to a popular fishing area near the border of Brant Beach and Ship Bottom, Casteel said.
As they were trolling the area, Casteel said the group spotted a whale about 100 yards from their boat.
She believes it was a humpback.
“We continued trolling, and at one point the whale breached right beside our boat. We actually smelled it,” said Casteel. “It was my fourth time spotting a whale off New Jersey, but this was the closest I’d ever been to one.”
If you’d like to go on a whale sightseeing tour, check out the 110-foot Cape May Whale Watcher, sailing March through December from the Miss Chris Marina in Cape May.