BHFCA 7/10/21 Fishing Report

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Weekly Fishing Report
By Jim Hutchinson Sr.

The captains and anglers of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association breathed a deep sigh of relief this weekend when Hurricane Elsa skipped by while packing only a small portion of what might have been.

The current emphasis by the captains continues to be bottom fishing in the ocean on inshore structure and drifting for summer flounder in local bays and inlets.

Captain Carl Sheppard had multiple bottom trips out recently on the StarFish. Each trip worked hard to secure dinner, including the Kovalick family which caught their limit of sea bass up to 19-inches, a 20-inch fluke, and a ling.

Captain Gary Dugan and the “Irish Jig” have also been finding success bottom fishing. In addition to much action from just short throwbacks, one group hauled in 3 respectable fluke and a nice sea bass for dinner.

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing had Bob Dodds, his two grand-daughters including recent Southern Regional graduate Ashley on a 4-hour fishing charter. It started off slow, but the crew had close to 60 fluke with 7 nice keepers to 23.5-inches. All fish were caught on the S&S bigeye tipped with live bait.

Associate member Jim Hutchinson Sr., who handles publicity for the BHCFA, listened to the captains’ reports and got in on the fluke action recently at the Little Egg Reef. Fishing with pal Dave Rinear and Joe Hummel on the “Angler,” the group put three keepers to 20-inches in the fish box while releasing over a dozen short fish.

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

BHFCA 7/3/21 Fishing Report

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Fishing Report

Although the long awaited Fourth of July weekend arrived with dicey weather, it appears the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are now facing some decent fishing conditions in the days ahead.

The re-opening of the black sea bass season is good news as anglers now have an additional opportunity to take home a fish dinner.

The ”Miss Beach Haven,” a head boat captained by Frank Camarda, has been running a series of trips both in calm bay waters along with ocean trips to inshore artificial reefs. Fluke catches have been steady, along with some big black sea bass coming over the rails. Captain Frank runs a set daily schedule for his four-hour bay trips and longer ocean ventures.

Captains Carl Sheppard and Vic Bertotti have been running many trips on the “Star Fish.” All the trips caught fish and including Jeff Ventura whose party of four anglers caught 83 sea bass.

Captain Gary Dugan on the “Irish Jig” has been finding good numbers of summer flounder. A trip on Saturday produced steady action with three keepers to 20-inches.

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing has been out of action the last few days as he is in South Carolina supporting son Luke in a big baseball tournament. Recent results indicate the team is doing well. Captain Tom Duralek of “NorthEnd Charters” has taken over some of Captain Brett’s charters including Bill Dabney and his son on a fluke trip. The duo jigged a few areas hard catching close to 20 throwbacks and two keeper fluke to 21 inches.

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

BHCFA Report 6/26/21

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

BHCFA Fishing Report 6/12/21

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

Summer-like weather has arrived in the Beach Haven area, and along with some strong fishing usually associated.

Besides pockets of striped bass in the area, the inshore reefs are holding large numbers of black sea bass and other bottom fish. The summer flounder bite is hot in the bay waters, and there are early signs of tuna fish offshore.

Captain Gary Dugan had a group out fishing on the “Irish Jig” that he termed a “great bunch of guys.” They experienced drop and reel action with a lot of nice fish for the cooler working inshore structure. Captain Gary gave special recognition to one of the anglers who leaves shortly for basic training in the Air Force. The future serviceman took top honors with a beautiful blackfish which had to be released as it was out of season. 

Captain Dave Kreines reports he finally got the “Byte Me” into the water, making his first trip of the season. He had Rick K. out for a few hours of fluke fishing in Great Bay. They reeled in several short fish and a nice keeper before they were chased in by thunderstorms. 

Captain Carl Sheppard and First Mate Max Goldman had the Pickup family out bottom fishing on the “Star Fish.”. The crew fished multiple wrecks catching black sea bass and tog. Several nice sea bass made it into the cooler for a fish dinner. Also getting into the action with Captain Carl was the Nobles family who caught countless sea bass keeping several up to 15-inches.

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing reports averaging 2-8 keeper fluke per trip along with 25-50 throwbacks. He attributes the differences to water temperature and clarity. He had two half-day charters recently with three keepers to 22-inches in the morning for Jesse Sipe and his son Ryan. In the afternoon he had Dan Dwyer fishing the incoming tide, and “the guys did a great job catching close to 40 with 7 keepers to 21-inches.”

BHCFA President Captain John Lewis is reminding all local youngsters who would like to become members of the Association’s Junior Mate program that the initial meeting will be held Thursday, June 24, at the lower level of the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club. Start Time is 7pm.

The Junior Mates Program is open to youngster who will reach the age of 12 by August 1, 2021. Information on the program can be found at the online link below or calling Lewis at 609-670-5980 or Captain Jimmy Zavacky at 609-915-2498.

