Sandy Hook NJ Fishing Reports (2012)
"Capt. John's Fishing Reports" gives you the latest information about our fishing charters as they occurred.
You'll read when we do good and when we don't, what baits we used, rigs, water and tide conditions.
So bookmark this page and check back with us regularly.

For archived 2011 Fishing Reports and Videos......click here.


December 20, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

A quick boat repair report:

Called Gateway Marine in Belford, NJ and was told the repair of the hull (gellcoat and fiberglass work) is currently in progress and moving along nicely. The old engine has been removed and the boat is awaiting the installation of the new one once all the hull repair work is done. So, we're moving forward....

On behalf of all of us here at Reel Fun Sportfishing, allow me to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. For those of you wanting to get an early jump on the prime spring Striper dates, I now have my 2013 tide chart and moon phase chart with all the really good days highlighted for Bass. A quick phone call and a small deposit ensures that you'll have first shot at those choice dates.....so don't hesitate. The prime dates go fast.

During the winter months, I'll be sending out emails to my subscriber list of some great "how-to" YouTube video's I found on topics such as filleting fluke and striped bass, knowing your knots, sharpening your knives, bucktailing for fluke and many more topics of great interest to my family of anglers. Great fishing stuff to keep you busy and interested during those long and cold winter months so keep your eyes peeled for my email messages beginning the first of the new year.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew


December 11, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Boat repair update:

It's been a while since my last post about the repairs to little "Miss Parker" so I thought I would bring you up to date. Good news.....the work has started! The insurance funds arrived Saturday and now the work can begin and I am very excited to be finally moving in the right direction. I've been assured that she will look good as new and seaworthy as ever with the addition of some new parts as well as a brand new engine to boot.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances (hope I don't have to eat my words on this one) we should be back in the water and ready to whack some spring Stripers around April 1st. Once again, many thanks to all who have reached out to me over the past month with your very uplifting wishes...you all are GREAT!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


November 30, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Boat repair update:

Paid a visit to Gateway Marine to see how little "Miss Parker" is doing. Resting peacefully as we prepare to give her a facelift. Actually, we're waiting for the paperwork to be completed from the insurance company as the estimate was "verbally" approved by both parties and then the actual work can then commence. So it's just a matter of time now before I will see real progress being made as we prepare for the 2013 fishing season....patience! I'll keep you posted as the work progresses going forward.

I've been reading mixed reports on the fishing front as it seems that the majority of fishing in and around the northern New Jersey areas lately has been bottom fishing for tog (Blackfish) as some Stripers have been appearing south of Shark river area. I would say that "Sandy" had an adverse effect on the fall fishing scene as the vast majority of the baitfish that was in the rivers and bays are gone. Too bad....

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


November 21, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

On behalf of the staff here at Reel Fun Sportfishing, let me extend our warm wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Even though Hurricane Sandy dealt a devastating blow to the Jersey shore community, we should all give thanks to all the responders for their tireless efforts that are still ongoing. And also thanks to the residents of New Jersey for coming to the aid of their fellow Jerseyans in time of great hardship and need.

The shore will rebuild and be back stronger than ever.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


November 10, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Hurricane Sandy Update

First off, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to those who have called me over the past week expressing your concern for me, my family and the boat. I've had some wonderful conversations and heard some really amazing stories of what some of you have had to endure since Sandy paid us a visit. Few people were spared her wrath. There have been days when I get a little down thinking about the boat, but it's small potatoes in comparison to the total devastation that some homes have gone through. But, with your wonderful calls of encouragement, my spirits remain high and it's onward and upward.

Speaking of the boat. I met with my insurance adjuster yesterday, pictures were taken, reports filled out and now the repair process is in full swing. The boat will have its engine checked out and if it's gone, a new one will take its place...same size and horsepower. The hull had quite a bit of "cosmetic" damage (gel coat scratches and gouges in the fiberglass) but it's not something that will compromise the safety and handling of the boat.

I have a top notch fiberglass man working on the hull and some of the best Yamaha service technician's too, so she'll be showroom new when she's done. (thank GOD for insurance). Wayne, Mare and a crew of John, Dave, Pete and Shawn and a few others have been working endlessly for days cleaning up the mess and starting to rebuild parts of the marina. It's going to take time, but the marina sure looks a heck of alot better than a week ago.

Stay in touch here on this reports web page for further updates and please don't forget the American Red Cross.

Thank You,
Capt. John


Sunday November 4, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Hurricane Sandy Update-

My sources tell me that work around Twin Lights Marina has been going on now for several days and that the log jam of our boats (mine being one of them) on Shrewsbury Avenue has been cleared using a crane as well as Wayne's fork lifts. Which is very good news in order to regain some semblance of normalcy at the marina.

Sometime today, I will be taking a drive to the marina to get a good close up inspection of the boat and what damage she sustained from the storm. My insurance company has been contacted and I am on their schedule for a visit this coming week. So as you can see, things are moving along which is just the beginning to a long and backbreaking process of getting Twin Lights up and running. My heart goes out to Wayne and Mare for the enormous task ahead and I hope they know they can count on me in the coming months for hands on support. I will keep you posted on any further developments at the marina.

One of my customers asked me the other day, via email, when I thought it would be safe to fish our waters due to this storm. Here is a quote from Capt. Al Ristori's blog that I think you should read "The DEP has put out a notice cautioning anglers from eating fish caught in urban areas plus Sandy Hook and Raritan bays due to spillovers of wastewater treatment plants. They also suggest complete cleaning if you or your property comes in contact with those waters. Due to smashed boats and fuel tanks, there have been closures of boating in many Bayshore areas. " So let this be your guide.

Also, families have been devastated by this storm, some loosing their entire belongings so I would like to urge you to maybe make a small donation to the American Red Cross who are helping these displaced persons to cope today. If you care to make a $10.00 or more donation to the "Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund" as I did last night via a credit card....please click here. You will redirected to the American Red Cross web site for your "tax deductible" donation. Thank You!

Respectfully,
Capt John


Monday October 29, 2012 1:00 pm

Hurricane Sandy is churning up towards us here in New Jersey and it appears that landfall will be sometime this evening around 8 pm or so somewhere between Atlantic City and Cape May. Right now the Ambrose Data Buoy is reading a steady 35 mph NNE wind with gusts to 45 mph and seas at 16 ft.

High tide will be around 8:30 this evening, so couple that with landfall around the same time and you can just imagine what a surge of water Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays will experience along with the Shrewsbury, Navesink and Raritan Rivers.

Spoke too Wayne O'Neil at Twin Lights Marina a few minutes ago and there already was water in the office from this mornings high tide. I can tell you it's a long way from normal high tide to the top of the bulkhead at Twin Lights, so I can't even imagine the amount of water that came in on this mornings high tide.

The Parker is up out of the water on land and hopefully safe and out of harm's way. But with the projected 80mph winds this evening, nothing is safe so I'll keep my fingers crossed and say a prayer for her. I'll know more tomorrow.

How the baitfish in the bays will respond to this is anyone's guess and that goes for the Striped Bass just as well.
Since the Bass like turbulent waters, I would think that we are in for a short, temporary slow period until the Bass start to repond again and get hungry.....sometime around Friday/Saturday or so. I'll keep you informed as I have many anglers waiting to go Striper fishing this fall. Hang in there!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday October 26, 2012

As I reported from my previous post, the schoolies that we caught this past weekend was just the beginning of a fall Striped Bass run.

Striped Bass fishing has broken wide open along the beach Tuesday. Most of the fish have been taken by jigging with fish being in the 15-20 lb range and a few 30-40 lb fish taken. So for those of you waiting word from me that the time is now....the time is NOW. It's time to pick up that phone and let's make some dates.

The Black Sea Bass fishery is now closed "in federal waters" (3 + miles out) until further notice but will reopen in NJ state waters on November 1. Keep in mind though that the Tog (Blackfish) bag limit will increase to 6 fish per angler beginning Friday November 16 so if you're inclined to do some bottom fishing for Tog and Sea Bass, call now and make your reservations for Capt Greg's trips to the wrecks and reefs in our area. We'll be running those trips as long as the weather permits. Great fishing for great tasting fish for the dinner table.That was the good news, now on to the not so good.....

Hurricane Sandy is churning up the coast and it does not look good for New Jersey as of this morning. So as a precaution, be advised that I am on my way down to the marina this afternoon to "temporarily" haul the boat out of the water until Sandy passes us by. The recovery period after Sandy passes is anyone's guess, but with Striped Bass that shouldn't be too long, but it's the baitfish that could take a beating. Hopefully, the baitfish that are well back in the bay will hunker down providing some forage for the Stripers for the fall run in November. But this is all wishful thinking on my part. So let's keep our fingers crossed and say a prayer that Sandy moves off the coast, or at worst she hugs the coast and doesn't make landfall here in NJ. I'll keep you posted in the next few days with more info.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday October 20, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Action, Action and more Action. That's the best way to describe today's Striper charter with Tom, John and Marc clamming the clam beds oceanside.

This seems to be a new body of young fish, covered with sea lice, but that's a good thing, which is a very good sign for this time of the year and can only mean that the bigger boys and girls are not far behind from up north.

Although there have been some bigger fish taken over the past few weeks, today's catch of 14 fish were mostly sub legal bass under the 28" mark that we released but a lot of fun to catch just the same on our light fishing gear.


Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday October 12, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

In case you haven't been tracking the water temps over the past few days, Ambrose Data Buoy gave a water temperature of 65.1 today, so the water temps are continuing to drop, which means Striper activity is steadily picking up now as the days go by.

