Fishing Report 2020 – Reel Reaction Charters

White Perch Action:

It’s been an extremely mild winter, but I still can’t wait for Spring. I did have the opportunity to use the kayak and hit some of our southern backwaters for White Perch. Grass Shrimp has been the key for strictly White Perch – Bloodworms producing less Perch, but more Striped Bass. Areas in Beach Haven West might start producing with warmer winter waters.

WINTER Maintenance: For most anglers, this is the time of the year to do REEL MAINTENANCE and I have personally used FHQ for some of my reels as they offer great workmanship and ultra-fast turnarounds for reel servicing.

WINTER HAPPENINGS – Fishing Shows and Scheduling 2020 trips.

There are some potential new happenings for 2020: We are about to pull the trigger on a 19ft Flats/Skiff boat as part of our shallow water fishing fleet and mobile charters; AND we are in the process of adding another USCG licensed captain with a center console, among other things.

If our new skinny water boat is ready, we can hit the shallows for fly-fishing and light-tackle action on Striped Bass as we will be able to run in little as 7 inches of water

2020 SPLASH DATE

Our tentative splash date will be April 1st and we will be targeting Striped Bass, Winter Flounder, Bluefish, and Blackfish (State & Federel regulations dependent).

Booking note – Early July may be a little challenging as my son has a 5-day baseball tournament, but we will roll with the tide for that. Other than that – we are running 7 days a week from June through September.

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

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

Fishing Report – Reel Reaction Charters

It has been another good couple of weeks of fishing out of Barnegat Light. We have been doing well on Striped Bass and Tog when we can get out due to the winds/weather. This weekend looks a little tough, but hopefully it changes. There was a very good Striped Bass bite this past weekend with both of my charters limiting on their slot tags and each trip averaging 30 to 45 Striped Bass. The sizes of the Stripers have ranged from 20 to 29 inches and almost all of action has been on metal jigs or plastic shads. I have a few “Tog only” trips coming up, so we are planning to hit some of my choice snags and will be using both white and green crabs. Our facebook page always has the most recent fishing reports…

If the Striped Bass are still around, we will continue to target them as our NJ issued slot tags expire 12/31/2019. Tog fishing is also an option and we have Green crabs and White Leggars (when available) are included on all Tog trips. Our Tog setups feature G.Loomis rods, Lamiglas, and St.Croix with fantastic feel and excellent backbone for muscling the big boys out of the wrecks. 

If the temperatures stay above freezing, we are planning to run into the New Year and having the heated cabin makes a world of difference. I have the following dates available: 12/21, 12/22, 12/23, 12/26, 12/29, 12/30, 1/4/2020, 1/5/2020 – only if the temperatures stay above freezing.

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

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

Togzilla On A Magictail Tog Jig

Yesterday Wednesday January 2, 2018 Magictail’s Dante Soriente stopped in with TOGZILLA. Here’s his report from the day…

Big Blackfish Love Magictail Tog Jigs

What a day! I’ve been on the hunt for a 15 pound tog on one of my jigs. I caught ten double digit blackfish this year (2018) but nothing over the 13 pound mark. I can’t believe it finally happened today!

Dante and Magictails set out to make The Best Tog Jigs that would outfish all competition based on superior design elements. It’s safe to claim they hit a home run!

More tog and the biggest tog in the past two years have been caught on Magictail Tog Jigs than any other tog jig on the market.

On 1/2/2019 I fished with Paul Haertel aboard his boat the Angler. We got into some really good fishing. It all started off when I caught a really good fish. On my Boga Grip 15 it pulled down and almost bottomed out. This fish which was about 14.5-15 pounds. It was photographed and released. Then a few minutes later another double digit fish hit the deck. This 12 pound tog was also released. An hour went by and Paul caught a 11.5 pound tog on the jig.

About two hours later I hooked a big fish on a baited Magictail Tog Jig, 2oz Glow White Legger. This fish actually pulled drag and took me deep twice. What An Epic Battle! Shocking all of us it bottomed out my Boga Grip 15. Fortunately Paul had a Boga Grip 60 onboard. It weighed in between 20-21 pounds. I was going to release it but Paul wouldn’t let me. He said, “It’s a true giant!”

Once back on land I stopped in at Fishermans Headquarters and got a certified weight, 20.96 pounds. Just a few pounds shy of the state record. I’m so happy to have smashed the 15 pound mark. I’m in shock that I broke the 20 pound mark. Best of all I did it on my Magictail Jig… Mission Complete!

That’s a smile only a 20+ pound tog can produce! 20.96 to be exact. Congrats Big D on a fish of a lifetime! With all the time and dedication, you earned it!

Tog Jigs are very effective and at times outproduce. For those blackfish anglers looking to add to their arsenal and learn more about targeting tog with specialty jigs, we published a fishing blog article just for you. But first…

Here’s Paul Haertel with a large blackfish that fell for a Magictail Tog Jig.

