By Jim Hutchinson Sr.
The Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association held its first Junior Mates Program since 2019 this past week to an eager group of over 20 would-be mates. The open-air meeting took place at the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club. Prior to the actual instruction, some special presentations took place highlighting certain special achievements of the Association and the Junior Mates.
Beach Haven Mayor Colleen presented a proclamation to Association President Captain John Lewis honoring the Junior Mates for their reef replenishment project. In addition, framed newspaper articles about the deployment on the reef were presented to Tom Hughes of the Sea Shell Club who raised the lion’s share of the money for the reef work.
Although she was unable to be in attendance, Lewis also announced an award for Deb Whitcraft, head of the New Jersey Maritime Museum. She has been a fervent supporter of the Junior Mates for many years, donating use of her museum for Association classes and meetings.
In fishing news, Captain Dave Kreines had a couple of bay fishing parties out on the “Byte Me.” He had Tony and his grandson Anthony out for a half-day trip. Stiff winds and cool temperatures made for less-than-ideal conditions, but Captain Dave reports the pair enjoyed the day. Another trip with Paul and his son Dylan resulted in a few throwbacks along with a nice 20-inch keeper fluke. The pair caught their first ever sea robin and were enthused about it.
Captain Carl Sheppard of the “StarFish” reports fishing has been improving on almost a daily basis. He has been busy fishing wrecks and catching summer flounder along with sea bass and blackfish which are now out of season. Most trips have produced multiple keepers along with an abundance of action from shorts.
In between successful fluke trips, Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” announced that he has taken over the Cape Horn Bait and Tackle Shop on Great Bay Boulevard in Tuckerton. He is now keeping his boat at the marina while making “some pretty cool changes” there and offering some topnotch services.
Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing reports he had a busy week with double and triple charters each day when the weather cooperates. With the fishing dependent on the temperature and water clarity, most trips are seeing 25 to 45 fish with 2 to 7 keepers The largest fish of the week have been in the 5–6-pound range.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.org.