BHCFA Weekly Report 9/29/17

BHCFA Weekly Report 9/29/17

by Jim Hutchinson Sr.

Hurricanes Jose and Maria have spared the Beach Haven area with any type of direct hit. However, some stiff winds and very high seas from those storms have put the damper on any type of consistent fishing action for the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association.

Despite the closure of summer flounder and black sea bass seasons, the artificial reefs and other inshore structure have produced some strong fishing when the boats have been able to get out. There are good numbers of blackfish (tautog), porgies, triggerfish, and small bluefish there to supply some good fish dinners.

Captain Carl Sheppard managed to slip in an excellent day of fishing offshore with a bachelor party hosted by Joe Gratten of Fairless Hills, Pa. Captain Carl spent a full day trolling down the 20-Fathon line off Beach Haven where he managed to find a good number of mahi-mahi, little
tunny, and bonito to liven up the party atmosphere. Not only did the celebrating anglers have a great time, they returned to the dock with an abundant supply of fish fillets.

A prediction of an approaching cold front has the captains starting to think about the arrival of striped bass. A goodly number of bass, mostly shorts, have been caught in the local bay waters by anglers plugging the sodbanks. With the abundance of bait around, bass action may be opening up very soon.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association website.

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Open boat weakfish tomorrow Friday Sept. 29th 2pm – 6pm

Hi Folks,

I have a few spots left for tomorrow Sept. 29th 2pm-6pm for chumming with grass shrimp for weakfish. The trout have been quality in size running well over the minimum size. All bait and light spinning tackle are supplied and fish cleaned and iced for the ride home. We have also had a mix of other species making the rods bend as well. The fare is $100.00 pp.

C’mon and jump aboard the Reel Fantasea for some light tackle back bay fun in the protected waters of the Barnegat Bay!

Best Regards,

Captain Steve Purul

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters


LBI Fishing Report – Sept 26, 2017

The calendar tells us it’s fall but the recent temps sure do not feel like it. Soon the hot and humid weather will break and fall will fill in and have an extended stay. Historically the mullet run slows down towards the end of September but it really never got to a substantial run. There were a few days with bait on the move but we all are looking for more. The persistent swell (what I believe to be one of NJ’s longest run of waves) has had the bait stretched out and on the back side of the bar.

Fish Love Bucktails & White Water

On the surf the swell keeps pumping! Last week it was Jose. This week it’s Maria and it looks to continue through this week, fading out this weekend. Anglers putting in time on the surf are blessed with beautiful long period rolling white water; however for those trying to bait and wait fish lots of extra lead is needed.

One customer in today was gearing up in preparation for the fall fishing season. He purchased a new Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel for plugging due to its awesome, light, smooth, powerful performance. His buddy has the same reel with nothing but a great review. Just days ago he caught a 11 pound striped off the LBI surf. He was fishing an white Andrus Jetty Caster bucktail in the white water.

Store staffer Kelly was on the beach recently and talked to a anglers who later stopped in to report he got a high teen, possibly a 20 pound bass. He too was fishing a bucktail working a pocket of water with lots of rolling waves.

Some lure trends come and go, but one thing has proven successful year after year. BUCKTAILS! White water and bucktails go together like peanut butter and jelly. Do yourself a solid! Fish bucktails and learn how to work different effectively in all conditions. You’ll improve your angling skills and increase your catch rates.

Local Fishing Report Update

Mullet and peanut bunker are pushing around. Yesterday in the bay, I spotted the first school of jumbo “corn cob” mullet. Weakfish, Bass and Blues are here. The tog fishing has been good. It’s time to gear up for fall!

Local grom 6 year old Mathew Welsh stopped in today for some tackle. He reported the blues and fluke are chewing in the bay. Yesterday Matt caught some spearing and minnows then went to town on the game fish having a blast catching and releasing fish.

