Spring has arrived in Beach Haven though low temperatures and gusty winds might suggest otherwise. The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are putting the finishing touches on their boats and fishing gear for the upcoming fishing season.
Captain Dave Wittenborn has already splashed the “Benita J,” and additional BHCFA captains have their boats mere days away from the water.
There is much to be done for a charter captain in preparation for a busy season on the water. Besides readying the vessel, fishing gear must be examined and upgraded where needed. Licenses and inspections are always front and center chores. Safety equipment and accommodations for angler comfort are regular concerns.
Lining up mates for the year can be a daunting task at times, but the development of the BHCFA Junior Mates Program has been a tremendous help in producing competent mates.
Bookings have already been made although final regulations for species such as summer flounder and black sea bass are not set. The rules concerning season dates, minimum sizes, and daily bag limits will be finalized soon.
The early fishing story has been a positive one as the first month of the inshore striped bass fishery has been a good one. More fish have been taken already than in previous recent years including a surprising number of keeper fish. As water temperatures continue to rise, this fishery will only get better.
April and May have been good months in recent years to fish for stripers and black drum in the bay waters near Long Beach Island. As summer nears, many of these fish will move into the ocean to join up with migrating striped bass for some strong late spring action.
Anglers looking to get in on some of this early action as well as preferred fishing dates later in the season are advised to reserve slots now. Many of the prime fishing opportunities fill up quickly as warm weather arrives.