Beach Haven Charter Fishing Report 7/6/24

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Report by Jim Hutchinson Sr.

Captain Raymond Lopez reports the “Miss Liane” is now sailing for billfish and tuna. Their last trip out was excellent as they hooked onto a white marlin and blue marlin. They are sailing every week offshore for tuna and billfish, weather permitting.

Captain Gary Dugan has been fishing the “Irish Jig” while spending more time fishing the nearby artificial reefs as the fluke have begun their move to the ocean. He is also avoiding the greenhead flies in the bay. His bay fishing trips resulted in keeper fluke along with a healthy number of bluefish. He is now fishing for fluke on the reefs along with other bottom fish.
Captain John Lewis reports he has just moved his new boat, “Insatiable” to its berth at the Beach Haven Yacht Club. He has a few more items to take care of and will be sailing for fish very soon.

Captain Max Goldman reports the “Starfish” has been catching some nice black sea bass fishing various structure in the ocean. Although the daily bag limit is just one fish per angler, his anglers are also catching a variety of other bottom fish.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has been fighting the winds recently and maintains fishing is better when those strong south winds shift to the northwest. He had a recent four-man party fishing a 4-hour bay trips and released a grand total of 112 short fish while keeping four to 23-inches. He is taking care of some routine maintenance on his skiff while enjoying the Fourth of July weekend with his family. He will be back at it on Monday.

The Junior Mates Program for the BHCFA is now in full swing with an avid group of youngsters eager to learn the details of fishing. Captain Max passed along the current accomplishments of some former Junior Mates. Max is now a full captain along with Nick Perello and Jonathan Kelly. Marlyn Graham is working toward her nursing degree while Nick Haws is studying naval architecture at SUNY.

Another former Junior Mate, Liane Lopez, is also a captain and has graduated from the University of Miami. She has been guiding parties in the Miami area and helping her dad Captain Ray Lopez on the “Miss Liane” while in New Jersey.

Additional information on the captains and boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Late July Report

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association

Recent hot temperatures show it is mid-summer in Beach Haven, making a fishing trip on the water aboard one of the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association a cooling activity.

Add in the excitement of fishing and the chance to bring home a fresh fish dinner, it becomes a winning situation all the way around. Summer flounder fishing continues to dominate the inshore fishing scene with more yellowfin tuna showing up in the canyons.

The party boat “Miss Beach Haven” has been scoring well on both fluke and black sea bass with the best action at the Little Egg Reef. Although most trips have seen crowds, they advise there are seats available for future trips.

Captain Gary Dugan on the “Irish Jig” reported tough fishing on a recent trip but his hard-working group managed black sea bass, a 21-inch fluke, and a big cownose ray caught by Derrick along  with numerous released fish.

Captain Connor Smilon of “FishHawk Charters” had a 2-hour afternoon trip with returning clients Krystal and Rob that turned into a 3-hour trip due to constant action. They finished with over twenty short fish and two keeper fluke to 21-inches.

Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” Stephen Cypes sons Peyton and Hudson on an ocean trip. (photo below) The trio boxed nine keeper fluke to 23-inches along with their limit of sea bass to 17-inches. First mate Luke Taylor managed the action well. They saw a few rays, a small cobia, and some surface bluefin tuna around.

Captain Dave Wittenborn had the “Benita J” on a solid trip for the Sullivan party. They put together seven yellowfins up to 60-pounds. Captain Dave termed it a “beautiful night in the Hudson Canyon.”

For information on fishing the boats above or any of the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association, go to

Summertime Big Game Fishing Off LBI

As July slides into August offshore big game fishing is front and center for Long Beach Island fishing fanatics.

There have been reports of tuna and even billfish catches up to now, but it is really the August days into fall when the offshore fishing really starts to rock. Some savvy captains have found schools of bluefin tuna and yellowfin cruising close to the shoreline, but the true big game fishing happens offshore around the canyons.