The tog situation is good at the Barnegat Light State Park. The Inlet Jetty is producing good numbers of blackfish. Finding a keeper is tough but they are there. The majority of the fish are in the 8-14″ range. Grab green crabs and get in on the tog snapping fun. Got to give it your best shot to find a 15″+ keeper. Also present in the inlet; sheepshead, triggerfish, weakfish, striped bass and bluefish.

At sunset, sunset and night the resident bass seem to come alive especially when they come across bait. Store staffer Kelly got a bass the other morning on a Red Fin Lure. Store staffer Dan has been having fun fishing the night shift.

The Island’s south end bayside has produced for anglers targeting striped bass, weakfish and bluefish. Fish are biting small poppers like Stillwater Smack-It Jrs & Storm Chug Bugs. Another option is bucktails and soft plastics rigged on a jig. Small bass at sunset are hanging around the sod banks and at night they are in the lights.

One surf angler picking up some tackle today shared this surf fishing story… “I was catching some blues off the surf using fresh mullet I got from Fish Heads. I was rigged up with a hi-lo rig and consistently into small blues. Eventually the rod went down and it was a good fish! After slow playing into the beach, it turns out to be a keeper size fluke on the low hook and and a bluefish on the high. Felt like a 10 pound DOORMAT especially in the raging surf.”

A customer in the shop today said, “I’m fishing the bay and the Inlet looking what ever wants to bite. There’s some weakfish, blues and the fluke are everywhere! A tight line is always fun! You can’t keep them off the hook. Even though the season is closed, it’s great catch and release fishing.”

Offshore: The weather doesn’t look to allow anyone out in the near future, but there were some positive reports from the last weather window. One solid report came from Captain Deane aboard the Canyon Runner. They boated 8 yellowfin, 12 longfin and mahi. Other guys out fishing the Hudson canyon got into fish too.

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Weakfish!!!

With a late summer family getaway to the salty windswept shores of OBX and a potent tropical conga line that has produced a challenging sea conditions of late it has been quite a while since I have had an opportunity to sit and update any fishing reports.

Today 9/24/17 things have begun to settle down with a calmer and cleaner incoming tide bringing better fishing opportunities for anglers aboard our late week outings.
This summer although the fishing was very solid with multiple species the elusive sea trout aka weakfish was absent through our summer season but just like that things have changed in a blink!
Weakfish running 14-18″ were plentiful and cooperative on live baits on light spinning tackle for our Sunday outing . Even with the forecast continuing to be a bit unsettled the bay and inlet will provide not only cover from rough sea conditions but a solid opportunity to score a mix of bluefish, weakfish, fluke [ catch and release] , striper, black fish, trigger fish………[?]
I have this Friday [ Oct 1st] available for a morning and afternoon for those looking to mix it up with a host of light tackle cast of characters! Come jump aboard the Reel Fantasea for an early Fall light tackle outing.
Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Captain Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters

LBI Fishing Report – Sept 23, 2017

LBI Fishing Report Update For September 23, 2017

We welcome FALL with open arms and high hopes. As of 4pm yesterday (Friday) it’s officially fall, which means on thing for anglers… It’s fishing season!!!

It’s crazy how long Jose has meandered in the western Atlantic. It continues to linger south east of Montauk. We have a unique weather situation as Maria slides up. The prolong northeast flow seems to hold on and as days past there might be an unusual interaction between the two systems. It’s possible we see the rare Fujiwhara effect if Jose and Maria morph into one. While rare, it has occurred a few times in the Atlantic. Last time this occurred was 2005 Alpha was absorbed by Wilma. Before that in 1995 when Hurricane Iris and Hurricane Humberto interacted.

On the fishing front… Lots of bait in our waters! Peanut bunker, spearing and mullet. Anglers are finding fish some night busting on top. Sometimes they are finicky so be ready to pull out the specialty tricks.

Both bass and blues are being caught by anglers fishing the bay, inlet and surf. Store staffer Dan D reports college and fishing have been great. 40″+ blues , 30″+ bass and endless surf… Hello Fall!

