Junior Mate Program

Junior Mate Program


In memory of Captain John Koegler. He was an excellent fisherman, a good friend and teacher, and a natural scientist.


The 2017 Season's Organizational Meeting for the BHCFA Junior Mate Training Program will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the


Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna club
420 N. Pennsylvania Ave.


Parking is available on the east side (back) of the Museum or on the street where marked.

Call Capt. John Lewis @ 609-670-5980 or Capt. Jimmy Zavacky @ 609-915-2498 for details about the BHCFA Junior Mate Training Program.

View 'The Islander' Junior Mates Article

Learn to be a better fisherman! Learn hands-on techniques! Taught by the leading charter boat professionals.

  • Learn to be a better boater and fisherman including knot tying, navigation, boat handling, tackle and boat maintenance, weather, safety, first aid, and all of the other skills that will make you more valuable on the water.


  • Learn all of the other skills that increase your value as a crew member on charter and private fishing boats. This program includes “hands on” training. The best way to learn is by doing under the supervision of experts.
  • Become proficient in all of the skills and meet all of the qualifications and you can be offered a paid mate’s position in the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association charter fleet. This is the best summer job you can imagine!
  • Learn personal responsibility and how to work with others as a team.
  • Your membership in the BHCFA Junior Mate program lets you stand apart from the crowd.


Download the Junior Mate Associate Membership Application here.




2017 BHCFA Jr. Mate Training Schedule

Every Thursday evening from late June into August.

Note that the New Jersey Boater Safety class is two nights,

Wednesday 7/26 and Thursday, 7/27, 2017

From 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Public Is Invited To Pre-Register And Participate in the NJ Boater Safety Course!




Program Cost - $25 plus the cost of U.S. Coast Guard approved random drug test program including the "pre-employment" test.


All Junior Mates MUST be enrolled in the “ American Professional Captains Association” random drug test program and have had their "pre-employment" tests prior to being allowed on any BHCFA Member Captain's boat with paying passengers aboard. 


We recommend that any potential Junior Mate join the APCA Drug Test Program prior to their first Thursday evening training meeting of the season since initial processing of the “pre-employment” test takes time.

You must call them to register (800-468-7447) and tell them you are a Junior Mate with the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association to qualify for the discounted fee.

Do not register on the APCA website or you will have to pay full price. Call APCA using their toll-free number [800-468-7447] and register by phone. Tell APCA that you are applying as a Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Junior Mate and that the agreed fee is $25. The normal fee is $60 so make sure you tell them about their special price for our Junior Mates. APCA will instruct you as to what drug test center to go to by sending you a packet of instructions to your home.


Junior Mate applicants should reach their 13th birthday or older by this coming August 1. Interested applicants who will not be 13 by August 1, 2017 should look forward to joining the program in the year when they will turn 13 by August 1.


This is a serious charter boat crew-training program. We expect all Junior Mates who enrol to participate and learn more about the sport they love ... fishing. It is not a recreational program per se even though Junior Mates normally have a lot of fun working and learning with BHCFA Captains and other BHCFA Junior Mates.


Only qualified candidates will be invited to work as mates on BHCFA Member Boats and earn their Charter Boat Mate Certification.


Charter Boat Mate Certification normally takes three seasons of training.


Junior Mates are assigned to BHCFA Member Captains on a random basis.

BHCFA Captains invest their time and resources to teach Junior Mates the trade craft of charter fishing.

Junior Mates only receive pay when their Captain decides the Junior Mate has earned pay. The dedication of time and effort is what the Junior Mate invests to learn the trade.


No Junior Mate can expect pay during any on-the-job-training even with paying passengers on an a BHCFA member boat until their  Captain tells them they are qualified to run a charter trip as First Mate on their own and actually run trips as First Mate.


Paying passengers may give a tip to a Junior Mate as long as such a tip does not reduce the tip given to the First Mate.


Junior Mates should understand that a charter fishing trip is a complex undertaking and that charter boats and the equipment and tackle on board is complicated. Junior Mates are expected to participate in pre-trip setup and after-trip clean up and tackle and boat maintenance as part of their training.


Learning everything there is to know about the details of running a charter fishing trip are important parts of a Junior Mate's training. If a Junior Mate thinks of the “hands on” activities as “work,” they are missing the point. Yes, some of the activities get you hot, sweaty and dirty but you will have gained priceless knowledge so you use what you learned the next time the subject comes up.


        Parents are welcome to attend the Thursday night Training Meetings.



We strongly recommend that all Junior Mate Candidates start learning their knots using the website listed below even before the Training Program begins.

The knot instructions can be found at www.animatedknots.com.

JuniorMates have to learn their knots and rigging and that includes doing the assigned Knot practice for homework.


Junior Mates renewing APCA Drug Test participation should call APCA to do so since the billed renewal price is $60 but BHCFA Junior Mates only pay $25 if you call to remind APCA of your special rate and renew over the phone.