Big game fishing has a colorful history in the Long Beach Island community. This includes the 54th annual running of one of the eastern coast’s most notable fishing tournaments, the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club’s annual White Marlin Invitational Tournament. This year’s event will run from August 16-19 with over $500,000 thousands of dollars in prizes at stake.

At the 2022 53rd Annual BHMTC’s White Marlin Invitational Tournament, the big money winner was Crisdel. Their 194.3-pound heaviest tuna earned them $117,876.

Besides the sport and satisfaction of boating the fish of a lifetime, few fish meals top that of dining on just caught tuna sushi or fresh grilled mahi-mahi fillet.

Catching fish often pushing the 100-pound mark and larger is not for everyone. In addition to being physically challenging, it takes knowledgeable captains with capable boats to navigate the long distances into the Atlantic.

The question then arises, if an angler does not own a boat capable of traveling far off the coast or is not friends with someone who has one, how do you get out to catch one of these trophies?

On Long Beach Island there is more than one answer to this question. There are charter captains based on LBI who offer charters to places such as the Hudson and Baltimore Canyons seeking these big fish.

With the distance to reach the fishing grounds, these are not short trips. One version leaves the dock in the middle of the night to reach the fish grounds by daybreak. The boat trolls the area hoping to entice fish into the bait spread. These trips return to the dock late in the afternoon with tired but hopefully
happy anglers.

Another popular trip can take as long as 24 hours. The boat leaves early in the afternoon to reach the fishing grounds before dark. After a couple of hours of trolling, it sets up for a night of fishing, usually chumming fish to the boat.

Once morning arrives, the group may do a little more trolling before leaving the fishing grounds and arriving back to Long Beach Island in the afternoon, one day after departing.

There are alternatives to chartering a boat for the trip that are less expensive. Some captains offer “open boat” trips. Anglers pay individually to fish with others they do not know.

There are also head boats which take a larger number of anglers out on overnight trips offshore. Anglers pay individually to fish with a large group.
This offshore tuna fishing will run into the fall until storms and a declining bite end the fishing for the year. But timing is the key here. Just as the offshore fishery concludes, a new one pops up on Long Beach Island, the annual arrival of striped bass.

In addition to a strong boat fishery for stripers in the fall, the striped bass arrival also means outstanding fishing for shore-based action. The eighteen miles of beach on Long Beach Island offer striped bass opportunities every fall.

Helping to make this striped bass action extra exciting, this fall marks the 69 th annual edition of the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic. The 2023 version will run from October 7 through December 10. There is a $30 registration fee for adults and one of $15 for youngsters for the opportunity to vie for a wide
variety of prizes. For more info,

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Report 7/22/23

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Fishing Report
by Jim Hutchinson Sr.

As the summer of 2023 progresses, the water temperature is increasing and having a profound effect on the summer flounder fishery around Long Beach Island. The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are right on top of this.

The flounder which have been spending time in the bay waters are now making their annual migration into ocean waters. This means the fish are going to be found around the inlets and the inshore structure in the ocean, especially the artificial reef sites.

Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” reports he has experienced some tough bay fishing but finding multiple boat limits in the ocean. His scheduled bay trips are producing keepers, but it depends on tide and temperature. However, his ocean trips are seeing multiple angler limits of fluke along with black sea bass. Also in the ocean, his anglers have seen a large cobia and some dusky sharks right next to the boat.

Captain John Lewis had the Scalzo family out on the “Insatiable” for a decent catch of fish with three keeper fluke and over fifty assorted other fish. Captain John reports the bite this year is improved over last year, and he has some dates available for charter.

The headboat, “Miss Beach Haven,” has been finding hot fishing with keeper black sea bass and fluke. One 21-inch fluke that weighed over 5-pounds. They report openings on their trips, but the spots fill up quickly.