Fish-Heads alumni Bill Bassant recently got a nice size one plugging the surf. Check out our Instagram Page for the photo. Congrats to Bill & Megan… They tie the knot today!

Lots of small blues with some kingfish on the surf. If the swell ever settles down the croakers that were off the beach might stage up.

The inlet has plenty of tog and the triggerfish and sheepshead are present too. Brian Craig weighed in a 7.42 pound sheepshead.


EDIT: 9/23/2017 at 8PM

Today was ASAC’s World Series of Surf Fishing on LBI which is hosted by the Long Beach Island Fishing Club in Harvey Cedars. Those that were not aware the tournament knew something was up, because the beaches were packed with beach buggies and anglers. Heard there was around 100 scoring fish caught by 45-ish registered teams.

We got word from Greg O’Connell who fished, “Pretty even mix of blues and kings. A lot of non scoring snapper blues and out of season fluke.”

Two teams tied for first; Merchantville Fishing Club and NJ Beach Buggy Association. Third place went to South Jersey Surf Casters. Biggest fish was caught by Kevin Eichman’s (Merchantville FC) 19.5″ bluefish. Most and biggest fish youth division went to Ryan O’Connell (Merchantville FC).

Another delivery of fresh local finger mullet arrived this afternoon as well as a batch of fresh bunker.


Kids Wishing To Go Fishing Event

On Saturday 9/30 from 10am to 2pm the Jersey Coast Anglers Association in conjunction with Cardinal Enterprises and New Jersey Shore Chapter 12 of the Vietnam Veterans of America will host “Kids Wishing To Go Fishing”. This free fishing event for special needs children ages 6-16 will be held at Lake Juilanna located at Ponderosa Estates Farm in Millstone Township, NJ.

This is a catch and release event using barbless hooks. The lake that is well stocked with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappies, yellow perch, channel catfish and sunfish. Refreshments will be served and there will be plenty of door prizes free bait and rigs along with loaner rods and reels. Adults will be on hand to help the kids and best of all the event is FREE. All interested in attending (an individual or group) must register in advance by calling 732-747-7846.

Miss Barnegat Light Canyon Fishing Report 9/18/17

Here’s the Miss Barnegat Light Canyon Fishing Report for September 18, 2017.

Captain Louis Van Bergen from the Miss Barnegat Light reports…

Left Saturday morning and headed south to fish the pots for mahi. Some pots had some others had none. Picked a few every other pot.

Headed off to just outside the 1000 fathom line and set up on the drift. Had our first one on quickly after the sun set. Turned out to be a small swordfish we had to release after a quick picture. Had another bite there that just hit and kept going never slowing down. Imagine it was a large model swordfish. Did jig some large deep purple squid that we had never seen before. So cool seeing something new.

Around midnight we headed back up on the bank and anchored up for the rest of the trip. We had well over 50 dolphin chasing squid and baitfish around the boat till just before sunrise when we had another small sword and another beast that we never got the chance to see. Around sunrise we had four fish on within minutes of each other. We landed 3, two on bait and one on a jig. No more bites for us and we headed home at 9am.

With Hurricane Jose headed through the offshore waters this week we are hoping things offshore get mixed up for the better. We have trips every Friday and Saturday till the end of October. We leave in the afternoon and returning the next day around 1pm. Trips are limited to 25 anglers, cost is $400 and rental rods are available for $25. Call the office to make your required reservation at 609-494-2094.

Fishing LBI Report – Sept 17, 2017

Here’s the Fishing LBI fishing report update for Sunday September 17, 2017.

Offshore reports came in from boats that fished the Hudson, Bacardi and Lindy. Some better than others but here’s the theme we can conclude. Tile fishing is good on the soft bottom in the Hudson. The Lindy seems like the stand out spot over the weekend. It offered a couple of days of good yellowfin tuna fishing. And nice size yellowbirds! Most pushing the 50 pound mark. Some going much larger. Way down south wahooooo were on the chew in the Baltimore. We heard one boat had 18 bites.