                           Weekly Training Schedule for 2017:

Week 1: June 22, 2017, 7:00 PM

BHCFA Captains: Capt. Jimmy Zavacky and other BHCFA Member Captains

Location: New Jersey Maritime History Museum, 528 Dock Rd. ,[ Dock Rd. & West Ave.] , Beach Haven, NJ 08008

Session A - Registration - Junior Mate applicant must bring a completed Jr Mate application Form, Parental consent form and the $25.00 membership fee and their letter of compliance from APCA if you have received it. 

A Parent must sign the Blanket Permission Form. The forms is downloadable from this web page.

 Session B - Introduction to the status of fisheries, management and the industry today. Discuss about challenges and how fishing charters are about the people aboard having fun. Mates working on the boat play a huge part of making sure the charter party has a good time.

Only 4 knots are assigned for homework this season.

The knot instructions can be found at The Palomar, improved clinch, dropper loop sea bass rig and the Albright, that is used to tie mono to braid.www.animatedknots.com or you can link to this site from the Fishing Resources Page of the BHCFA website at BHCFA.net.


Week 2: Thursday, June 29, 2017, 7:00 PM

BHCFA Captains: Capt. Jimmy Zavacky & Capt. John Lewis

Location: New Jersey Maritime History Museum, Dock Rd @ West Ave., Beach Haven

Cast net throwing with Captain Frank Crescitelli.

If you have your own throw net please bring it with you.


Week 3: Thursday, July 6, 2017, 7:00 PM

BHCFA Captains: Capt. Jim Zavacky

Location: On board Star Fish at Morrison’s Marina

525 2nd Street

Beach Haven, NJ 08008

 New Jersey State Police Marine Division – Safe practices afloat


Week 4: Thursday, July 13, 2017, 7:00 PM *

BHCFA Captains: Capt. Jimmy Zavacky

Location: New Jersey Maritime History Museum, Dock Rd @ West Ave., Beach Haven

Canyon Reels will teach reel maintenance and drag setting.

Offshore rigging


Week 5: Thursday, July 20, 2017,7:00 PM

Location: Beach Haven marlin and Tuna Club ,420 Pennsylvania Ave., Beach Haven, NJ

 CPR- 2 year certification

Fees for the Jr. Mates are paid by BHCFA. All others are responsible for the $65 cost ea. Course is open to the public. All Captains are encouraged to attend.

Parents may attend and get their certification also.

Advance reservations are required for non-Junior Mate participants including BHCFA Captains


 Week 6: Session A Wednesday 7/26 and Thursday 7/27, 2017 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM Each Night

Location: New Jersey Maritime History Museum, Dock Rd @ West Ave., Beach Haven

Instructor: Capt. Keith Gunsten 609- 709-2245   KGunsten@hotmail.com

New Jersey Boater Safety Course – All Junior Mates without a NJ boating license - Free

The New Jersey Boater Safety training for NJ Boaters License is open to the public

Parents or Members of the Public - $85

Parents or other non-Junior Mates must contact the Instructor in advance to preregister.


Week 6: Session B Thursday 7/27 Advanced Junior Mates 7:00 PM 

Those Jr. Mates who have already earned their NJ Boating Certificate will attend the regular class

BHCFA Captains: Carl Sheppard

Location: New Jersey Maritime History Museum, Dock Rd @ West Ave., Beach Haven

How to prepare for an emergency evacuation from your vessel, Chart reading and Navigation,

Night Navigation


Week 7: Thursday, August 3, 2017, 7:00 PM.

BHCFA Captains: (Carl Sheppard and Bill Kaiser ET. AL.- need to add more captains names)

Boat maintenance and fish cleaning at Morrison’s Marina on Star Fish and Tuna Sue.


 Week 8: Thursday, August 10, 2017, 7:00 PM

BHCFA Captains: Capt. Jimmy Zavacky

Location: New Jersey Maritime History Museum, Dock Rd @ West Ave., Beach Haven

Fire Safety Chief Ted Johnson, Beach Haven Fire Department


Week 9: August 17, 2017

BHCFA Captains: Capt. Jimmy Zavacky

Ropes, knots & Man Overboard Drill

 On board Star Fish

Friday August 18, 2017 7:00 AM

Location: Morrison’s Marina 525 2nd Street, Beach Haven, NJ 08008

BHCFA Captains: Capt. Jimmy Zavacky Et. Al.

Junior Mate fishing trip.

The third annual Captain John Koegler Junior Mate Fishing Tournament

Afterward party at the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club.

All Junior Mates and a guest will compete for bragging rights.

 Only Junior Mates catches will qualify for prizes.

Afterwards we will have pizza and soda at the Tuna Club for all.



Junior Mate Program Blanket Permission Form

Click here to Download the Blanket Permission Form in PDF Format.

Download Acrobat to view/print Application and Blanket Permission Form Here