Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Barnegat Bay Striped Bass Fishing Report -First trip of the year to score 30 Striped Bass!!

Today’s open boat witnessed the season continued progression with slightly larger striped bass , bald eagles, ospreys, and even the first laughing gulls!! Presently our bay is also full of adult bunker that will soon be welcoming our newly arriving game fish into our home waters. The abundant bait that we have on hand could possibly be a real game changer for our Spring run!!

Although we are only 2 days earlier than last year with the arriving laughing gulls it’s still the earliest that I have ever seen them. Over the years I have always looked forward to their arrival as they usually will herald the migration of soon to be arriving stripers and blues within 10-14 days, they have yet to fail me in their prognostication .

Today 3/30 was an on boat with regulars who were joined by The Fishermen Magazine’s Jim Hutchinson Jr. hoping to tag some bass for research purposes . Not only did we succeed in our goal in tagging striped bass but we used up all the tags that were brought aboard! Regular Jay Simmons once again earned Bass Master honors scoring 15 striped bass before trips end. Hutch not to be out done scored the biggest bass of the day at the buzzer.

Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,

Captain Steve Purul

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters



Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Friday open boat [3/30]

Hi Folks,

I have 1 spot open for tomorrow morning 8am -12pm and a couple of spots open for Friday afternoon 1pm-5pm targeting striped bass with light spinning tackle. Weather looks great with temp into the upper fifties low sixties forecasted [ only 50% chance of precip] . $120.00pp.
Captain Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters

Fishing Report Update – March 28, 2018

Here’s a quick update on the early season fishing.

Yesterday (Tuesday) store staffer Dan D reported that fishing was good. “Almost every worm got a bass. They were on the chew.” A couple bluefish were caught too. But the winter flounder fishing was slow. Maybe the cloudy day had something to do with it?

Today (Wednesday) Dylan Fisher stopped in the shop before heading over to the warm fishy water. He just shared this report and photo. “Fishing is good. At times it’s every cast.” He’s catching on top water, pencil popping them up. Dylan also put some bucktails to work and they did the trick too.

Here’s one small bass Dylan caught on a Magic Tail Bucktail.

Another report today came from Vince (@invinceable-vr) “Nice action at the Plant! Plenty of small schoolies and some fat flatties!”

Fishing Report Update – March 25, 2018

What a great weekend! So many of us have waited for the dewinterization process to begin! Turning on the water and opening seasonal homes as well as pulling the shrink wrap or boat cover, the Island was lively and the shop was buzzing. After a snowy, cold, windy winter, it was great to see all the familiar faces.

Some anglers got out and fished. A couple guys hit the surf, but no report rebound. One can only assume, no report is bad news. For the most part local fishing is still concentrated to the winter hold over locations. Soon the early season hot spots will kick into gear.

In terms of one hold over location, Oyster Creek, there’s been lots of action but with that comes lots of fishing pressure. The traffic can be tough but fun fishing is there to be had.

Striped bass and winter flounder are the two main target species. Some small blues(hold overs or new arrivals?) were recently caught and bunker have been in there too. Guys catching bass are fishing with small bucktails, jigs and soft plastics. Baits like live blood worms and clam are also getting bites for the crew posted up on the bridge. Winter flounder are also chewing live bloods there too.

One customer reported, “Caught a handful of fishing today (Saturday). Yesterday was was much better!” Another report came from Finn Krokus of Little Egg. He fished this weekend and caught both bass and winter flounder. Here’s a photo of one winter flounder.

Here’s Finn Krokus with a winter flounder that he caught on March 24th fishing Oyster Creek.

Just a heads up… For the time being we are still on winter hours (7am to 6pm). Soon we’ll extend. It all dependent on the weather, fishing and in store traffic.