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

BHCFA Weekly Fishing Report 6/3/21

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

Last weekend’s northeast storm pretty much put a stop to Memorial Day fishing efforts for the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association. The ocean was completely unfishable for a few days while the bay waters were rough, and the bottom churned up.

Some of the captains managed to make some fishing trips once conditions settled down and found the fish were still around.

The “Star Fish” with Captain Carl Sheppard and mates Jon and Max had a local family out for a day of active bottom fishing. According to Max the crew caught many fish, filling the boat with good times and smiles. 

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” made a quick scouting trip with his wife Tracy. Tracy saved the day boating a nice fluke for a fresh fish dinner.

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing managed a couple of trips while fighting some strong winds. Mike Pikulin and family worked hard in bay waters to put some 35 fluke over the rail and boxed 4 for the table to 22.5-inches. Paul Kaufman and crew working a variety of bay areas on their 4-hour charter with Captain Brett. The guys did a great job boxing 6 keepers while releasing many more. Finally, Bob Dodds and “Boston Bob” fished some new areas. Not only did they boat 30 fluke, they also caught their limit of 9 fish. 

With some calmer ocean waters in the forecast, the black sea bass action will be picking up, and there are reports of some big stripers still being trolled up in the ocean on spoons.

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

BHFCA April 5th Update

Spring has officially sprung in the Beach Haven area despite some lingering winter-like temperatures. The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing have begun preparing for their spring and summer fishing adventures.

One welcome sign is the Association’s announcement that their much-acclaimed Junior Mates Program will be resuming this year after being suspended in 2020 due to the Corona Virus.

Association President Captain John Lewis announced all classes this year will be held outside at the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club. Mask usage and physical distancing will be utilized to maximize safety standards. The first class will be held on Thursday, June 24, at 7pm.

The Junior Mates Program is designed to provide youngsters with a variety of expert teaching and hands-on experiences to educate them about fishing and provide them with the background necessary to become a mate on a fishing boat. Complete information on the Junior Mates and paperwork can be found on the BHCFA website at

Meanwhile, Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” has splashed his boat and already brought some fish aboard in a shakedown cruise. Some short striped bass provided nice first of the year action for Captain Gary.

Captain Alex Majewski of “Lighthouse Sportfishing” kept occupied over the winter hitting small ponds in the Pine Barrens. He had productive days with catches of pickerel and largemouth bass. Perhaps getting ready for the new regulations on striped bass, he tried circle hooks with live minnows for pickerel with some “excellent” results. His boat, the “Debbie M” has been upgraded with a Rhodan trolling motor, allowing him to stay positioned over wrecks.

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing took time this winter for some long-awaited projects including a new house and a new garage. He did construct an electric hoist for his spare Minn-Kota trolling motors. He says he is now ready to start fishing.

Captain John Lewis of the “Insatiable” is now ready to resume making boat deliveries to mark time while he is not fishing. Captain John has been making deliveries for both dealers and private owners for many years and makes many yearly trips back and forth from New Jersey to Florida for boat owners.

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

Beach Haven Charter Fishing Report 11/14/20

After days waiting for the start of the fall run of striped bass, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are now reaping the harvest of their arrival. The bite began first north of Barnegat Inlet and has now reached the waters off Beach Haven.

Captain Gary Dugan had “Antman” out on the “Irish Jig,” and they managed a pair of pretty bass, both over 40-inches. Although both fish had to be released, the action brought big smiles all around.

Captain Ray Lopez had Joe Nodine and family from Forked River out for a full day charter on the “Miss Liane.” Within minutes of getting to the grounds they hooked up with a 46-inch bass which was quickly released after pictures were taken. After the big fish the group was almost constantly hooked up, at times with 2 or 3 fish at once. The action consisted of many keepers along with dozens of short fish.

Captain Dave Wittenborn had a group on the “Benita J” for some “lights out” fishing. His party of five had their limit of slot fish along with bonus fish for a total of 10 fish and were back at the dock and cleaned up by 11:30. With good reports of fish to the north of the area, Captain Dave predicts there should be a solid fishery for the next few weeks.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” had the Arthur Diebel group on a 5-hour combination striper and tautog charter. After going 6 for 10 on stripers ranging from 26.5 to 33- inches, the spent the last hour catching their limit of blackfish.

Captain Carl Sheppard and mate Max Goldman have had several successful trips on the “Starfish.” One trip trolling for stripers produced a large 49-inch fish estimated to be over 50- pounds. After releasing that big fish, they picked up four more between 25-36 inches. Two more trips were ones targeting bottom fish on structure. One trip resulted in nearly 30 sea bass in
addition to countless spiny dogfish. Last Sunday Captain Carl had a local Boy Scout troop out for an action-packed day of bottom fishing. The crew caught nearly 150 fish including keeper sea bass and a 14-inch porgy.