Bret Morgan just got back from the edge this afternoon. He fished aboard the Big Dog with Captain Craig. He shared, “We got three big yellowfin on the troll. Mine was the smallest at 62.8 pounds. Last night chunking was slow but we did get one good bite. It came on a large squid down about 100 feet. We almost got spooled but the leader chaffed and broke off. More than likely it was a swordfish.”

This weekend, store staffer Dan fished aboard the Reel Innovations with Captain Jeff Warford. Dan reported, “There were fish but nothing great. The past couple of days the Lindy was producing. For us the chunk was dead. Fortunately a quick grey light bite saved our trip. We got one yellow fin and one white marlin. There was lots of swell out there. The fleet was disappearing when the sets rolled through.” Dan gave us heads up, “Jeff was making bait before pushing offshore. Tossing a cast net, Jeff got a spot in with the peanut bunker.”

This is the second report of spot this weekend. One customer in the shop was targeting blowfish and got a couple spot.

Greg Sonday was on the water this weekend. He reported great clamming and good fishing in the bay. “The blowfish are around but not thick. We had got a handful with a couple good size ones. Most are small. Another guy at the dock caught a dozen and had some large ones.”

John Garzio from Ewing has been fishing LBI all week. He said the mid-island surf has lots of action with small fish. “I’m into fish everyday. Got one large kingfish and a nice keeper fluke on mullet. The small blues are hitting and we also got into some bigger size ones.”

Store staffer Steve-o fished yesterday afternoon drifting live minnows in the bay. He caught and released some good size fluke and sea bass. Another anglers fishing close by was also into the fish. It would be nice if the season was open and these fish could hit the table.

Weakfish reports continue from anglers fishing the bay. The classic shad dart, small bucktail, Lunk City’s Fin-s and shrimp are all doing the trick. If using soft bait watch out for the toothy yellow eyes!

The blues offer fun in the bay, inlet and surf. Daily they are chasing bait around. In the surf, the yellow eyes are north, south and beaches in between. Cast a metal or popper. If bait is preferred, soak meat like mullet or bunker. Good reports from anglers fishing the jetty casting bucktails tipped with Jig Strips trailer. A larger class of blues came through in the afternoon yesterday. Bass are occasionally showing their stripes too.

Regularly anglers on the rocks are catching tog. Gear up with live crabs and get in on the fun!

LBI Surf Fishing Classic

Sign up now for the LBI Surf Fishing Classic. Fishing starts in just 20 days. Be sure to check out the new revised rule changes for 2017. Also save the date for the annual Surf Fishing Seminar. It’s from 10 AM to 1 PM on Saturday, October 7th at the Ship Bottom Firehall.

Now’s the time to sign up for the LBI Surf Derby and also get your LBI 4×4 Beach Permits.

Working south up: Holgate has been open all of September. Beach Haven opened up this weekend. The Township beaches open October 1st. Ship Bottom is at the end of the month(9/30). Surf City opens next Sunday (9/24). Harvey Cedars opens October 1st. It’s best to act now because some townships only sell a limited number of permits.