With the freeze warning posted for tonight, that will only accelerate the decline of water temps in both the bay and the ocean. Which as you know, will energize the Bass along with moving the baitfish out of the rivers and the bays.

Stripers are now being caught at different locations, bay and ocean, some clamming and some eeling and sometimes with good numbers and other times with a slow pick, but the Bass are showing nonetheless and that's a very good sign for the second week in October.

I'll say that by the 29th of October (around the full moon phase) Striper fishing could very well bust wide open here at Sandy Hook. So if you're interested in fishing for bass with us this fall, the time is right now to call me and set up a date for your charter. Tonight "the frost is on the pumpkin" and that's the time for "eel dunkin" for Stripers!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday October 5, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just wanted to keep you up to date on what I've been doing since my last post.

Been talking to a few skippers who are seeking Striped Bass for the past few days. Also reading reports from some private boaters too, and the Bass fishing, as of the past few days, has been somewhat on and off.

Catching for two days and day three is off. Stripers in the deep channels turns into Stripers on the mussel and clam beds. Some of the fish being caught have reached the 20 lb. mark by eeling in the deep channels. The smaller fish have taken up residency in shallower waters like the clam and mussel beds sucking down clams as bait.

The water temps have stabilized somewhat at the 67 degree mark this past week as the weather has been quite mild but on the good side, baitfish in the bay has been plentiful and that is a good sign for fall migrating Stripers, so it's just a matter of time. Striper fishing should break wide open soon once the migrating Bass zero in on all the baitfish that's in the bays and the water cools a bit.

Don't forget that we also bottom fish for Black Sea Bass as well as Tautog (Tog) with some nice Porgies mixed in so don't rule that out if you're itchin' to go fishin'.

So far, October and November is shaping up just fine for Striper fishing and right on time.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday September 28, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just in case you weren't aware, the Fluke season closes tonight at 12 midnight so that's a wrap for the 2012 Fluke fishing season here in New Jersey. Now it's on to Striped Bass as well as bottom fishing for Black Sea Bass and Tog for the months of October and November.

The good news is that for the past week, Stripers are being caught at two locations mainly drifting eels for bigger fish. The water temperatures have been steadily declining in the bay and ocean which is a very good sign as this will signal to the baitfish it's time to migrate out and south which the Bass will be whacking as they bulk up for the winter. The good thing about the reports on Stripers is that they are in the bay, which makes for a short run to the fish, so it won't require a lot of "searching" to find them right now. Obviously, that could change from day to day, but for the most part, drifting eels is centered around two specific areas a short distance from the marina.

The weather for the next few days looks spotty at best, but once this front moves out, it could be game on for the Bass. So if you're a Striper fisherman, get your gear ready and give a me a call.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Wednesday September 26, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Good news on the arrival of Striper Bass. The water temperatures have been steadily dropping (67 degrees) this past week and Striped Bass have been caught in our local waters. Although not in great numbers yet, it's still a very good sign that the Bass are getting hungry and are tracking down baitfish which Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays are loaded with right now.

This, indeed, is a very good sign as I've gotten word that a few private boaters have found fish locally and things can only get better as the days go by. Baring any major storms this fall, I'm hoping that the fall run of Stripers is beginning earlier rather than later and everyone has a decent shot at a good days fishing. The longer the baitfish stays put, the better our chances of having a great fall Striper season.

So get out your calendar.... as October appears to be a good month (fair weather and good seas) to be fishing for Stripers. We'll be fishing both in the bay as well as the oceanside and mornings can get quite cool so dress accordingly when you meet me at the dock. I keep you posted with further Striper activity over the next few days.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Tuesday September 25, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

It has been brought to my attention that the reg's I listed on Friday, September 21 (below) for Tautog (Blackfish) was incorrect. After checking the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife web site for their information, the dates below are now correct for this species:

Tautog (Blackfish) is currently open with a one fish limit per angler till November 15th. The limit then increases to 6 fish per angler from November 16th till December 31st, 2012.

Sorry for the misinfomation, but they keep changing the reg's and it's sometimes hard to keep up with the NJDFW. My "Thanks" to Capt. Jeff from Z'Obsession at Gateway Marina for bringing this to my attention.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday September 21, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just a quick reminder that the Black Sea Bass fishing resumes this Sunday September 23, 2012 and stays open till October 14 then opens again November 1 and closes December 31, 2012.

As you may or may not know, the Fluke season officially closes in one week on September 28th, so this coming week we'll have the prospects of catching BOTH Black Sea Bass and Fluke which I consider the two best tasting fish in our waters. So if you can tear yourself away from your duties, this coming week would be a great time for one last blast on those flatties with some nice Black Sea Bass thrown in to boot.

Tautog (Blackfish) is currently closed and will not reopen until October 17th with a one fish limit per angler from October 18th thru October 31st. The limit then increases on November 16th till December 31st, 2012.

We will also be keeping a keen eye out for Stripers in our waters and keeping you posted on our success with these fish as many people have signed up for my "on call" list for fall Striper fishing.

So as you can see, the fall fishing is a very active time period. It's not just about bagging a 8 point buck! You'll have to dress a little warmer and get up in the dark, but fall fishing can be a real blast especially when a Striper/Bluefish blitz hits the beach under diving birds and you're casting plugs, diamonds and shads on light tackle....what a rush! So get out that spinning gear, get out your thermals and get ready for some really great New Jersey fall fishing.


Wednesday September 19, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

As we approach the end of the 2012 Fluke season (September 28 to be exact) I like to offer few of my thoughts about how the season went overall for me and my anglers.

Although most of my charters caught fish, both keepers and throwbacks, my evaluation of 2012 fluke fishing, based upon my records compared to last year, would be "fair". Did I see that same good numbers of keepers as last year? No! not even close.

Last year I rated the fluke fishing as "outstanding" if you can recall a similar report that I sent out at the close of 2011 season. Reports that I've read by the number crunchers seem to bear that out. I read that in a two month time period, the estimated number of landings (keepers) for fluke in May and June last year was approx. 300,000 fish as compared to 100,000 for the same time period for this year. Now how these guys get their numbers is anybody's guess, but if there is some semblance of fact to these numbers, that's one hell of a drop off. Let me remind you that these are estimates by their "best available science" in tracking fish caught in NJ.

These numbers were reported in a local newspaper about a month ago in an article about water temperatures as it pertained to fishing in NJ. Quite frankly, I'm shocked at this downturn, because when the reg's came down that the keeper size was reduced to 17 1/2", I predicted that we would have a banner year for keepers, and that just didn't happen. I'm stunned and disappointed to say the least at the fluke fishing for 2012. I would be amazed if the 2013 reg's where adjusted showing that NJ overfished the Fluke in NJ for 2012, but we'll see.

Over the past 3-4 weeks, the better fluke fishing has been offshore (Fisherman's Buoy, Mud Buoy and other rough stuff) as opposed to the inshore flats and channels. As of this past week, the channels have been heating up again as it seems that "waves" of fluke are exiting the bay waters on their migration out to their winter areas. With the stong storm we experienced yesterday, all bets are off as to fluke fishing now as these fish may have shot east, but that reamins to be seen. Hopefully, 2013 shows somewhat of an upturn in the fluke population back to at least 2011 levels.

So now it's on to Striped Bass. I'll be doing a few exploratory trips with my staff shortly looking for Stripers, usually resident fish, that are swimming now in our waters. The migratory Stripers from up north obviously aren't here yet which is all predicated upon water temperatures as well as availablilty of baitfish around Sandy Hook. Last year all hell broke loose around the first week in December, but I'm hoping that without any major blockbusting storms and with a steady decline in water temp's, the bass will make their fall appearance sooner than later. I'll keep you posted with our results.

Tight Lines,
Capt John


Tuesday September 11, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Let us NEVER FORGET....that infamous day in the history of our great nation.

The staff and I extend our thoughts and prayers to all the innocent people who perished that day 11 years ago and to all the heroes (Police, Firefighters, First Responders and their families) for their bravery and sacrifices.

May their memory be eternal and God Bless America.......



Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Sunday September 9, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just a reminder that the 2012 Fluke fishing season is coming to a close in approx. 3 weeks (September 28) to be exact. The Fluke fishing has been very good as of late in and around ocean wrecks and reefs and now, weather permitting, is a great time to try for that doormat fish you've boon looking for. I have some very good tidal days available over the next 3 weeks, both weekdays as well as weekends, before the season closes. So don't hesitate to give me a call as Fluke time is running out.

October, November and December we'll be awaiting the arrival of Striped Bass in our waters. If you like to fish for Stripers for the great fall fishing that will be arriving soon, please call now and make your reservations. We'll be drifting eels as well as jigging lures along the beach for the migrating Stripers as they chase down baitfish that are moving out of the rivers and bays heading to warmer southern waters. As always, fall Striper charters are for 1- 4 anglers and lasts 6 hours with all rods, reels, rigs, and bait included. A great way to end the 2012 fishing season before the holidays.

So give me a call and lets set up a charter before the holidays and "Ol Man Winter" starts to set in.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Tuesday September 3, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

I'm very pleased to announce that Capt Greg Wlazlowski, who assists me during the fishing season on Reel Fun Sportfishing charters, took third place honors last week in the Manasquan River Marlin and Tuna Club offshore fishing tournament on the "Lucky Dee" out of Point Pleasant, NJ.

