Strong winds and thunderstorms have played havoc with fishing conditions in the Beach Haven area recently. Some of the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association do have some fish stories to tell, however.
Captain Carl Sheppard took the “Star Fish” out for two hours between rain squalls and caught 17 black sea bass and one short fluke. The water was 67 degrees on the surface but much cooler 60-feet down on the bottom. Captain Carl took note of many schools of bunker on the water.
The highlight of the past week for Captain Brett Taylor was fishing the JCAA fluke tournament with Team S&S Bucktails. The team won the port prize on Long Beach Island with a 5.83-pound entry which also took 6th place overall in the state. The next day Captain Brett was back on his own boat with clients, Joe Antonelli and son Marcus. Despite strong wind against tide conditions, they used the Minn Kota trolling motor for fishable drifts. After a few short fluke, they tried the inlet for stripers and bluefish. The anglers managed a bunch of striped bass to 24-inches and bluefish to 8-pounds on the 1 ½ ounce S&S Bigeye bucktail tipped with artificials.
Captain Gary Dugan reports fluke fishing in Great Bay has been producing decent action with a couple of fish for the cooler on a daily basis. In addition, the cow nose rays have made it fun for a few anglers with smooth dog fish being added to the menu as well. Captain Gary is now planning some ocean fluke trips this coming week.
Although the weather cancelled the recent trips for Captain John Lewis on the “Insatiable,” he says there are good numbers of sea bass on the inshore wrecks along with lots of short fluke with some keepers mixed in. High numbers of dogfish are also around to keep the rods bent.
Captain Alex Majewski of Lighthouse Sportfishing reports there are still plenty of 1-4 blues blitzing around the inlet feeding on rain fish and bay anchovies. There are some bigger blues still in the mix. He has also been finding a daybreak bite on schoolie bass in the inlet. One recent trip with buddy Dave Werner resulted in some 2 dozen short bass caught and released. Captain Alex adds that his personal crab pots are producing very good numbers of big male crabs.
Captain Dave Kreines only managed to get his boat “Byte Me” out by himself for a few hours recently. After drifting off Beach Haven with no luck. He headed down to Great Bay where he picked up a dozen short fluke and one 19-inch keeper.
Anglers on the head boat “Miss Beach Haven” have started catching good numbers of fluke including some happy anglers on Father’s Day. Many youngsters were successful fishing with Captain Frank Camarda. The popular head boat will be starting its regular schedule in the near future.
Captain John Lewis, president of the BHCFA, reports the fundraising for the Jr Mate reef replenishment program is in full swing and can now take donations online from PayPal and most major credit cards including American Express. Information on this worthy cause can be found by going to the Association’s website at www.BHCFA.org and opening the “Jr Mate reef tab” for complete information and credit card access.