Sandy Hook NJ Fishing Reports for 2018
"Capt. John's Fishing Reports" gives you the latest information about our fishing charters as they occurred.
So bookmark this page and check back with us regularly.

May 18, 2018

A new body of Stripers moved into Raritan Bay a few days ago fresh with sea lice on them....a good sign. Now if only the weather would cooperate, I wouldn't have to postpone some of this weeks charters. Rain, dense fog and persistent high East winds have really been a pain in the a** hindering my efforts to get to those fish...not nice weather. Hopefully, the water temps will stay in the mid 50's and the Bass will hang around awhile before the Bluefish show up, which could be any day now.

Long range forecasts predict that this should finally all break by around Monday/Tuesday of next week and I can get my charters out on the water catching some really beautiful fish. Luckily, the water temps have stayed consistent for the past week keeping these bass right here for us. Boy, you really need patience to live in this state. Hang in there as it can only get better.

Based upon online reports and calls that I've made, Fluke fishing should get off to a roaring start as bass fishermen, using bunker chunks, are catching and releasing some pretty hefty Fluke in both the bay and rivers in our area....very good news for sure for us "flukers".

Finally, Fluke season starts May mark your calendar for this important date for you "flukers" out there.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

May 8, 2018

Good Morning,

Striped Bass fishing continues to be anywhere from good to excellent, with an occasional slaughter to a stinker depending on the day.

Fishing, as of late, has been mainly in Raritan Bay with new bodies of fish arriving every few weeks chasing bunker. Sunday, there was a massive showing of new Stripers at the tip of the hook as most people caught, then yesterday (Monday) slowed down a little. That's the nature of Striper day bonanza, the next day the Mojave just never know with these fish.

One day we're onto fish within half an hour, the next it's slugging it out for a few hours trying to find them. Welcome to the reality of this a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Like a deer hunter in a tree stand for days seeing nothing, so goes fishing at times.....enjoy the bonanza and accept the Mojave for what it is.

This is reality...I call it the way it B/S!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

May 2, 2018

Spring StripersJust returned from a Striper charter with Sean Basilone party as pictured on the left.

Bass fishing was very good today especially that it was only less than 1/2 hour away from the dock....boy that's convenient.

Every fish in the photo was 28" and over in length, and once we limited out with the under fish, we continued to fish for that 43" and over fish, which we weren't lucky enough to bag. Good job Basilone party.

Finally, I need one (1) angler to fill the following "Open Boat" fishing trips.....check your calendar. May 16th (Stripers), May 23 (Stripers) and June 6th (Stripers). Give me a call.


April 30, 2018

Good Morning,


Striped Bass fishing has broken open with a new body of bigger fish that arrived in just the past few days. If you are a single angler looking to get in on this great, fast paced action, then you may want to consider some of the following days I have open spots on our "Open Boat" fishing trips......

Wed. May 16....1 spot open
Wed. May 23.....3 spots open
Wed. May 30.....3 spots open

The fee for this 6 hour, all inclusive fishing trip is $125.00. (mates gratuity extra). All rods, reels, bait and rigs are included in the price...just bring lunch, beverage and yourself for a fun day on the water.

When you call, have your credit card ready as all Open Boat spots are "paid in full" prior to the day of the trip with a full refund if I have to cancel due to weather and we cannot reschedule.

I can be reached by calling 908-421-4761.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

April 21, 2018

Dave and Angie 4/21/18As you can see by the photo on the left, the Angie and Dave West (right to left) party had a really nice day of Striper fishing.

All the fishing was done in the calm confines of Raritan Bay as the water clarity has improved dramatically from last weeks big blow.

The water temperature was still quite cold at 49 degrees, but the bass still decided to chew and provide this crew some great action during the morning.

Fishing can only improve as water temps will begin to rise throughout May and June....the two prime Striper months in Raritan Bay and ocean waters.

If you're looking to book a full charter, I still have a few "choice dates" available for either weekdays or weekends.

If you are a single angler, I have some spots available on our "Open Boat Wednesday" trips. Here are some dates to consider.....May 16, May 23 or May 30. To check availability on any of these dates, go to my "Open Boat Wednesdays" web page.

Let's go anglers and anglerettes, fisherman and's time to fish.

The 2018 Striper season is upon us. Give me a call at 908-421-4761 and let the fun (Reel Fun) begin.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

April 14, 2018

Good Morning,


Striper Time 2018

As you can's "Striper Time" in Raritan Bay

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

April 6, 2018

Good Morning,

Here are the Fluke and Sea Bass reg's that were set at a meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting last night.

"At the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting on 4/5 the following regulations for fluke and sea bass were set. However, there may be a problem with the sea bass regulations as states to our north have filed an appeal with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and they are threatening to go out of compliance. The process is pretty complicated but they are going after a portion of New Jersey’s quota. Depending on the outcome of the appeal our sea bass regulations may or may not have to change. I will keep you posted as things develop further."

Paul Haertel, JCAA Board Member/Past President

Fluke 5/25 – 9/22, 3 fish at 18”

Sea Bass 5/15 – 6/22, 10 fish at 12.5” 7/1 – 8/31, 2 fish at 12.5” 10/8 – 10/31, 10 fish at 12.5” 11/1 – 12/31, 15 fish at 13”

What a much for "enough is enough....drawing a line in the sand....we'll go out of compliance." as we were told last year in Pt. Pleasant. That's why charter guys are bailing out of this business every year. SAD!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

April 2, 2018

Just wanted to keep you abreast of the current happenings on the fishing front as well as with Reel Fun Sportfishing.