Capt Greg and crew collected a cool $14,992.50 for their efforts catching 2 Bigeye Tuna's, one of which weighed 198 lbs. and the other was 120 lbs. Also caught was a 250 lb. Hammerhead Shark, a White Marlin and a limit of Yellowfin Tuna. Very impressive to say the least.

Congratulations to Capt Greg (pictured far left in this photo) on his winning effort. I told you the man can catch fish.

Don't forget to check your calendar as the fall Striped Bass season will be upon us before you know it. October and November are prime Striper fishing times and Capt Greg and I will be fishing for the Stripers if you care to get in on the action just by calling me and reserving your charter date now by calling 908-421-4761.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday September 1, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Had Tom Tanacredi of Hazlet and John Lucciola out this morning for a try a Fluke and it was a slow pick today. First off, we headed out to Ambrose Channel which at this time of year should be producing some nice flatties but that was not the case today. Tried 4 different locations along the edges of Ambrose and all we could come up with were throwbacks and a couple of sea robins. Time to move!

Our next spot was the Sandy Hook Channel along with a small fleet at the time, but that proved to be a rough go with wind against for a while and the lines going the wrong way for our drift as well as a roaring full moon current. Stinker! On to another location.

Headed out to Scotland with another small fleet of boats and we finally started to put some fish in the box. Saw another substantial fleet of boats at the Fisherman's buoy to the east but decided not to add to the mayhem over there so I stood pat at Scotland and waited for the tide to turn.

Caught numerous sea robins and throwbacks to go along with a some keepers in the box. Slow pick today (by my standards) after logging in 42.5 miles on the boat....talk about moving around. Can't say I didn't try to put my customers onto fish. I'm really quite surprised how dead Ambrose Channel is for this time of year. A bad omen for that location.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


 

Now Booking Fall Stripers, Blackfish & Sea Bass

Fellow Anglers,

If you're interested in trying your hand at the fall Striped Bass run that will be occurring shortly, now is the time to check your calendar and begin to plan for the great fishing here in New Jersey. Stripers are a great sportfish and the fall run is sure to test your angling skills as we will be drifting eels or following the birds and casting small metal lures that imitate migrating bait fish. A real blast on light tackle for both the novice as well as the seasoned angler. Although it can get quite cool (cold) at this time of year, fall Stripers can be a very rewarding fishing charter for family and friends as we count down to the holiday season.

October and November are also great for fishing for one of the most tasty fish that swim in our waters.....Tautog (aka: Blackfish) as well as Sea Bass. Bottom fishing is great fun as these fish give even the most experienced angler a fight to the end by trying to escape into the rock piles and wrecks that these fish call home during the fall.

As always, fall Striper charters are for 4 anglers and lasts 6 hours with all rods, reels, rigs, and bait included.

The Blackfish and Sea Bass bottom fishing charters are also for 4 anglers but for a full 7 hour day with all rods, reels, rigs and bait (live crabs) included in the price. Not to be missed as Capt Greg happens to be an expert at this type of fishing and he will put you onto the fish.

So give me a call and lets set up a charter before the holidays and "Ol Man Winter" starts to set in.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Tuesday August 14, 2012

Decided to enjoy some quality time with my son (and mate) Christopher for a morning of fluke fishing today. We only fished for two hours as we left the dock at 8 am and returned by 11 am just as the clouds were getting very thick and dark to our west........very ominous looking to say the least. But it is what it is and we had a outstanding morning just the same.

We bucktailed Ambrose Channel once again in basically the same area as our Sunday charter (below) with exactly the same results.........instant hookups with both keeper and sub-legal throwback fish. In the short time fishing we caught a total of 46 fish with the two of us limiting out (10 fish) for the cooler. Not bad I would say.

Not really big fish, but fat, plump and meaty fish just the same. Oh boy, can't wait for dinner tonight. Pan fried and breaded in Italian bread crumbs, squeeze some fresh lemon and an ice cold brew..........yummmmm! I just love eating fresh fluke.

These fish are schooling up in the channels getting ready for their long eastern migratory run so time is running out for these tasty flatties. So if you're interested in fishing for these fish, NOW IS THE TIME!
One big nor'easter or hurricane (remember Irene last year) and it's all over for these fish.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Sunday August 12, 2012

Had the Ray Reide from Millstone Twp., NJ party out for a morning of fluke fishing and, once again, we were not disappointed by the results from our trip. We fished the Ambrose Channel today to produce some quality fish up to a 5.2 lb. (pictured on left) caught drifting squid and Peruvian smelt combo.

Although we had to fish in a pretty sloppy east swell, we did manage to find fish and hold bottom with 6 oz. of weight for those drifting baits as well as using 6 oz Spro bucktails dressed with pink Gulp Alive products to catch 51 fluke today with 11 of them going in the cooler as keepers. Really good fishing today.

Once again, If you haven't yet had the opportunity to fish with us this year for fluke, take a look at your calendar. Fishing for the flatties is getting good now and we are taking some quality fish just a short distance from our marina. I still have some great dates available both weekdays as well as weekends for a charter to the fluke fishing grounds and time is running out, so don't delay. These fish are starting to school up for their fall migration. Baring any major storms, September fluke fishing should be good. So don't delay!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Tuesday August 7, 2012

Had the Keith Wakefield party out for a morning of fluke fishing and we were not disappointed by the results from our trip today. I decided to fish the Ambrose Channel today as this is that time of year when the Ambrose starts to produce some decent numbers of quality fish if you can get the right conditions.

Well, this morning was the right conditions as we had a wind and tide working together, incoming water and a light and variable east wind, to make great 1-1.5 kt drift. The most weight we had to use for those that preferred to drift bait was 5 oz sinkers and the bucktailers got away with 4-6 oz Spro's with pink (if you can believe it) Gulp producing almost constant action during our time there.

Our total tally was 38 fluke caught with 13 fish going in the cooler up to a 5 lb fish. Really good fishing I would say. Sorry, but no pictures today as not everyone wants there photos on the web. We initially started out almost all by ourselves in this area, but in due time, a small fleet of boats built up, but it was almost time to head in just the same. We got our catch and that's all that matters to my clients. A really productive day today.

If you haven't yet had the opportunity to fish with us this year for fluke, take a look at your calendar.....it's August already! Fishing for the flatties is really getting good now and we are taking some quality fish just a short distance from our marina. I still have some great tidal fishing dates available both weekdays as well as weekends for a charter to the fluke fishing grounds and time is running out, so don't delay.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Monday July 30, 2012

Had two charters today, one being a morning trip from 7am-1pm with the Chris George family and the other a "Magic Hours" charter from 3pm to 7pm with the Xiaouchi Gu party both of which were fluke fishing trips.

Let me say this, there are plenty of fluke out there right now and I mean plenty. Too bad we had wind against tide conditions for our first trip in the morning which gave the Chris George party very bumpy drifting conditions with the boat drifting one way and the lines going another. But we still managed to catch fish despite less than ideal conditions. I really would have liked to take Chris and family out to an area that I know are bigger fish, but with the sea conditions what they were this morning, that wasn't going to happen. We have to deal with what mother nature gives you on every charter. That's just the nature of this business and locking in a day, month's or weeks in advance, is part of it.

Now for the afternoon "Magic Hours" charter with the Gu family, the drifting conditions, although bumpy again, was much better as we had the wind and tide working together which gave us a somewhat fast, but manageable drift and we caught a bunch of fish. Not a lot of keepers, 6 to be exact up to 4 lbs, but steady action for our 4 hours together for the 2 gentlemen with over 40 fish being caught.....plenty of action to say the least. As I always say in my fluke seminars, if you have the right conditions on your day out with me, then we will catch fish. The fish are there, it's just a matter of getting mother nature to cooperate so we can get to them. The fish are there, I know where they're at most of the time and I will teach you how to catch them if you want to try your hand at bucktailing for them.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Monday July 16, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Had Jim Zimmer, John Toth and member's of the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County once again for a morning of finding some flatties (fluke). I know this may sound like a broken record, but this group has many members who want to learn the art of bucktailing for fluke so I have numerous charters booked with this great group of anglers with Jim Zimmer coordinating the effort.

Had nice drift conditions with a moderate West breeze and an outgoing tide allowing us to drift a little fast, but acceptable once we deployed our 72" Cabela's Advanced Angler Drift Sock. Tried drifting the edges of Sandy Hook Channel, but the drift was really moving despite our drift sock, so we decided to move inside a bit to slow our speed of drift to somewhere between 1-2 kts.

So how was the fishing today? Much, much better than previous trips this summer, which I had been rating as fair, but today I would give this one a good as we caught over 35 fish today with 11 keepers going in the cooler with fish from 2 to 4 lbs. Not bad for a short ride from Twin Lights Marina.

Bucktailing as well as drifting bait worked almost equally as well today, but once again, the bucktail and teaser rig outfished the draggers. 4 & 6 ounce Spro's worked well using Gulp Alive Shrimp for the teaser that was repeatedly whacked by these aggressive fish. Great job guys.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Tuesday July 10, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Had John Toth, Jim Zimmer and member's of the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County aboard for a morning of finding some flatties (fluke) to put in the cooler. Had nice drift conditions once the tide turned to incoming and a light NE breeze allowing us to drift at around 1.2 to 2.0 kts.

Moved a lot around Ambrose Channel looking for the flatties which proved to be a little bit of a chore. Mixed in with the sub legal throwbacks were a couple of monster dogfish to contend with. Once again I would call today a fair pick of fish by my standards, nothing really big but we did add John Toth's 4.4 lb fluke which was a really nice fish. Once I found a pod of fish, it was a nice flurry of keepers. Had to do a lot of searching today.