Upcoming Fishing Tournaments

— Save The Dates —

The 15th Annual 2018 Berkeley Striper Club Spring Striped Bass Catch & Release Tournament starts May 24th. For More Info

The 17th Annual LBI Spring Surf Fishing Tournament starts April 21st. This year a bluefish division was added. For More Info

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – End of week report

Today’s open boat proved challenging with wind chills into the twenties [ dock departure air temp 30 degrees] . Although we read fish through out the morning the bass seemed to be off the bite that I was expecting [ I hate when they don’t follow my plan or expectations ]. We did managed to boat 2 striped bass [ along with some random snagged bunker] along with a flurry of short strikes through out the morning before calling it early quits .

Hoping and looking forward to the promise warming temps that our extended weather forecast has foretold. There is definitely fish to be caught and rod bending fun to be had in our home waters on light tackle. This upcoming week is ours to conquer!
Friday and Sunday mornings [8am-12pm] and afternoons [1pm-5pm] are available for private or open boat charters. I have 2 spots open for this Friday morning available with the afternoon open.

Join us [ like us] on Facebook and Instagram for latest fishing reports and photos.
Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Captain Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Stripers still active after Nor’Easter blow !

With heavy snow fall and NE winds tipping 40mph I wasn’t sure how the stripers would react afterwards but apparently it hasn’t effected them at all!

These are resident fish that have wintered up in our home waters and generally are running from 10-24″ but utilizing light spinning tackle maximizes the sport and fun for these feisty bass.

I have this Sunday 8am-12pm for any looking to have some fun on with catch and release bass for either open or private charter.

Although these bass are on the smaller side they are tons of fun!

Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,

Captain Steve Purul

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters


NJBBA Holgate Beach Clean Up 3/24/18

NJBBA Holgate Beach Clean Up

The New Jersey Beach Buggy Association needs your help this weekend. Please share and spread the word. The more hands the better!

On Saturday, March 24th the NJBBA will have their annual Holgate Beach Clean Up. At 8am meet at the buggy entrance, the very south end of Long Beach Island (LBI). Dress accordingly to the weather, bring a 5 gallon bucket and gloves. Coffee and donuts will be served. Hope to see lots of surf anglers there.

Instagram Daiwa Lure Giveaway

Thanks to all of our followers and customers on Instagram. We are stoked to have hit the 10k milestone yesterday. What started out in September of 2013 as a suggestion from South Philly Fred (“Hey Fish Heads, Get On Ig!”) as a way to share store news has turned into a vital information stream. It’s amazing to see how the platform has grown into what it is today.

If you aren’t on Instagram… you should be! There’s just too much to miss.

Check out our Daiwa Lure Giveaway ASAP. We have three separate photos each showing a separate lot (two lures and a hat or visor). Three winners will be chosen on 3/22 by the end of the day.

Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters – Sunday Brunch Special – 20 +Bass Slamboree!!

Despite cold and windy conditions, anglers aboard the Reel Fantasea forged full speed ahead into the 2018 fishing season and were rewarded with cabin fever curing fun from schoolie striped bass while employing light spinning tackle tactics.

Our maiden trip of the season was met with wind chills dipping well into the polar zone and bay temps well below my “interpretation of ideal” water temps [38 degrees] I must admit my on optimistic hope for the new season was on shaky grounds.
Within minutes of throwing the dock lines, all doubt of the unseasonably cold temps effecting our catches were erased as the rods were once again arched with smiling anglers on one end and feisty striped bass on the other end.
All trips saw double digit catches with high catch seeing over 20+ striped bass!
Weekly Bass Master Kudo’s goes out to regular Jay Simmons who single handedly scored 10 bass on our “Sunday Brunch Special” [ 10am-2pm].
I’ll be running more open and private charter trips as we progress into the season so be sure to call/text/email to get in on our list if interested in trip availability.
Remember, these trips are strictly a catch and release affair with most fish ranging in size between 10- 18″ + or – but an absolute blast on light spinning tackle.
I have this Friday morning 8am-12pm and afternoon 1pm-5pm and a Sunday with the same timeline available for both open or private charter.
Wishing everyone fair winds and calm seas,
Captain Steve Purul
Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters

NJ Fisheries Reg News Update – Blackfish, Porgy, Fluke, Sea Bass

On March 18, 2018 the NJ Marine Fisheries Council met in Manahawkin. Here’s some great information provided by Paul Haertel at the Jersey Coast Anglers Association. Anyone looking to join and/or support a great group should take a look at the JCAA.