Conor Smilon “FishHawk” Charters had a busy day recently starting with a 4-hour morning trip followed by an afternoon charter. The morning produced two fluke in the box, but the afternoon trip finished with four keeper fluke, some small blues, and many throwback fluke.

Now is the time to select a boat for fishing and book a charter specially designed for your desires. Addition information on the Association can be found at   

LBI Classic Fishing Report 3/26/23

Spring has sprung, and the 2023 striped bass fishery in the Long Beach Island area has gotten off to a good start. A prime factor for this is the water temperature being several degrees warmer than usual. 

There seems to be an abundance of fish in local bay waters as well as the creeks feeding into the bay along with the Mullica River. Most of these fish are under the legal keeper size of 28-inches, but some over that have been reported.

Heather Goldner is having fun enjoying time on the water striped bass fishing.

Typically, the prime bait for these stripers has been live bloodworms. Artificial worms such as Fish Bites and Dynabait work too. Linesiders are also being caught on artificials, especially at night. This includes offerings such as plugs and poppers as well as soft plastics.

Surprisingly, there have already been some reports of bunker already in bay waters which is a good sign for the fish.

Typical spring fishing is done in shallow waters where the water warms up sooner. In addition, sunny days coupled with outgoing tides seem to work best. 

Most of the fishing is done from shore due to the fact that most boats are still in dry dock. In early spring the bass tend to hang around the sod banks, bridges, river mouths and bays. As mentioned earlier, bloodworms are the top choice, but clams can be used too.

LBI Spring Derby – Starts Soon

With action happening from docks and sodbanks on Long Beach Island, the attention of many anglers is turning to the 21st Annual Spring Derby which runs from April 1 to June 25. This is a competition for registered anglers fishing from shore anywhere on Long Beach Island.

The cost of registration is $20 with all registration money going to cash prizes. There are three cash prizes for striped bass and one for bluefish. In the striped bass division 50% of registration fees go to the largest fish, 25% to second  place, and third place earns 10%. The angler catching the largest bluefish receives 15% of the pot. 

A unique aspect of this spring event is that it is conducted with an eye on conservation. With only grand prizes, an angler can quickly take note if a catch is worthy of a prize. Those falling short can be released if the angler wishes. 

As with the Fall Classic, this contest is for shoreline fishing only. There are not many rules other than the angler must be registered before catching the fish and be the sole person handling the rod.

Naturally, New Jersey state fishing regulations apply, and anglers should be registered with the NJ saltwater registry. There are three official weigh-in stations where contestants can pre-register for the contest. These are Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom, Surf City Bait and Tackle, and Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven.

LBI Fall Classic History – The Early Days

Continuing a previous article regarding the background of striped bass fishing on Long Beach Island, in 1960 the fall Classic was called the LBI Striped Bass Derby and was a 41-day event. Anglers from far and wide including Canada, Indiana, and Washington participated. 

The grand prize, a 4-wheel drive jeep, was won by Ernie Lewis of Bristol, Pa., for his 45-pound, 15-ounce fish. Arnold Bloom of Pennsauken took second with a 44-pound, 11-ounce linesider good for a Simca station wagon. 

Jumping ahead to 1963 2,644 anglers paid a $3 registration fee. Top prizes were a pair of $1,000 E-bonds and a console television. James Warner of Hatboro, Pa, took first place honors with a 48-pound, 3-ounce fish. 

1963 was also the year that the 95-foot scalloper, “Sea King” struck the jetty off Barnegat Light while towing the “Prescott,” a decommissioned Navy minesweeper. Both vessels went aground. The “Prescott” was refloated but the “Sea King” remained. Its mast is still on the beach and part of the history of Barnegat Light and Long Beach Island.

1963 – The 95’ scalloper, Sea King struck the jetty off Barnegat Light while towing the Prescott (USS PCS-1423, decommissioned Navy mine-sweeper). They both went aground on Barnegat Light beach.

Let’s Go Fishing!

