After days waiting for the start of the fall run of striped bass, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are now reaping the harvest of their arrival. The bite began first north of Barnegat Inlet and has now reached the waters off Beach Haven.
Captain Gary Dugan had “Antman” out on the “Irish Jig,” and they managed a pair of pretty bass, both over 40-inches. Although both fish had to be released, the action brought big smiles all around.
Captain Ray Lopez had Joe Nodine and family from Forked River out for a full day charter on the “Miss Liane.” Within minutes of getting to the grounds they hooked up with a 46-inch bass which was quickly released after pictures were taken. After the big fish the group was almost constantly hooked up, at times with 2 or 3 fish at once. The action consisted of many keepers along with dozens of short fish.
Captain Dave Wittenborn had a group on the “Benita J” for some “lights out” fishing. His party of five had their limit of slot fish along with bonus fish for a total of 10 fish and were back at the dock and cleaned up by 11:30. With good reports of fish to the north of the area, Captain Dave predicts there should be a solid fishery for the next few weeks.
Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” had the Arthur Diebel group on a 5-hour combination striper and tautog charter. After going 6 for 10 on stripers ranging from 26.5 to 33-inches, the spent the last hour catching their limit of blackfish.
Captain Carl Sheppard and mate Max Goldman have had several successful trips on the “Starfish.” One trip trolling for stripers produced a large 49-inch fish estimated to be over 50-pounds. After releasing that big fish, they picked up four more between 25-36 inches. Two more trips were ones targeting bottom fish on structure. One trip resulted in nearly 30 sea bass in addition to countless spiny dogfish. Last Sunday Captain Carl had a local Boy Scout troop out for an action-packed day of bottom fishing. The crew caught nearly 150 fish including keeper sea bass and a 14-inch porgy.