After a string of storms, high winds, and large seas, decent weather has come to Beach Haven, and the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are ready to take advantage of it. Some recent cooler temperatures have brought the water temperatures down and are driving the migration of striped bass southward.
Over the past couple of weeks, the ocean bite on artificial reefs and inshore structure has been strong for black sea bass, tautog, and assorted other fish including bluefish and ling. The striped bass which had been hanging around off Raritan Bay have started moving into the Beach Haven area, and some big fish are being caught both on the troll and with live bait.
Many of these fish are over 38-inches and thus too large to be keepers under the new striped bass regulations. However, there are many fish which are in the slot between 28 to under 38-inches and of keeper size.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing was able to get out this week with Tim Murphy, his son Kevin, and his brother Bryan on a 5-hour striped bass trip. With some nice conditions, they hit some deeper wrecks and the crew landed over 30 blackfish, keeping five fish to 6-pounds. They moved to the inlet area and the crew boated 15 stripers keeping five up to 20-pounds. Tim landed his personal best at 37-inches weighing 20-pounds. In the afternoon Captain Brett had Guy Critelli, his son-in-law Ray Currie Jr. and nephew Frankie on a shortened striper charter. They hit the inlet area to produce 4 keeper blackfish to 19-inches and a small triggerfish. With some higher winds, they moved to the backwaters to produce 10 striped bass including a 29.5 incher and 3 tagged slot fish.