Addition information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association and it captains can be found at

BHCFA Fishing Report 10/21/20

Right now, the fishing scene in southern Ocean County is caught between summer and fall fisheries. No matter how hard the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association wish for the start of the striped bass migration from the north, the warm water temperatures are delaying their arrival.

Surface water temperatures remain in the low 60’s, a bit too warm for the stripers’ liking. There continues to be an excellent bite on bottom fish around inshore structure, however, to fill the fish boxes.

Captain Carl Sheppard of the “Star Fish” has had several groups out fishing recently taking advantage of the hot bottom fishing. One group with Captain Carl and mate Max Goldman fished several wrecks boating over 75 fish including black sea bass, bluefish, triggers, sea robins, and blowfish. Another trip with a family resulted in over 40 fish caught including sea bass up to 15-inches. A final day with two trips resulted in much the same type of action along with a feisty black-tip shark. The afternoon group had some 80 fish keeping 14 sea bass to 16-inches.

Captain Gary Dugan had two anglers out on the “Irish Jig”, and they experienced drop and reel fishing inshore reefs. They ended the day with a fish box packed with black sea bass, triggerfish, tautog, and some porgies. Captain Gary reports he is keeping a sharp eye out for the arrival of stripers from the north.

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing had a busy weekend with the Hank Wright group on a striped bass charter. Strong winds made a trip to the ocean a poor choice, so they landed a limit of tautog around the jetty rocks of Barnegat Inlet. They switched to stripers and landed 6, keeping two with bonus tags. Paul Kaufmann and Steve Sharf fished Sunday with their sons on a bottom fish charter. They worked hard and managed to box a limit of sea bass, 4 triggerfish, and one porgy. They ended the day boxing a quick limit of tautog.

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

Beach Haven Fishing Report 10/5/20

Fall is now in full swing in Beach Haven, New Jersey, and the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are raring to go for some action-packed fall fishing.

Thursday, October 8, marks the return of open fishing for black sea bass in the state with a daily limit of 10 fish per angler. Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” reports he has been fishing inshore structure the past couple of weeks and has been catching quite a few big sea bass while seeking other species. He has been practicing “catch and release” on the fish, but he is looking forward to putting some nice fish in the box when the season opens.

The tautog daily limit is only one fish until November 15, but these fish are currently plentiful, and very often that one keeper fish has been a beauty.

As the water continues to cool, the area striped bass population has been increasing. There are numerous catches of “schoolie” sized bass in the bay waters with occasional keepers of fish 28-inches and larger to be found.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Charters” just had a busy weekend with a pair of productive trips. On Saturday he had Max Cavallaro and his 3 buddies on a 4-hour multi-species charter. After working to catch their limit of blackfish, they hit the snapper blues. They worked some feeding birds to box close to 20 along with a few released weakfish. On Sunday he had Robert Kuhn and family out. They hit the inlet area for a quick limit of tog and then played with bluefish to 15 inches for the rest of the trip. Captain Brett’s son Luke worked his first trip as a mate in training for his dad.

There is still good offshore tuna fishing as evidenced by a trip for Captain Dave Wittenborn on the “Benita J.” Captain Dave took his son Luke out on a father and son express trip to the tuna grounds. The lines went in at 6:30AM and were pulled for the day at 9:30. Luke reeled in all three of the fish, and the pair headed in with a great catch of fish on an early day.

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

BHCFA Fishing Report 9/27/20

Although cooler temperatures have reduced water temperatures, there are still a goodly number of “summer” fish in the waters around Beach Haven for the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association. The summer flounder season has closed for the current year and the black sea bass fishery does not open again until October 8.

Despite the closures, there are still several hot fishing options to keep anglers happy. The offshore tuna bite is going great guns when ocean conditions allow boats to get out. The inshore wrecks and reefs hold a variety of porgies and blackfish while schools of bluefish of varying sizes are ever present. In the bay waters the panfish bite is strong for fun action on light tackle and delicious fish dinners. Schoolie bass are roaming the bay waters especially around the sodbanks during times of dim light. There are occasional keeper fish mixed in with the small bass.

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing hit a milestone this week guiding trip number 100 of the year. Although the number is a bit off last year’s pace thanks to COVID, he is pleased with the number of anglers and the results. He had clients Alex Gal and wife Sandra on a 4-hour multi-species charter. They started with blackfish in the inlet area and switched to the backwaters. The husband and wife team caught their limit of blackfish, striped bass, bluefish, and a released 20-inch fluke. The out of season fluke was caught on a 4-inch swim shad meant for a bass. On Saturday he had Michael Trojak and son Brandon on a multi-species charter, but with windy conditions opted to stay on blackfish. The crew released a bunch of keepers, keeping their limit to 20-inches. Both trips featured ex-military and current law enforcement individuals, and Captain Brett expressed his admiration to them for their service.

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