So now within the past week, I've fished Scotland Light, the Rattlesnake/Shrewsbury Rocks area, the Ambrose Channel as well as Flynn's Knoll with basically the same results. Are there fish around to be caught......yes! But is it the same quantity as last year....not yet. Once again, that could change drastically at any day.

Don't get me wrong. Can you go out and have a fun day on the water catching fish? Most definitely and that's what's its all about. But the numbers just aren't what they were as compared to last year. Maybe I just got spoiled with some unbelievable days last year. 100 fish netted by 4 anglers last year is a heck of a lot of fish. So far, not there yet and maybe not this year, but there is still good fishing to be had. Let's fish.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Thursday July 5, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Every now and then you get one of those real "stinkers" on a charter when the fish just won't cooperate, well half of today was one of them with the other half I would consider fair fishing.

Started the day off with a morning trip with John Toth and friends of the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County searching for fluke. I've come to the conclusion that most of the bay fishing (Raritan and Sandy Hook) is currently fished out of quality keepers, so now I'm searching oceanside around wrecks for some type of keeper catch for Fluke. Took the Toth party for a somewhat long ride to the Shrewsbury Rock/Rattlesnake area to bucktail the sticky bottom. Well, we didn't have that bad a day with a very light wind and a slow to develop current. A bunch of throwbacks, as usual, and a pretty fair number of keepers.....nothing big, but keepers and action just the same.

Now the afternoon charter was the "stinker" today. Fished with the Tyrkala party from Rahway, NJ on a short "Magic Hours" fishing trip that was a mix of sea robins and throwbacks......brutal. Like I've said the other day, our area desperately needs a new influx of Fluke to appear in the bays. There is no lack of baitfish as bunker by the millions, the most I've ever seen during a summer, are swimming around along with some sharks, not dogfish, as well as dolphin so that pretty much explains it. As I've also said , this can change from one day to the next, but yesterday, for the most part, was very tough fishing. I and my mate worked very hard trying to find fish somwhere in the bays, but it just wasn't going to happen. Sorry, I call it the way it is.

I pray, for my sanity, it gets way better than this. Sailing all the way to the "Rocks" and almost Long Branch for a fair pick of keepers is not my idea of an enjoyable fishing trip for me or my customers.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Tuesday July 3, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Had Jeff Lawrence of Chicago, Ill and his sister Cathy and sons from Edison, NJ out for a morning of Fluke fishing. Fishing with the Luzzi party and Parze party on Monday was a very slow pick of fish in the bays, so today, I decided to start my explorations for this trip in the ocean and that was a smart move. First off, we were all treated to flat calm seas and a light and variable west wind that provided us with outstanding drift conditions at .7 to 1.2 kts all morning with an outgoing tide........fantastic.

Fished the sticky bottom and found some really nice keeper Fluke AND some beautiful Sea Bass to make a very successful day for the Lawrence party. Today we also recorded our first Fluke "double header" (two Fluke on the same rig) brought up by Jeff himself. We thought we had a doormat on the line, but it was two keeper Fluke on the same custom tied teaser bucktail rig.......great job Jeff. Best of all there was nobody around us and we had these fish all to ourselves. We lost a few bucktail rigs to Davey Jones locker, but that's to be expected if you're going to fish the rough bottom areas in New Jersey. But once you get the hang of bucktailing in the "rough stuff" you can minimize lost and very expensive rigs to the deep. Great job guys and looking forward to fishing with you again soon.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Thursday June 28, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Had the pleasure of having Bob Lieberman and son Bailey (pictured left) from High Bridge, NJ out for an afternoon "Magic Hours" charter today for fluke. With somewhat limited amount of time (4 hour charter), I wanted to locate fish as soon as possible upon leaving the marina so I decided to head for an area on the Knoll that had been producing some nice fish for the past week.

My first spot on the Knoll was a bust, but my move to a second location within the Knoll was net with an immediate "fish on" of a nice 3 lb. keeper Fluke. Our first drift "bucktailing" gave us that one keeper and a few throwbacks along with some sea robins. Not being satisfied, I tweaked my second drift by about 50 yards and bingo........another keeper on that drift using a Spro jig and teaser setup. Subsequent drifts in that area kept providing more keepers, so this was going to be my home for awhile working that area over.

Bailey, once again, had the hot hand catching Fluke this afternoon as he has the quick reflexes needed to bucktail successfully. Nice job Bailey and thanks Bob for a very enjoyable afternoon on the water. Looking forward to fishing with you guys again soon.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Wednesday June 27, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Now that summer is in full swing, it's time to make your plans for the summer Fluke fishing season. If you've been reading my reports lately, the Fluke fishing season is in high gear and we had our first LIMIT catch of those tasty fish just a few days ago. True, there have been a few slow days mixed in, but for the most part, we are doing quite well with the flatties. That's a short 15 - 20 minute drive from Twin Lights Marina to the fishing grounds. Less time sailing...more time fishing.

With the water temperatures heating up daily as well as enormous amount of bait fish in the waters, the fishing can only get better and better as the summer season progresses. Although we do drift bait on our charters, we are also catching more and bigger fish utilizing our preferred method and that's bucktailing with Spro jigs and teaser rigs. A deadly combination for catching Fluke to say the least. If you've never tried this method of fishing for Fluke, then you don't know what you're missing. It's not hard to learn and once you do, you'll probably never go back to drifting bait again.

As always, we carry a complete line of fresh baits such as pure white squid strips, Peruvian smelts, bunker strips, bluefish strips, mackerel strips, and when available, peanut bunker and/or snapper blues. As you see, we try to go above and beyond the competition to ensure that your day with us is a fun and productive day.

So get out your calendar and give me a call and let's make reservations for a fun day on the water. The summer is too short to let a good fishing opportunity slip away.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday June 23, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

There is a song that goes "What a Difference a Day Makes"...well that was today with the Zaccardi family from North Bergen, NJ. It's a shame that the fish decided to get lockjaw today with this great bunch of fisherman.

First off we started our day exactly at the same spot as yesterday where we left them biting like mad dogs using the same baits, the same techniques with the same water temps and exact same drift conditions with totally different results. Today proves once again, you just never know from one day to the next what you're going to find out on the water. An oasis one day and the death valley the next. You just can't figure these fish out.

Did we catch fish today.....yes! Was it a repeat of yesterday's great bite....no! Kudos to the group for fishing very hard at numerous locations as I also made a run to Ambrose Channel only to be treated to more of the same..throwbacks! Ambrose is just not happening yet, but it will in just a short amount of time with these steadily rising water temps as evident by patches of algae bloom going on in the bay. A big Reel Fun congratulations to the high hook today and catching the biggest fish, Sonia Zaccardi with her 4 lb fluke caught drifting Peruvian Smelt and squid combo along with fish taken on bucktails. Thanks to the Zaccardi family for a really enjoyable morning on the water. Better days are coming.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday June 23, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

It was Fluke LIMITS today for the Tom Tanacredi of Hazlet and John Lucciola party....our first of hopefully many this year. Just as I predicted from yesterday's posting (below), the water temps, the moon phase coupled with a great drift really turned on the Fluke in the area we were fishing and they hit with vengeance. 2 lbs. to 4.5 lbs. hit the cooler throughout our 6 hour charter and all the fish were bucktailed in the process.

Great job gentlemen and can't wait for our July trip to Ambrose Channel to bag some of the real "hefties" that hang out in that deep water channel.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday June 22, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just to keep you informed.....the water temps as recorded at the "Bug Light" hit the 80 degree mark during the night last night. That's one heck of a jump over the past week and could signal a new batch of Fluke moving in now that we are past a moon phase (Tuesday). I also suspect that an algae bloom could be taking place any day now so maybe it's a good time to start fishing deep.

With these water temps, I wouldn't be surprised if this weekends fishing produces a few really big fluke for us in any one of a number of locations. I have 4 charters over the next few days, so we'll see and I'll report the results here so stay in touch.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Sunday June 17, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

It's now apparent that the bigger Fluke are starting to make their appearance. Had the Rufus Moberly of the Highlands, NJ party out for a "Magic Hours" 3 pm to 7 pm charter fishing trip today and although fishing is still a slow pick of fish, Bill Gerspach of Grand Island, NY pictured here on the left, made everyone's day with this 26", 6 lb. 2 oz beauty of a Fluke.. We had just started to bucktail around the hook and his 4 oz Spro Chartreuse/White bucktail had only been in the water about 3 minutes when this fish inhaled his offering. Bill never bucktailed in his life so you see this method really works if you'll give it a try.

We were limited in the area we could fish this afternoon as we were, once again, fighting mother nature with a brisk SSE wind. But we tucked in on the lee of Sandy Hook and found some calmer waters with acceptable drift speeds of 1.5 - 1.6 kts along with using our 72" Cabela's Pro Drift Sock. With the predicted warmer temp's for this week and the water temp I recorded today at 70 degrees, I think a new body of fish might be making an appearance any day now. So if you're a "Fluker" like I am, now is the time to start bucktailing with me as I'm sure there are more of these kind of fish around.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Sunday June 10, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Fishing insanity is the best way to describe what Capt Greg Wlazlowski gave to Bob Fetzko and family from Chappaqua, NY today chunking bunker at Shrewsbury Rocks this morning. A limit of Stripers as well as about 20 monster Bluefish and along with some fluke to round out a very productive day.