Here’s a testimonial from ace anglers Paul Haertel, “I’m sold on using Magictail Jigs! Up until a week or so ago I was more of a rig fisherman. Today I caught my limit plus, all on jigs. With a new boat record and all of these double digit catches they proved their value to me.”

Catching Blackfish With Jigs

by Matt Sorrentino (@swagmattic)

Whether you’re new to the game or an old salty dog with decades of experience dropping rigs on wrecks, there’s a lot to learn if you want to catch blackfish with jigs.

Have you tried to catch blackfish with jigs? You should! Why? At times they out fish rigs and produce really big catches. I must ask… How did anglers target summer flounder 10, 15, 20+ years ago? The majority now target them with jigs because it’s more effective. The migration to the jig occurred in the fluke, sea bass and tuna game years ago. Guess what… The tog game too!

Tog Jigs Offer The Most Natural Presentation Of Bait

Light tackle jigging for tautog is still a relatively new technique. The concept is simple.  Lighter line, small reels and lighter rods all directly contrast conventional tog fishing wisdom. But! Lighter tackle allows small jigs to get to the bottom faster and entice more bites. Also the jig’s stealth approach gives the fish a sense of security so they take the bait. Unlike heavy blackfish rig fishing (typically use 6+ ounce sinkers) the tog can pick up the jigs and swim away without feeling the tug of the line and weight as they crunch and munch the bait. Light tackle jigging for tog allows anglers the most natural presentation of baits. This directly results in more bites and more opportunities to catch.

Catching a limit of Blackfish takes skill and the right fishing tackle.  Here, fisherman Matt caught Tautog using Magictail and Tog jigs with crab.
December 6th with a limit+ of blackfish/tautog using a 2oz MagicTail Tog Jig.

Tog Jig Options

The obvious first step to catching blackfish with jigs is to pick out the jig. There are a variety of tog jigs options on the market. With all of the brand names,  at some point you’ll ask, “What type of tog jig should I use?” Or “What is the best blackfish jig?  In my book, the answer is simple. It’s in the name of the jig…  The Magictail “Game Changer” Tog Jig is the best jig. Whether targeting blackfish from the boat on reefs and wrecks or land based fishing. Magictail Tog Jigs outproduce!

The 3 Classic Types of Jigs For Blackfishing

In order to make a lead head jig it all starts with a mold and a hook. The lead is the easy part. In the early days, there were really only a few styles of tog jigs due to the lack of molds. The three styles that made the most sense for making blackfish jigs were…

  • The Bean Jig – Resembles an oversized lima bean with flat sides. When sitting, it lies on its side with the hook facing sideways.
  • The Football Jig– Resembles a football shaped lead head that is perpendicular to the hook. When sitting, the hook points upright.
  • The Banana Jig – Features a snag resistant design; eye tie forward, slender width, curved like lead head belly (hence the name). Similar to the football jig, the hook points upright when sitting.

It has been said that some shapes fall faster than others. This can be the case when dropping a naked jig; however, tog jigs are always fished baited with crab. All three shapes listed above will get down and stay down about the same. There’s more important characteristics to focus on.

The Magictail Game Changer Tog Jig Series was developed after years of fishing experience catching black fish on jigs. Building on the features top tog anglers demand and evolving from its predecessors, Magictail made a custom mold to offer the most innovative tog jig to date!

Magictail Tautog Jig used to catch Tog.
This photo shows the unique design of the Magictail Tog Jig.

So what sets the MagicTail Game Changer Tog Jig apart from the Football and the Banana Jig? 

It’s all in the intricate design, the Magictail Game Changer Tog Jigs have a unique shape which offers benefits. Like the football and banana style tog jigs the hook point always faces up. The flat curved bottom (banana jig trait) ensures the jig is always on the bottom correctly. It lays flat and doesn’t roll. The jig is center weighted and its shape is very snag resistant.

The Magictail Tog Jig Secrets That Sets Them Apart From The Rest

The most important characteristic however, is how the lead belly sits with the hook standing tall. This keeps the bait slightly raised off the bottom with open space between the hook and the bottom structure. This allows the fish to swim in and take a clean swipe at the whole hook. It makes the elaborately timed hook set process a whole lot easier and increase your hookup percentage.

Choosing The Right Jig With The Right Hook

Just like selecting an all purpose hook, the same rules apply. Match the hook to the bait or the bait to the hook. The hook choice in a tog jig is important. It must be strong and sharp. Moreover, the shank length matters! Short shank vs long shark is personal preference and it changes depending on the size of bait. A tog jig with a long shank hook (such as the Magic Tail Game Changer Tog Jig) allows for hooking of bigger bait, a must when fishing large pieces of crab, half crabs and whole crabs. Tog jigs with short shank hooks (such as the Magictail Back Bay Tog Jig) are best when fishing smaller baits. These are best when using Asian Crabs and Fiddler Crabs. It’s also common for anglers to bury these short shank tog jigs inside of a medium crab section.