It has been a long winter, and there are fish here. It is now time to break out the fishing gear and get some lines in the water. 

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Report 9/30/22

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Fishing Report

The fishing scene for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association is entering a transition phase as the fall season develops. The waters are still warm but dropping.

The summer flounder season just ended until it resumes in spring of 2023. The black sea bass fishery is closed until it starts again on October 7 with a 10-fish per day limit. That limit increases to 15 on November 1.

Many of the captains will be chasing striped bass when that fishery starts to show life in just a couple of weeks. Right now, there is a goodly amount of bait around in local waters, and when the water temperatures drop down, that fishery will be a target of the BHCFA Captains.

Currently there is a decent bite in bay waters for a variety of smaller panfish. Captain Bret Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing has been putting his anglers on large amounts of blowfish along with other species such as kingfish and even some weakfish. This is a light tackle fishery with chum used to draw the fish close.

The fishing for the first weekend in October does not look favorable with a strong northeaster expected to hit along with the remnants of Hurricane Ian. Once that passes, the action should begin to pick up.

While mentioning Hurricane Ian, the sympathies of the captains and all others involved in the BHCFA go out to those affected by the storm in Florida and other areas. Our thoughts are with those folks as they pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Report 8/25

The summer may be nearing its end, but the summer fishing season for the boats of the Beach Haven Charter fishing Association are still finding their fill of summer type offerings.

The “Miss Liane” with Captain Ray Lopez recently had a good tuna trip trolling in one of the offshore canyons recently with George Mangione, Andy Goldman, and Johnny from Forked River. The group caught three nice yellowfin tuna in the 65-pound class.

Captain Alex Majewski of “Lighthouse Sportfishing” recently did some bay fishing with great results on blowfish, kingfish, and miscellaneous other species. Captain Alex is just hitting his stride after a slow start due to a variety of reasons that have kept him off the water. He is 100% ready to go now.

Reports from Captain Vic Bertotti and first mate Max Goldman of the “Starfish” term the bottom fishing in the ocean as hit and miss. A recent trip produced 9 keepers with fluke, black sea bass, and sea robins producing most of the action.  

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” recently had a day with two trips to the ocean for some bottom fishing for fluke. The first trip had four keepers to 21-inches and the second crew had five keepers. Young Moah was high hook.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has been busy and recently had a limit catch for the Tim Murphy and family crew. On a 5-hour ocean trip they hit a small snag and boxed 12 keepers to 7-pounds. In addition, they released some quality big fish as they were already over the limit. He had Alex Gal and crew out for four keeper fluke until the ocean kicked up and they finished the day with a good catch of 53 blowfish and one kingfish in the bay.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at

Beach Haven Charters Fishing Report 8/19/22

Capt. Dave Kreines has been running bay trips on the “ByteMe” with good action.  He had the Krimmel family out to face strong winds and cold water for some short fluke and sea robins. Another day Lori and her daughter caught a variety of fish including fluke, black sea bass, dogfish, and sea robins. High point of the trip was when the daughter hooked a cownose ray and got it to the boat after a 15-minute battle. Captain Dave had John Hadith, his 10-year-old son Hunter, and his 80-something father, George out and they started a drift near the marina. They did the same half-mile drift for the entire trip and caught too many fluke to count including three over 18 inches. 

Veteran Captain Vic Bertotti reports the “Star Fish” has been actively catching a nice mix of black sea bass, fluke, and sea robins over the rails. While many of the fish are undersized, there have been enough keepers to provide some delicious fish dinners. Captain Vic has been working some of his secret hot spots on and around the artificial reefs.

Captain Dave Wittenborn had an epic trip for the Sullivan group on the “Benita J.” The anglers had a limit catch of 15 yellowfin tuna with multiple double and triple headers throughout the day. It was steady action for 5 hours and Captain Dave termed it “The best yellowfin action I can remember.”