Under beautiful skies and a flat calm sea, Capt Greg took the run down to the "Rocks" after securing fresh bunker using a cast net inside the hook and proceeded to put a hurting on some resident Stripers in the mid teens to almost 30 lbs. And not to mention the monster bluefish with the party keeping 4 and releasing over 20 fish.

Now you know these young men are arm weary. Great day, great fishing and great anglers from up New York state. Thanks guys from Capt Greg and crew for a really fun morning. Hope you enjoy the Striper fillets. Hope to see you soon for some "doormat" fluke in the Ambrose in July.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday June 8, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Had the Theron Foote party out for a morning fluke fishing trip which was a slow pick of fish, but quality fish I may add.

Started the morning off with some brisk winds out of the NNW and had to tuck inside the lee of the Earle Pier for some acceptable drift conditions. Joining the fleet of boats on the lee of Earle produced only a few shorts which I knew wasn't going to provide any good keepers. Thankfully at around 11:00 am the wind totally died down and made my move over to the area that I knew held some quality fish from a previous charter.

I wasn't disappointed with the move as the first fish in the area produced a 4 lb. fluke that quickly went into the cooler. Numerous drifts in the area for the next 2 hours provided us with nice fat keepers and about 6-7 throwbacks to round out our day. Let me stress that fluke fishing, so far this year, is not up last years standards but it's getting progressively better.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday May 26, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Had the Vincent Tavormina family of Warren NJ out for a morning of Fluke fishing today. Our first stop was the tip of the Earle Pier in the TC Channel which proved to be quite productive at first as our first fish was bucktailed within the first 5 minutes and weighed 4 lbs. The same person bucktailed our second keeper on our next drift in the same area until the current totally died out forcing us to find better moving water. We had a water temp of 64 degrees, down 2 degrees from Wednesday but still within range for Fluke.

We moved over to Flynn’s Knoll. The action there was a slow pick of throwbacks and keeper Fluke in the 18-20” category for a total of 5 keeper Fluke and 15 throwbacks and numerous skates for the day that ended at Twin Lights Marina at 1 pm.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Wednesday May 23, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Had Jim Zimmer and John Toth of Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County out for a morning of Fluke fishing and we were not disappointed in the results. Sorry but I can't divulge the locations we fished, but what I will say is that Jim, John and the other anglers from the fishing club sure know how to bucktail for Fluke. Our 4 man charter totaled 24 fish caught with 7 being keepers with two fish hitting the 5.3 lb and 4.4 lb mark. Not too shabby for this early in the season!

And the best part about it nobody was around us during perfect drifting conditions. Bucktailing 3 and 4 ounce Spro's adorned with various Gulp Alive products in a 1.2 kt to 1.6 kt drift speed. Right where I like it.. Way to go guys, I'm very proud of you and how fast you all picked up the bucktailing method.

As an added highlight we watched warship after warship pass us on the horizon heading for New York Harbor's upcoming Memorial Day festivities. If you're interested in joining a top-notch fishing club, then let me recommend the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County. I've attended a few of their meetings giving Fluke seminars and they are very organized and community minded I may add. Come to one meeting as a guest and you'll be very impressed....I was!

Tight Lines
Capt. John


Monday May 21, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

It's been a week since my last report due to a combination of weather related postponements, some very poor Striper activity and a trip to see my son graduate college. Congratulations Chris......mom and I are very proud of you!

It's amazing how the Bass fishery can be red hot for a short period of time, and be totally ice cold for days on end. Many ups and downs to this fishery has given many charter captains, myself included, fits looking for some sort of predictable bite. In one day and out the next. Left one day and right the next. This is definitely not the Striper fishing we had a few years ago. Nowadays, you score a home run on your Tuesday charter and go bust for the next 2 or 3 trips.........very frustrating and quite frankly not enjoyable for me either. You can go from a limit catch to just eeking out 1 or 2 fish in a matter of hours.

Fluke fishing hasn't been what last year started out as at this time in May, but it is improving steadily every day as better and bigger fish are now being caught for the past few days. Very encouraging to say the least. Once again, the weather is the trump card in this whole situation as this coming week looks very unsettled with East winds and an out going tide to contend with. Drift is the key to all good Fluke catches and wind against tide is not one of them, but we'll take this day to day and see what happens. Thankfully, my Fluke charters are starting to come around now so stay tuned for daily updates!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday & Sunday May 12-13, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

As you can tell by the dates, Reel Fun Sportfishing had a busy weekend with a mixed bag of fish caught with mixed results both fair by my standards.

Hulme partyFirst off, on Saturday we had the John Hulme party out with Capt. Greg Wlazlowski at the helm. Too bad the Stripers did not cooperate not only for us, but for many in the fishing fleet who fished in and around Raritan Bay. Very tough day.

Capt. Greg searched many different places in and around Raritan Bay. Numerous schools of bunker were spotted as snag and drop in those schools didn't produce the desired results.....a Striper. Greg tried live lining, bunker chunks as well as clams, but those stubborn Stripers would have none of it. The Bluefish though were quite active chasing down those pods of bunker and if you like to tussle with Ol Yellow Eyes, then Saturday would have been good for you.

Can't say Capt. Greg didn't give it a good try. Luckily, Greg's last stop produced a really nice 20 lb Bass that put a few smiles on faces I saw. Thanks to the Hulme boys, you're a great group of fisherman and we hope to see you for some bucktailing for Fluke.



I was out Sunday with the Scott Edwards charter once again looking for Stripers amongst enormous pods of finning bunker in Raritan Bay.

Armed with clams, which I heard from a very reliable source was the bait of choice the previous day, we anchored deep in Raritan Bay and started our clam slick. As the bunker swam past the boat, we threw a weighted treble hook and snagged a bunker and let it swim in free spool. Less than a minute later that bunker was inhaled by a 15 lb Bass that was boated and boxed. So far so good.

As the tide came to full and slack the action totally died and the bunker simply disappeared with it. It became obvious that with the time we had left, we couldn't wait out the change in tide, so our party decided to give fluking a try. Moved to a few of my favorite early season spots produced a few keeper Fluke but not the kind of numbers that we will see in the next 2 weeks yet. All in all, not a bust day, but not a banner day either for Raritan Bay. Some Stripers, some Fluke and numerous Bluefish. As you can see by my video, even small Stripers on light tackle can be a blast.....look at the bend in that rod. I was waiting for it to snap quite frankly.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Monday May 7, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Hani's Striper'sHad the Hani Fares party from Somerset, NJ out this morning for a try at those elusive and finicky Striped Bass.

Coming to bat for me again today was Capt. Greg Wlazlowski at the helm who once again did not disappoint. Armed with fresh clams, Capt Greg set out to our predetermined locations only to find these areas somewhat barren of Stripers but loaded with Bluefish as has been the case now for over a week.

But Capt Greg's keen eye was put to the test as he saw a flock of birds hovering around in an area in Raritan Bay which he quickly made a beeline for and was rewarded with the sight of a tightly schooled pod of bunker being harassed by Stripers feeding below them. A few casts with a weighted treble hook on our ultra light spinning rod/reel outfits and BANG....fish on. Capt Greg and Mate Mark help the crew hook and box Stripers from the low teens to well over 22 lbs. and loosing another one about 10 feet from the boat that was well over 30 lb's which threw the hook.....OUCH!

I was at the dock when they returned and everyone seemed to have a great time on our light tackle rods and reels catching both Striped Bass as well as Bluefish that are on a smoker as we speak. Thanks go out to Hani and his crew for a very active and enjoyable Monday morning on Reel Fun Sportfishing as well as Capt Greg and Mate Mark for a job well done.

For those of you who expressed concern about how I'm feeling?....much better now. And thank you for your thoughts and well wishes. I'll be back on the water this week, but I've also asked, and he has accepted, Capt Greg be available for charters when the workload begins to be a little too much for me to handle this summer. I've known Greg now for about 4 years as he worked with me on past charters and I have total faith in his fishing abilities as well as his skills as a licensed captain. So you might be fishing with Capt Greg on your charter in the future and I'm sure you'll like him as much as I do.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday May 5, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Opening Day 2012Fished opening day of Fluke season this morning with Tom Tanacredi and John Lucciola which is becoming a ritual with these two avid fisherman and Reel Fun Sportfishing. I too must admit that opening day of Fluke season is very special to me also, much more so than Trout season as I'm an avid saltwater fisherman as you can tell.

The day started off somewhat ominously as I elected to stay in port for a while longer than our 7 am departure time due to a pea soup fog that surrounded Twin Lights Marina. Even though I have radar on my boat, most recreational boaters do not and the last thing I need in this early season is to get rammed and lose the boat for the season. So around 8:15 we departed the slip and we were on our way.Regretfully, the cold damp, foggy and drizzly weather stayed with us for the entire day making for a less than enjoyable fishing trip, but the fish did cooperate nonetheless.

For the second year in a row, we were forced to fish on the lee of the land of Sandy Hook due to a constant east/northeast wind that was producing all the crummy weather. Employing both bucktailing Spro jigs as well as drifting squid/Peruvian smelt combo's, we had a active day landing 19 Fluke and boxing 6 keepers with one fish hitting the scales at 4.5 lbs. I also may add that we were constantly harassed by Bluefish throughout the day, some of which made out bait table and were used as strip baits that produced the 4.5 lb'er.