Does Color Matter?

In my experiences I have not found one color to outperform another in every circumstance. Everyday can be different so it’s best to have a spread of colors to cover your bases.

You can’t go wrong matching the jig color to the bait. For example when fishing green crabs, pair the bait with the green/orange “Green Crab” jig color. When fishing white crabs go for the white “White Crab” jig. Magictail does a really good job offering these natural color patterns.

I’ve also done good using the high visibility colors like the chart/orange and the metallic green coined “First Drop” as well as the glow on cloudy days and when the water is dirty. Just a heads up… glow always catches!

How do Blackfish feed?

Tautog pick at their food.  They’re typically chewing on mussels, barnacles and other crustaceans clinging to rocks and structure.  When feeding off the bottom they come at the bait from above and pluck at it.  That is why you get those small taps when you first feel the fish.  Setting the hook on a tog is a process that gets refined only with practice and experience. But as common sense would point out, if the fish’s point of attack is from above the jig, you would ideally want the hook pointing in that direction.  When you swing that hook is more likely to land and set in the fish mouth then with a side facing jig. 

Looking for more info on targeting tautog with jigs? Check out my other blog post, Start Catching Blackfish on Jigs With These Helpful Tips!

Tog Fishing Informative Videos 

Check out the video links below to learn more about catching blackfish with jigs more specifically the the Magictail Game Changer Tog Jig advantage! 

LBI Fishing Report Update 12/22/17

As of yesterday, winter is officially here! But let’s look at it in the bright side… the days are only getting longer from here!

With the year coming to a close, I fished out 2017 getting in as much as possible. Today I pulled the boat for the year. Kinda bummed but looking back it was an awesome run. This fall was fun fishing with so many different people. It’s great to experience time on the water with people stoked on fishing.

With good mild weather recently I enjoyed my final days on the boat this year. Yesterday (Thursday) we got a couple small bass on the troll working Magic Tail Mojos off of IBSP in 35-50′ of water. Wednesday we found piles of bait but no bites. After putting in a couple hours we called it off, only later finding out it was happening elsewhere. Where? Find out in the next paragraph below. Tuesday, it took a little while to find them but we got into good but short lived fishing off mid-Island (Ship Bottom to Harvey Cedars). We worked 35-50′ for a couple hour period and could not keep the lines in the water. It was mayhem with  with doubled and triple headers all to ourselves.

Wednesday afternoon Brian Coen got into a great bite fishing off of IBSP. The birds and bass were going wild! He reported, “We probably had 50 fish on top crushing lures. The fish ranged from 20” up to 18 pounds.

Jeff Davis from Let It Fly Charters sent in a quick email report, “Another epic day!”

Here’s a happy fly anglers aboard the Let It Fly with Captain Jeff Davis.

The surf fishing along the beach of LBI are still producing. Local angler Chris Masino caught today. Below is a photo of one.

Late December striped bass cruise the beach looking for small baits and lures. Try your cast and get a tug!

Solid tog fishing continues with the Magic Tail Tog Jigs being the best way to hook a hoss. Matt Sorrentino is dialed in togging with Magictail Jigs. He recently took the pool fishing aboard the Osprey out of Atlantic City. Must have been the lucky Fish Head Hat!!! Get your own today. All joking aside, it’s awesome to see these Magic Tail Tog Jigs out fishing on a consistent basis.

Here’s Matt with his pool winner!

We got word in today from a couple anglers who were out, “Lotta small tog on the local reefs.”

Dylan Fisher was on the December 21st offshore black sea bass fishing trip aboard the Voyager. He reported, “The weather was good and the fishing was great catching jumbo sea bass and porgy. I topped off the freezer for the winter. Now I’m ready for hibernation.”

Here’s Dylan with a jumbo sea bass.

Epic End Of Year Sale!!!

Close out 2017 right with our year’s best pricing…  For a limited time we’ve got an Online Store Wide Flash Sale! Use Cart Promo Code FLASH17 at checkout.

Fishing The Carolyn Ann III 4/2/17

Here’s today’s report from the Carolyn Ann III…

Well our first day is in the books and it was a good start to the season! Beautiful weather and great fishing with blackfish up to 8lbs (pool winner was Wayne Smith) and some nice cod.

Richie Weisz and his brother were bottom fishing aboard and reported, “Almost non stop action today!” They took advantage of the open season (NJ Tog Fishing Opened April 1st) and the CA3’s first trip finishing the day with 6 keeper tog and two cod. 


The Crew of the Carolyn Ann III said they’re looking forward to a great fishing season currently sailing Saturdays and Sundays all April. Go to their website and/or Facebook page for updates and more information. 

Just a heads up don’t fret when pulling into the 18th street dock parking lot when you look and the boat is not at it’s old slip!!! The CA3 has moved two slips to the right/north into what was previously the home of the Doris Mae.