Although the southern New Jersey coast has been fortunate in avoiding any damage from the string of tropical storms coming up from the south, these storms have all made for some large wave heights, adversely affecting ocean fishing. Despite these hurdles, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have been able to put together some decent catches.
Fluke fishing has been as good as it has been all season with the New Jersey season ending on September 19. The black sea bass is on hold until October 8.
These seasonal closures do not mean there is not any fishing available. On the contrary. The inshore bay waters hold as assortment of fishing including kingfish, weakfish, bluefish, small striped bass, and blowfish to mention a few. As a matter of fact, blowfish catches are as high this year as they have been for several years.
In the ocean there is an assortment of fish available including false albacore, bluefish, various mackerels, mahi-mahi, tuna, triggerfish, and others. The BHCFA captains have been on the ready to nab some or all of these species.
The crew of the “Starfish” reports that the trips allowed by ocean conditions have been very productive. Triggerfish and fluke to 25-inches have been active with some catches of out of season black sea bass.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing has returned to his teaching position but is still getting in some fishing trips on weekends and whenever he can fit them in. He has found the bay waters a little churned up, so he is focusing on the ocean for better bites. Most of the fluke he is catching are over 20-inches with some up to 6-pounds. Captain Brett reports he is looking forward to the fall striped bass season and already is booking trips.
BHCFA president Captain John Lewis announced he expects the first deployment of reef balls to be made in the upcoming week on the Little Egg Reef.
Additional information on the BHCFA can be found at www.bhcfa.org.