The Bluefish, I may add, have become a real problem throughout Raritan and Sandy Hook bays as reports I am getting from my sources tell me that getting to the Striped Bass is being met with limited success. It could be the full moon we're in right now, the Bluefish, or both but the Stripers have not been cooperating for the past 4-5 days in many areas. Although I'm getting some sporadic good reports, it's not been the same fishing I had 2 weeks ago wear I had almost daily limit catches. We have to watch this very closely. Finally, I may add, our fillets produced 16 lb's of delicious eating fish. A nice opening day I would say.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Wednesday May 2, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just a reminder to all my Fluke anglers here at Reel Fun Sportfishing, that my marina, Twin Lights Marina, has a very well stocked tackle shop ready for the upcoming fluke season. Since you know I'm a big fan of bucktailing, Twin Lights is stocking up on 2, 4, and 6 oz. Spro Prime bucktails in chartreuse/white and I think glow also. Please be advised that Reel Fun Sportfishing does not have a endless supply of bucktails on board, so if you're inclined to bucktail for our entire time together, then I would advise you to maybe purchase a few extra Spro's before we leave. The tackle shop also has other rigs available along with soda, water, ice and snacks. Boy, you gotta love this place!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday April 28, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

I've been under the weather the past week, so I asked my friend Capt. Greg Wlazlowski to do a charter for me today with the Thomas Drongoski party from the Clifton NJ. Capt Greg and mate Mark worked very hard this morning in less than ideal weather conditions with a constant 12-18kt NW wind which made sailing through Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays a real chore.

Headed out to find a school of bunker which they did for bait to go along with the clams they had and then made their way to one of Capt. Greg's favorite locations for bait fishing. Turned out to be a constant pick of ol' Yellow Eyes (Bluefish) on bunker chunks as well as clams for awhile. Greg decided to go on the troll in numerous areas in Raritan Bay only to find more of the same....Bluefish.

It's obvious that Bluefish have moved into the bay and are competing with the Stripers for a dinner, so the Bass fishing may now have to revert to ocean side and clamming or jigging for Stripers to try to get away from ol' Yellow Eyes. Thanks go out to the Drongoski party for the patience, as I know that Capt. Greg and mate Mark tried very hard to put you onto the Bass. And a special "Thank You" to Capt. Greg for coming to bat for me today and doing an OUTSTANDING job in less than good conditions out on the water....you're the best!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday April 21, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

As I stated above, I tell you when we do good and when we don't and today was a tough day to say the least. Had all the necessary baits, fresh caught bunker and clams, but it just wasn't meant to be today for me and the Roger Bigger party.

What was amazing was the amount of bunker that is now in the bay. Pod after pod just cruising around within easy reach for great Striper bait so we made a quick stop and got some bunker for chunking in Raritan Bay. Too bad the Bass didn't seem to be interested in our offerings. Tried trolling Stretch 25's again that was so successful last week. Enticed a few Bluefish to hit and luckily a keeper Bass too! Thank you GOD for your assistance on that one.

Also tried clamming, but to no avail. Boy, talk about a stinker. I hope this doesn't happen often. Now I know why my hair is turning gray so fast. I'm sure there were other boats doing a lot better than we did today, but it is what it is and today I took the big banana and I did the best I could.

My "Thanks" to the Bigger party for an enjoyable day on the water even though we fought some very windy conditions on our return trip back to Twin Lights Marina.

Hopefully my future charters are much better than today.


Tight Lines
Capt. John


Wednesday April 18, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

As we are about to begin the 2012 Fluke fishing season (about 2 weeks to be exact), I wanted to offer my thoughts to you.

First off, I would like to extend a sincere "Thank You" to the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County for their warm welcome and hospitality during my "Bucktailing for Fluke" seminar that took place at the American Legion Post 170 in Rochelle Park, NJ last night. This is a great group of fisherman anxious to learn the art of this type of fishing for my all time favorite fish..Fluke. Everyone was attentive, polite and eager to learn a technique that I'm sure will increase their catch of bigger, bragging size fish. I tried to squeeze my 90 minute seminar into 60 minutes, but judging by the reaction at the conclusion, I think it was successful. If you live in the North Jersey area and are looking to join a very good fishing club, then the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County is the one for you.

Now, a few thoughts now about the upcoming Fluke season. With all the hoopla about the Stripers that is currently going on, you'd think these fish are filled with gold nuggets. These fish arrived here in Raritan Bay very early this year and everyone's trying to get in on the action. But be forewarned....although we have some killer (good) days, as in fishing, there are some fair days as well as stinkers. Water temps, feeding cycles, spawning....a lot of uncontrolled variables is what I'm getting at.

Fluke on the other hand are rock solid and dependable. I know a lot of their spots, when to fish for them and what baits (bucktails...ha ha ha) they like to eat. On light tackle, they put up some hell of a fight and as an added bonus, they are one of the best eating fish in our waters. Successful Fluke fishing is an art! Not everyone catches Fluke consistently.

Personally, I'll take Fluke fishing over Stripers hands down, but that's just me. And let me add one more thing. With a lot of the bigger females leaving our waters last year because of hurricane Irene, I think this year is going to be a "banner" year for Fluke. Couple that with the NJ reg's now at 17 1/2" and you got the makings of a Fluking perfect storm. Am I excited to get the Fluke season going.....you're darn right. And I hope you are too.

Tight Lines
Capt. John


Saturday April 14, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Bassin with Tom & JohnFished with Tom Tanacredi and John Lucciola for a morning of Striped Bass fishing in Raritan Bay.

Once again, we reverted to what was successful yesterday afternoon and started to troll Stretch 25's in basically the same area, but this morning it was a much slower bite.

Had to wait out a change of tide before the Bass turned on again. Although there was much more boat traffic than yesterday in this area, we still managed to show Tom and John a two man limit of Stripers and do catch and release to end our day.

When the trolling bite died in this area, we decided to try clamming which raised shorts that we returned to fight another day.

Tom and John are avid fisherman with an arsenal of top notch rods and reels to tackle just about any situation. Thanks for a great morning on the water.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday April 13, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Striper FsihingHad the Stehle party out for an afternoon "Magic Hours" charter fishing trip today which was quite successful as you can see.

We trolled Striped Bass to a limit catch for these 3 anglers using Stretch 25's along the Raritan Reach Channel that took us all of 1 1/2 hrs to reach and then proceed to catch and release fish for the rest of our time on the water.

We had our first fish within 15 minutes after setting our lines out (really fast right?) and our second fish with 10 minutes after that with good readings of Stripers on the fishfinder. After trolling slow down, we decided to see if we could clam a few more in another area, but that was only good for an abundance of shorts to show for our efforts.

This family really knew how to have a good time on the water with us this afternoon and had quite a few delicious Bass fillets to show for their efforts.

Thank you Stehle family for a really enjoyable afternoon on the water with Reel Fun Sportfishing.


Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday April 13, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Oh God....the dreaded Friday the 13th. But then again, if you're not superstitious, you have nothing to worry about.

Heading out for an afternoon "Magic Hours" Striper trip today and then a early Saturday morning trip so I'll have some of my own reports to give you on Saturday night. Seems like the ocean side clamming at the "beds" has been an on again-off again fishery as of late. If you happen to time it well, it's a real fun way to fish, at anchor, clamming and catching. But reports the last few days indicate it's been somewhat of a slow pick, but as you know that could change today.

On the flip side, Raritan Bay seems to be a better, more consistent, bet so far this week as chunker's and trollers are doing well in a few locations. I seem to be leaning toward Raritan Bay for my charters this weekend as well. A cast net of bunker, some clams, get my Stretch 25's ready, and we're good for just about anything the Bass throws our way. We'll see!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Easter Sunday April 8, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

First off, Happy Easter and Passover to all.

Reports that I've gotten for yesterday's (Saturday) Striper fishing was not too good. Like I said a few days ago, you can hit them 3, 4, 5 days in a row and on day 6 come up a bust! That's fishing and there's nothing much anyone can do about it even if you're a guide.

Reports I've read stated that boaters had fish under the them with good readings on the fishfinder, but the Bass just weren't cooperating. Even dropping down "livies" didn't get a response............brother that's tough fishing. I'll be starting my season later this coming week with my reports as well as (hopefully) some successful video's.

I didn't read a trolling report from Raritan Bay yet, but the guys using bait (clams and bunker) didn't do well on both ocean side and bay side so the trollers may have done considerably better yesterday. If I get some more info, I'll update this report later in the day.

Have a Happy and peaceful Easter Sunday.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday April 6, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

On the fishing front, Stripers are being taken at a number of locations with regularity now as it seems the spring run of Bass is now in full gear. So don't dilly-dally with your fishing plans if you are interested in Striped Bass. This is much earlier than previous years due to higher than normal water temperatures and these bass are now on the feed and ready to spawn.

Clamming at the clam beds around the tip of Sandy Hook (ocean side) has turned on again with a call I got from a fellow fisherman as well as Romer Shoals and the western portion of Raritan Bay. Bunker have invaded the bay as well for those inclined to cast net some fresh bunker and go chunking for bigger fish. Reports I have also tell me that trolling is still producing some very nice size fish using Stretch 25's in black/silver color combinations as well.

On the weather front, the constant NNW winds coupled with the incoming tides will make for a very bumpy ride unless, of course, you're on the ocean side which will put you on the lee of the land and can make for some tolerable fishing from a smaller boat like mine. If we can get these winds to back off slightly out of the west it should lay down Raritan Bay and make for a little more comfortable condition especially for trolling. I'm not a big fan of trolling, but if push comes to shove and I need to put fish "in the box" then I will to resort to trolling.