Captain Gary Dugan reports a banner day for fluke recently on the “Irish Jig.” He had Mike and Michael Russo out and they boated four very nice fluke including 23.5 and 24-inchers.

Captain Brett Taylor has been very active with “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” often with multiple trips daily. One day with three trips brought in 23 keeper fluke. His top fish was an 8-pounder caught by angler Adam Yee. The doormat was weighed in at Bobbie’s Boats.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at

Beach Haven Charters Fishing Report 8/11/22

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association

Weather continues to be a topic around Long Beach Island with high temperatures, wide fluctuations in water temperatures, and occasional thunderstorms making things interesting. At times these changing conditions make fishing tough, but the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association continue to find fish.

Captain John Lewis of the “Insatiable” reports variable water temperatures made finding fish a challenge, but he has managed to keep his anglers happy with fluke, black sea bass, and a variety of other fish in the mix. One recent trip saw ocean water temperatures in the mid 50’s, but the bite started as it rose to 61-degrees as the day wore on. With Beach Haven packed with vacationers, Captain John reports his sunset cruises have become quite popular.

Captain Dave Wittenborn of “Captain Dave’s Charters” had celebrity chef Graham Elliot out on the “Benita J” filming a television pilot, “Winner is Served.” Fishing was slow but they managed to land a nice fluke for him to cook up. Captain Dave said “He’s a great guy to hang with. Look for us on the Food Network.”

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” had a dedicated group of fishermen out this week who “really kicked butt’” They returned to port with a nice catch of good-sized fluke caught on structure in the ocean.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has had several successful charters recently. He reports finding better action for the most part in the bay waters rather than the ocean. Tom Dillon and crew put 4 keeper fluke and a few bluefish in the box despite strong winds. His last charter featured Bob Dodds, Boston Bob, and Produce Jack for a 4-hour charter. The guys worked some live bait and jigs boxing 7 solid keepers to 21 inches while releasing close to 50 shorts.

Captain Frank Camarda has been piloting the head boat “Miss Beach Haven” into some decent fluke fishing. Several of his anglers have been bringing good sized fish over the rails, and fishing seems to be improving daily.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at

BHCFA Report Update 7/24/22

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association

After a slow start to the past week, the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are seeing an increase in fishing activity.

The week began with strong winds and an upwelling of water in the ocean. This resulted in patches of dirty water along with colder water temperatures that slowed fishing. The last few days of hot weather have raised the water temps and increased fish catches.

Captain Dave Kreines of the “Byte Me” has been working hard to land fish for the box but is finding enough action to keep his family charters excited. He had the Vaughn family out, and the 6- and 7-year-old cousins had a fun time with small sharks while Dad lost a big cownose ray at the boat. Another trip with the Stoltz family resulted in small sharks and undersized fluke while fishing in Little Egg Inlet.

Max Goldman reports the “Starfish” has been finding constant action of fluke, black sea bass, and porgies among other species coming over the rails in the ocean. Captain Max adds the fishing is improving with each increase in water temperature.

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” has been finding a mix of action on the inshore ocean reefs with groups of anglers who have been willing to work hard for their catches. A recent family group returned with fluke of 18-and 22-inches along with an 18-inch black sea bass.

Captain Frank Camarda has been finding decent numbers of fluke and other bottom fish with the head boat “Miss Beach Haven.” One of his top anglers, Daryl, had an especially good day recently with a pair of beauties. The “Miss Beach Haven” is the only head boat at the southern end of Long Beach Island.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction” Sportfishing reports good catches of fluke and black sea bass despite some very unfavorable weather conditions. He had Andrew Wilk Sr. and Jr. on a 3-hour trip “all over the bay” before they got into real action. The water was dirty and cold, but the father and son team boxed 2 keeper fluke along with a grill-sized bluefish. Andrew Jr. just got back from pitching in the Junior College World series for Mercer County College. The Bob Dodds group eked out 4 solid keepers to 19.5 inches while catching a total of 28 fish.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at