Lighthouse Sportfishing LBI Report 9/17

Did a magic hour trip during the week. Started outside along the beach trolling for false albacore and the likes. Even when trolling @ 8-9 mph I could not keep snappers off the line. Moved out to deeper water and I still was covered up by snappers. Might be the most snappers I have seen in my life this year. Moving back inside found schoolie bass blowing up before sunset and into the dark. Saturday I had Doug Chittenden and friend out. After loading the livewell with live bait we headed out in the morning fog. On a side note if you or you Captain are not loading the livewell this time of year you are missing out. I have written before about Florida style fishing in making bait for a trip and there is no better time than now with peanuts, mullet, and snappers. The Debbie M is a born and raised custom Florida boat and I like to fish that style as much as possible. One of her custom features is a 50-gallon oval livewell (standard was 25 gallon) that keeps the water moving in a true circular fashion. This is important with live baits such as peanut bunker since they do best in a circulating livewell. The other feature is that when full with 50 gallons, the water does not slosh when the lid is down. This minimizes the baits from getting “beat up” when the boat is rocking & rolling. I can keep 500 + peanut bunker healthy with almost no dead loss. No back to my report……… We did not find the bass cooperating as much as my magic hour trip but we did score (picture attached). One issue I see with the local bass and weakfish population going all out right now is water temperature. The ocean is still in the low 70’s and the bay is back up to 76. The second part of the trip we were able to work the inlet even though the tide was ebbing and a swell from Jose was coming in. Most of the swell was getting picked off by the South Bar which helped. Did a number on the bluefish from husky 3-4 pounders to racers in the 7-9 pound class. I think the racers are fish that spent the summer in Barnegat Bay and are starting to come out. Prior to this, all the blues caught aboard the Debbie M all summer were feeding well on the abundance of bait around the inlet. The blues that stayed in the bay had to deal with water temperatures above their optimum and not as much forage causing them to lose weight. All in all, two great trips by just going fishing. Oh, and a lot of catching. Give me a call if you want to head out and go fishing.

Screaming drags, Capt. Alex 609-548-2511

Countdown To Fall – 5 Days

Here’s a weekend update for Saturday September 16, 2017. So stoked for fall we are counting down! Hope you are too. Some beautiful bait around!!! Piles of spearing, lots of snappers, schools of juvy bunker and the mullet are starting to move.

Countdown to fall begins… 5 More Days!!!

Bruce Conner from Illinois stopped in and thanks us for this fishing report page. He wanted to give back and contribute. Bruce reported, “Our vacation has been great! Fished the other day with Captain Brett Taylor and got a triggerfish as well as a large bluefish. Today (Friday) I was up on the jetty in Barnegat Light. We were targeting tog, trying my best but couldn’t muster up a keeper. Lots of black fish up to 14 inches. There’s lots of tog up there. Finding a keeper isn’t easy. Bluefish were busting on top and anglers casting lures were catching. One guy caught a Spanish mackerel! It was not an albie!”
This morning I enjoyed a great surf session thanks to Jose pulsing in some long period ground swell. The next couple of days it looks to only grow in size. Should be interesting to see what pans out wit the storm. While in the water I observed lots of bait pushing around. At times bluefish were busting them up. I spotted two albies sky out. Not sure who was throwing more spray out there. Me or the fish.

Reel Reaction Sportfishing – Fishing Report 9/15

Wow, what a great Fluke season as we put a ton of keepers across the deck of the Jenny Lynn and I would like to “thank” all of my summer clients for making it possible. The winds and weather have not been so cooperative so far for the month, hopefully it gets better. September is a transitional month offering cooler water temperatures and signaling the start of the migration. There are some Albacore and Bonita within distance and we are available to target these the rest of the month. In October, November, and December, we will be targeting Striped Bass and I provide 20-30 “live spot” on every charter which are included at no charge. Just a reminder, I picked up my allotted 50 Striped Bass Bonus Tags from the state of NJ for the season and we be using them from September through December. These tags allow us to harvest 24 to 28 inch Striped Bass. With school in session, I’m running weekends and weekday afternoons starting at 230pm.

This past week I had repeat client Bruce Connor of Illinois and his daughter Emma of Washington DC on a 5 hr Bay & Inlet charter, which was supposed to be an inlet/ocean trip. With higher than expected winds of 15 to 20 knots, we stayed in the backbay and were only able to work part of the inlet as the conditions were very tough. We didn’t catch a large quantity due to the conditions, but managed Fluke (released due to regulations), Sea Bass (released due to regulations), Sea Robins, Triggerfish, and a 36-inch Bluefish. Great job by both anglers on a very challenging day!!

If interested in booking a charter, book through the website ( or call/text 609-290-7709. As always, we use the highest quality gear and everything is included: gear, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE! It’s “no worries” fishing. Just come aboard and FISH.

Capt. Brett Taylor ~ ~ Call or Text: 609-290-7709