Anyway you slice it, these fish are here, but for how long is anybody's guess. If I were a betting man, I would think that by sometime in June these fish will be gone as the Fluke season will be in full gear.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Thursday April 5, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

As a follow-up to the report of March 30, the engine part that I was waiting to replace has been installed and I am ready to go for the 2012 season. Let's get it on!

On the fishing front, jigging Stripers that was had on the ocean side, just a few days ago, seems to have vacated that area. That's what happens when small pods of Stripers that are moving up the coast are located by someone, gets reported on the Internet, and then are nowhere to be found the next day. Remember....that's why they call it fishing and not catching.

I take a low key conservative approach to reporting here on my fishing reports. You just never know from one day to the next what we're going to run into on a charter. True, I have my contacts who give me a few locations to add to my list, but everyday is a new adventure of hunting down these fish and putting a good catch together for my charters. We may hit them for 4, 5, 6 days in a row and then one day nothing. You just never know! 3, 4 years ago finding fish was a no-brainer. They were all over the place but not anymore. Now it takes time and patience most of the time to locate the Stripers more than it use to.

The one consistent report that I've been getting is the trolling bite going on in various parts of Raritan Bay. Stretch 25's seem to be doing the trick on braided line "close" to the channel edges. Find marks on your fishfinder and drop your Stretches and start trolling in that vicinity. I've also heard that placing the rods on your standard gunwale rod holds versus using outrodders is producing better......maybe because it forces the plugs to swim deeper. I'll find out soon enough on a few charters coming up shortly. One other thing l've noticed is that if you don't have moving water, your clamming process will slow down considerably. Doesn't seem to matter if it's incoming or outgoing, although outgoing seems to be producing a little better than incoming right now, but that could also change at any time.

Advice: Be patient, be flexible (clamming or trolling) and above all enjoy your day on the water. It's a hell of a lot better than sitting in your cubicle at work.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday March 30, 2012 (7:00pm)

Fellow Anglers,

As a follow-up to the below report, just received 2 reports from very trusted sources and it seems "trolling" is producing better than clamming right now. Raritan Bay is producing some really nice Stripers "on the troll" as opposed to clamming with a boat at anchor. Bass to about 15 pounds are being reported by my sources which is a nice size fish for this early in the season and surprisingly trolling to catch them.

You just never know from one year to the next what's going to turn these fish on. Of course this could change at any time and they will begin to respond to bait, but for now it seems to be the artificial stuff. Go figure. More later!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday March 30, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

My 25' Parker is nestled snug in her new slip and is anxiously awaiting her first trip of the 2012 season. Once again, please be advised that our new home is now Twin Lights Marina, 52 Shrewsbury Ave, Highlands, NJ so please make a note of it. I'm waiting a new part to be shipped in any day now and when that's finished, then it's good to go for the season.

Now on to some fishing news. Striper fishing that had broken open Wednesday and Friday of last week has since cooled off a bit which I think is due to a plunge in water temps over a 4 day period from the 23rd to the 27th. From a brief high of 62 degrees on the 23rd, the waters plummeted to 42 degrees on the 27th which could be a little much for these Bass to handle or actively feed anyway. As of 3:00 PM today, the water temps were 52 degrees. I have a few friends out this afternoon so I'm awaiting a phone call as to what their results were.

The weather dictates so much of the success or failure of fishing this time of year so we all have to be a little patient and keep our eyes peeled to the forecast over a period of time. March is still a little early for Stripers to be making a appearance. Once this temporary cold front moves out and we get some steady warmer temps, it will be game on for the Bass so start to make your fishing plans now as most of my April and May weekend morning trips are already reserved so don't procrastinate. Our Magic Hours charters are a great time to be on the water especially if we can coordinate it with outgoing water....great fishing!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Monday March 26, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just a reminder that Reel Fun Sportfishing is now located at Twin Lights Marina, 52 Shrewsbury Ave, Highlands, NJ. For anglers who have already booked your charters with me and to the new anglers that I met at the fishing shows this past month, please make note of the change in home port. If you need driving directions, go to my directions page.

On the fishing front, Stripers are starting to show up quite steadily now and in sufficient numbers, enough for me to say that Reel Fun Sportfishing is actively booking charters beginning April 1, 2012. If you're interested in a Raritan Bay Striper charter call now and reserve your day. The Striper season has begun much sooner than usual due to much warmer water during a very mild winter we've had, so get that gear ready and join me for a day on the water. We will be clamming for awhile until we see the larger Stripers attacking bunker that has already entered the bay.

Striper fishing with us right now is a real blast on very light tackle and fish in the 28 - 34" range will give you all you can handle as far as a fight is concerned. So don't pass up this opportunity to enjoy what Reel Fun Sportfishing is all about....light tackle fishing for Stripers in Raritan Bay. To all my anglers.........IT'S THAT TIME PEOPLE!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday March 23, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Good NEWS! The boat is in the water and we are getting ready for the 2012 spring Striper fishing season.

After a very mild winter, reports are coming from a few sources that both surf fisherman as well as a few boaters are catching Stripers the past few days. Trolling small plugs and casting swim shads seem to be producing the best fishing right now. Although, fishing with clams is also taking fish up to around the 33 inch mark. Not bad for early season Striper fishing. I'll be making a few "search" trips with my mate so we can get a handle on where these fish are hanging around, which should take place very soon weather permitting. Stayed tuned!

Another piece of news to report to you is the Reel Fun Sportfishing has moved to a new marina. We are now located at Twin Lights Marina, 52 Shrewsbury Ave, Highlands, NJ. Please make note of that and if you need directions, go to my directions page.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Sunday March 18, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just want to take this opportunity to "Thank" the many, many people I talked to this weekend at the Somerset Saltwater Expo. I was very fortunate to have capacity attendance at both of my "Bucktailing for Fluke" seminars with some very good questions and participation from the crowd of anglers.

To those who attended the seminars, I trust you got something out of my presentation and came home with at least a few new tricks to try on your next fluke fishing trip. Bucktailing for fluke is so much more productive and a heck of a lot more fun. Fluke fishing is just around the corner and if you decide to charter with me, please mention that you were at my bucktailing seminar and I'll be sure to start you off that way as soon as we start our first drift. There's nothing like a little hands on instruction to master a new technique.

Although I booked many charters this weekend, I still have prime dates available for your fishing trip so give me a call and LET'S FISH!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday March 17, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

First day at the Somerset Saltwater Expo was a very busy day. I gave my "Bucktailing for Fluke" seminar to standing room only crowd of about 150 people (lined up out in hallway too) and I hope they all came away with some good fluke tips that they can use on their next fishing trip.

Lots of very good questions from some very good anglers. Tried to cover as much as I could in 45 minutes (my usual seminar is 90 minutes) as I had some nice Reel Fun t-shirts that I gave to a few lucky recipients on a drawing.

There is still Saturday and Sunday left in this great show, and I will be giving another "Bucktailing for Fluke" seminar on Sunday at 1:00 pm in Lobby Theater A in case you missed Friday's presentation. My booth on the show floor is there in case you're interested in reserving a charter with me. There are numerous vendors selling every imaginable saltwater fishing item you can think of so stop on down to the Saltwater Expo this weekend.

See you at the show..........

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Thursday March 15, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just a reminder that the Somerset Saltwater Expo starts tomorrow Friday March 16, 2012 and continues through Sunday March 18, 2012 at the Garden State Exhibit Center, Rt. 287 and Easton Ave, Somerset, NJ.

For those of you that fish the "briny", this is THE SHOW to attend if you're looking for great buys on all types of saltwater fishing equipment as well as talking with some of the top charter captains in New Jersey and surrounding states. This show is the final area show for 2012 and it will be be your last opportunity to reserve a date for your charter for Striped Bass as well as Summer Flounder (Fluke) at show pricing.

See you at the show..........

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday March 9, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just a reminder that I'll be giving my "Bucktailing Fluke" seminar at Efinger Sporting Goods, 513 W. Union Ave., Bound Brook, NJ tomorrow March 10, 2012 beginning at 1:00 pm sharp . This presentation addresses many topics pertaining to bucktailing for Fluke in the N Y Bight area. Some topics of discussion will be choice of baits (cut big and catch big), bucktailing versus drifting baits, preferred choice of rods and reels, tides to fish, areas to fish at what time of the season, outgoing versus incoming water, drift speeds, chart reading, understanding your GPS and many other topics of great interest during this cram-packed seminar of information now that we are starting to zero in on the upcoming 2012 fishing season. Don't forget to bring your paper, pencil and questions. Let's make this a big Fluke season.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Wednesday March 7, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just in case you haven't heard by now, the 2012 Fluke reg's were set by the Marine Fisheries Commission here in New Jersey last Thursday at a meeting in Toms River, NJ

The 2012 Fluke reg's are as follows: 5 fish per angler per day at 17 1/2" in length with the season starting May 5, 2012, commencing September 28, 2012. I'm not happy with these reg's because most people (myself included) wanted another option that was available which was 8 fish @ 18" from May 5 thru Ocotober 29 which is a much longer season. But then again I'm looking at this from a business standpoint. It is what it is and I will live with it. I'm not going to make an issue here so I'll leave it at that. If you really want to know my thoughts, you can ask me on the water the next time we meet.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Monday March 5, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just arrived home from a very successful 4 day show at Suffern, NY. As usual, Saturday and Sunday were very busy with lots of anglers in attendance and many really neat things to see. Many of the retail vendors were practically giving things away at the prices and deals that were amazing.