The Jersey Coast Anglers Association is a non-profit charitable 501(3)c organization that works on behalf of the saltwater recreational fishermen of New Jersey. Since 1981 the JCAA protects the rights of New Jersey’s recreational fishermen by seeking fair and equitable fisheries management.

More info at

NJ Fisheries Regulatory News Update – Blackfish, Porgy, Fluke, Sea Bass

By Paul Haertel, JCAA Board Member/Past President

At the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (NJMFC) meeting on 3/15/18, regulations for blackfish and porgies were set. For blackfish, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) required our state to reduce our harvest by 2%. Our council accomplished this by shortening our one day season by two weeks and reducing our bag limit from six fish to five fish for our late fall/early winter season. The adopted regulations set the minimum size at 15”, with a four fish bag limit from 1/1 – 2/28 and from 4/1-4/30. There will be a one fish bag limit from 8/1-11/15 and then a five fish bag limit from 11/16-12/31. Some people questioned why we did not just eliminate the one day season but the reason is the NJFMC wanted to keep it open for divers and shore based fishermen at a time when the water is warm and the fish are still inshore.

There was better news on porgies as the ASMFC allowed us to increase our harvest by 59%. This will result in New Jersey having a year-round season. Previously our season was closed from March 1st to June 30th. The bag and size limits will remain the same, 50 fish at 9”. The council voted in favor of this new regulation but it will not become effective until DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe signs off on it.

The regulations for fluke and sea bass will not be set until a special council meeting on 4/5 that will be held at 5PM at the Bay Avenue Community Center located at 775 E. Bay Av. in Manahawkin. The delay is due to decisions made at the recent Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) meeting regarding Addendum XXX for sea bass. Several positive changes in the way sea bass are managed were made at that meeting. One is that New Jersey will be its own region. Another is that a smoothing over approach can be used to adjust MRIP numbers that appear to be way out of line. For example, the MRIP numbers for Wave 3 (May-June) in 2017 showed that New Jersey harvested an extraordinarily high number of sea bass. We will now be able to smooth over that number based on what was harvested during that period in prior years. This is a good thing as it should allow us to significantly liberalize our regulations this year. Our Bureau of Marine Fisheries worked diligently on this issue but must first have their methodology approved by the ASMFC management board when it meets via conference call on Tuesday, March 20th at 11 AM. The board will consider approving the proposals of all three regions at that time. The three management regions are: (1) Massachusetts through New York, (2) New Jersey, and (3) Delaware through North Carolina. The public is welcome to listen to the discussion by phone (866.214.0726, followed by pass code: 993961) and view the webinar using the following link…/6931931919817605123. The meeting agenda can be found at…/SFlounderScupBSB_BoardAgenda_3_20_18…; meeting materials will be available March 15 at Time permitting; there will be a limited opportunity for the public to provide comments. The Board Chair will outline the procedures for accepting public comment at the beginning of the conference call. The public and other nonparticipating attendees are requested to mute their phones in order to minimize distractions to the Board’s deliberations. For more information, please contact Caitlin Starks, FMP Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.

Regarding fluke, our council is seeking to close or eliminate the gap from when fluke season closes until when sea bass season opens so they have elected to wait until the special meeting in April to set the regulations for both species. The options for fluke are expected to all have an 18” size limit and a bag limit of 3 fish. The seasons could either be from 5/15-9/16, 5/22-9/20 or 5/25-9/22. It is possible that these options could be tweaked a little or other new ones developed but that is unlikely. (The special regulations of 3 fish at 17” for Delaware Bay and 2 fish at 16” for Island Beach are expected to remain the same)

JCAA will keep you posted as to specific options as they become available via our newsletter and on our Facebook page. Please “like” our page when you visit it.