Good to see some familiar faces come to see me at my booth. Thank you guys for your loyal support and it's just a matter of days now when we will kick off the 2012 Striper season in Raritan Bay.

Now it's on to the Effinger's , Bound Brook, NJ seminar this coming Saturday at 1:00 pm for
"Bucktailing for Fluke"

See you at Effinger's.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Monday February 27, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

This just in........for a complete listing of seminars at the Somerset Saltwater Expo that was just released today please click here. This is a .pdf file that you can print.

See you at Somerset.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Saturday February 25, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Breaking NEWS.... The management staff of the Somerset Saltwater Expo Show has asked me to give a "Bucktailing Fluke" seminar at the show, which obviously I agreed. The first seminar is Friday March 16 at 1:00 pm in Lobby Theater A and the second seminar is set for Sunday March 18 at 1:00 pm also at Lobby Theater A. Some topics of discussion will be choice of baits (cut big and catch big), bucktailing versus drifting baits, preferred choice of rods and reels, tides to fish, areas to fish at what time of the season, outgoing versus incoming water, drift speeds, chart reading, understanding your GPS and many other topics of great interest during this cram-packed seminar of information now that we are starting to zero in on the upcoming 2012 Fluke season. Don't forget to bring your paper and pencils.

The infamous Saltwater Expo show is at the Garden State Expo Center on Easton Ave. and Rt. 287 in Somerset, NJ on March 16 through 18, 2012. For those of you that fish the "briny" this is THE SHOW to attend if you're looking for great buys on all types of saltwater fishing equipment as well as talking with some of the top charter captains in New Jersey and surrounding states. Bring your check book or credit cards as this show is the final area show for 2012 and it will be be your last opportunity to reserve a date for your charter at show pricing.

See you at the show..........

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Monday February 20, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Happy President's Day....just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of the upcoming events that Reel Fun Sportfishing will be attending.

First off, the World Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY is fast approaching and will start Thursday March 1, and run through Sunday March 4, 2012. Mark you calendars and plan to attend this "granddaddy" of sporting shows in the Northeast. Stop by booth 45 (right near the front entrance) and say hello and let's talk about our greatest passion.....fishing! I'll be taking reservations for the upcoming spring Striped Bass run in Raritan Bay which usually begins around April 15th.

Next stop is Saturday March 10, 2012 and my 90 minute "Targeting Doormat Fluke" seminar at Efinger Sporting Goods, 513 W. Union Ave., Bound Brook, NJ . This presentation begins at 1:00 pm and addresses many topics pertaining to bucktailing for Fluke in the N Y Bight area. Some topics of discussion will be choice of baits (cut big and catch big), bucktailing versus drifting baits, preferred choice of rods and reels, tides to fish, areas to fish at what time of the season, outgoing versus incoming water, drift speeds, chart reading, understanding your GPS and many other topics of great interest during this cram-packed seminar of information now that we are starting to zero in on the upcoming 2012 fishing season. Don't forget to bring your paper, pencil and questions. Let's make this a big Fluke season.

And finally, mark your calendar's for the infamous Saltwater Expo show at the Garden State Expo Center on Easton Ave. and Rt. 287 in Somerset, NJ on March 16 through 18, 2012. For those of you that fish the "briny" this is THE SHOW to attend if you're looking for great buys on all types of saltwater fishing equipment as well as talking with some of the top charter captains to fish the Sandy Hook area. Bring your check book or credit cards as this show is the final area show for 2012 and it will be be your last opportunity to reserve a date for your charter at show pricing.

As you can tell, March is a very busy month for Reel Fun Sportfishing and I'm very excited to get the 2012 fishing season going and talk to you about your fishing plans for 2012. Because of Hurricane Irene last September, I am anticipating a very good Fluke season this year and an early Striper season because many of the really big Bass never went that far south for the winter because our waters never really got that cold. A great season could be in store for all of us.

See you at the shows..........

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday February 10, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

I am proud to announce that on Saturday, March 10, 2012 I have been retained by Efinger Sporting Goods, 513 W. Union Ave., Bound Brook, NJ to give a 90 minute Fluke seminar on fishing the NY Bight area which includes Raritan and Sandy Hook bays as well as inshore ocean locations. Techniques that I use to successfully put my charters onto some very impressive flatties for the cooler.

Some topics of discussion will be choice of baits (cut big and catch big), bucktailing versus drifting baits, preferred choice of rods and reels, tides to fish, areas to fish at what time of the season, outgoing versus incoming water, drift speeds, chart reading, understanding your GPS and many other topics of great interest during this cram-packed seminar of information now that we are starting to zero in on the upcoming 2012 fishing season.

I haven't received all the final details from Efinger's, but I do know that the seminar will commence promptly at 1:00 and finish at around 2:30 and will coincide with their spring blowout of fishing gear and that I heard they will have some sort of door prizes to give out. Sounds like this could be an interesting day!

Efinger's will be updating their web site shortly and their phone number is 732-356-0604 if you have any questions. Mark your calendar for March 10th and hopefully I'll see you there.

Don't forget to bring your paper, pencil and questions as I'm there to help you. Let's make this a killer Fluke season.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Monday January 30, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

This past Friday, I received my monthly JCAA newsletter in the mail and was shocked to read the 2012 New Jersey Blackfish (Tautog) regulations. Boy, talk about getting the masses confused and upset.....It's really amazing what the beaurocrats in Washington and New Jersey can do when given a little power.

The reason are many and I refuse to make this reports section political, so I'll just say it's a damn mess.

Here, my fellow anglers, are the official 2012 Tautog (Blackfish) regulations. These are the daily bag limits.

Legal size keeper fish: 15"

1/1-2/28 = 4 fish/man
3/1-3/31 = CLOSED
4/1-4/30=4 fish/man
5/1 - 7/26 = CLOSED
7/27 - 8/30 = 1 fish/man
9/1 - 10/17 = CLOSED
10/18 - 11/15 = 1 fish/man
11/16 - 12/31 = 4 fish/man

So there you have it. Mark you calendars as I have if you're interested in doing some bottom fishing with me.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Friday January 20, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Just a few lines to keep you informed as to what's going on here at Reel Fun Sportfishing.

As we settle into the heart of winter, you have to admit it's not been too bad so far. Let's keep our fingers crossed it stays this way for awhile longer.

I've been very busy getting ready for the upcoming fishing shows by revising and printing brochures, business cards and postcards. Anyone attending the shows will get a look at a new feature that you'll find on our Reel Fun postcards with the addition of the QR code. If you have a smartphone, just scan the QR code on the postcard and you'll be directed right to the Reel Fun Sportfishing web site....very cool! (Advantage Promotions in Boonton, NJ handles all my PR materials in case you're interested in top quality service)

I've talked to the show organizers and they are very excited about the seminars that will be featured this year and the addition of some new vendors to both the Suffern, NY as well as the Somerset, NJ shows. Word has it that the outdoor show last week in Edison, NJ was very well attended, which means that cabin fever has really set in and the hunters and fisherman are eager to get the 2012 season underway.

Personally, I've been busy tying rigs for clamming and bunker chunking Stripers as well as making rigs for bucktailing this upcoming Fluke season. We're going to be introducing many of you to the art of "bucktailing" if you've never tried this very productive method before. Bucktailing around submerged objects can be very challenging at times, so a good understanding of this method is critical. You'll loose a ton of very expensive bucktails if you're not attentive in what you're doing. So be forewarned.....we'll start you off with a few bucktails, but I strongly advise you to purchase some bucktails from your favorite bait and tackle store in advance of your charter.

Spro's are what we use most often in sizes 2, 4, 6 and 8 ounces in chartreuse/white and my favorite...glow. Tsunami also makes a glow "ball" type bucktail with white feathers that works very well too! My biggest Fluke last year was on a 6 ounce Tsunami Glow w/ white feathers and a strip of Sea Robin....a killer on Fluke.

Sometime around mid March, and weather permitting, I'll be painting the bottom of the boat, and we'll be ready to go around April 1st. Hopefully the Raritan Bay Stripers will start to arrive around the 15th of April which is right on schedule for them. My mates and I will be doing some exploratory trips to locate these early season fish so we don't have to spend a lot of your time searching for them on the day of your charter.

Stay warm and mark your calendars for the upcoming shows.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


Tuesday January 10, 2012

Fellow Anglers,

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012. Ahhhh, I like even numbered years.

Just wanted to touch base with you as I have been busy getting ready for the upcoming shows in March. I've received word that the Suffern, NY show is going along well with every booth rented out by vendors and once again this show promises to be be the granddaddy of them all. Hunting and fishing displays from all over the Northeast with an enormous amount of interesting things to see and do. I've been on a waiting list for a number of years to do this show and I can't wait to meet with all the great anglers interested in spring Striper fishing with me.

Believe it or not, I've gotten reports of pods of Striped Bass still swimming along our coast just off the inlet of Manaquan River on down to Barnegat. A few charter and party boats still running out of those ports have been hitting these fish, so it still ain't over yet! I'm wondering if the usual spring Striper fishing (around April 15th) will start on time or will they be arriving late this year.

It seems obvious to me now that the late arrival of the fall Stripers for 2011 was based more upon water temps and absence of bait than what I had originally thought was poor water quality in the Raritan Bay area in October and November. The water temp theory was relayed to me by Dave Lilly a few months back and he seems to be right on. Good call Dave, I stand corrected.

Tight Lines.
Capt. John


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arters Sandy Hook, NJ