Water Temps- Just check the Raritan Bay water temps and we are in the 48 degree range...nice! Slowly and steadily the water temps are inching upward and that's a very good sign.

Mate Rich and I were at the marina Saturday morning and put on a coat of polish on the hull and topsides, polished up all the stainless hardware as well as repaired a few things that ole' man winter took its toll on and presto....we are in the water. Yayyyyyyyyyyy!

Too bad we had the brief snow this morning, but the sun is out now and it's melting most of what had dropped. ( I hate winter)

Haven't heard of any Striper reports as of late, but I did hear of some bunker pods roaming around the bay which, if true, is another good sign. It's only a matter of time now when the first reports of the bayshore "clam slingers" will start to report of keepers being caught. The clock is ticking.

Looked at the long range (8 days) forecast and we aren't in for any substantial warming yet, but that may be a good thing as to not get those bay waters too warm too fast thus holding those bass here awhile. All good signs so far.

The boat is ready, the crew is ready and now all we need is the fish to make an appearance. Any day now! The first valid report I hear of some keeper Stripers and I'll let you know.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

March 21, 2018

Good Afternoon, Well, here we go again. Another Nor'easter producing snow....the 4th in the past 2 weeks. And this is Spring? Like they say "if you can live in New Jersey, you can live anyplace" true.

So now that the state is shut down, I'll offer some light reading on a few topics.

First, last night I was in attendance at the SWABC (Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County) annual "Past President's" dinner up in Clifton, NJ. A family style sit-down dinner for members of this great fishing club where they give out awards for the biggest fish caught in 2017 (11 different categories), a 50/50 raffle to support operating expenses and many dark horse drawings of incredible fishing gear. A fun night for the about 140 members and guests.

If you are a fisherman here in NJ, then you owe it to yourself to join "the best fishing club in NJ" as far as I'm concerned. They have a monthly meeting and they arrange numerous charter fishing trips throughout the year here in New Jersey as well as Rhode Island, Mass. and Costa Rica just to name a few. Check them out by going to their web page.

Second, just checked the water temps in the Raritan Bay and, once again, it took a nosedive to 35 degrees from a high of 44 yesterday. All the snow melt that's going to occur the next few weeks isn't going to help much getting those temps to rise and get those Striper's here. But I'm hoping for an end to this horrible weather soon and a return to is spring you know.

Finally, I've heard from reports and read online that our Fluke reg's will again be 3 fish at 18" per man/day....not much of a liberalization as I was told. So were're being thrown a bone of about 10 additional days to fish...whoopie! Please pardon my cynical behavior, but it's tough witnessing the slow and methodical strangulation of an entire fishing industry.

Anyway, it shouldn't always be about how many fish you bring home, but whether or not you enjoyed your day on the water doing something you love. As you know, we always do our best to "fill the cooler" on every trip up to our legal limit. Trust me....we want to catch fish just as much as you do, so we work hard and make every effort to locate and put fish in the box on every trip. As we've been often told..."you guys always give your best effort." Thank you. That's what we're all about.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

February 21, 2018

Important Scheduling Change.....

In order to maximize our efforts for good spring Striper fishing, our first trip will now be Wednesday, April 18th, an "Open Boat" fishing trip. This is being done in order to be able to fish New York waters which their Striper season doesn't open until April 15th.

Our "Open Boat" web page has also been revised to accommmodate this change.

Please make note of the change....Thank You.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew

January 9, 2018

Our first fishing trip for 2018 is planned as an "Open Boat" trip for Striped Bass which will take place on Wednesday, April 4th. Any single angler interested in getting in on our maiden voyage for Stripers can call me (908-421-4761) to reserve your place for the inaugural 2018 season. We always do our "Open Boat"fishing trips on Wednesdays if we are not booked for a full charter by reservation for that day.

Make note of our new sailing schedule.....Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Tuesday's and Thursday's off.

Some other important changes I like you to be aware are outlined below........

Due to some timely cost cutting, I was able to REDUCE some of our prices for 2018 (good news I'm sure) for all fishing trips for both Stripers and Fluke. The cost cutting will NOT have any effect on the the same great service, choice baits and tackle you've come to use in the past. Same boat, same top notch crew and all the same equipment.

Next, our 10 hour Wreck/Reef "Fluke-A-Thon" from previous years has been replaced by our
8 Hour Wreck/Reef "Duke of Fluke" Marathon. This trip is for those hard core "Flukers" who don't mind being on the water for 8 hours and sailing from wreck to wreck searching for that "doormat" of a lifetime. Big fish tend hang around those deep water wrecks and reefs. If you're anxious to finally get that "doormat" for your man cave, then this just may be the year.

Speaking of of this date, the powers to be have not set the regulations for the 2018 Summer Flounder season yet, but I read a few weeks ago that NJ "under-fished" its 2017 quota and coupled with a possible increase allotment, we could be in for some liberalization in the Fluke reg's...yeaaaaa! Let's hope that's the case as 2017 for many anglers was a tough year.

Mark your calendar for the Ramsey Outdoor Store, Rt 10, Succasunna, NJ, 19th Annual Cast & Blast-Cabin Fever Day on Saturday February 24th 2018 from 10 am to 4 pm.
Reel Fun Sportfishing will have a booth there to talk about fishing and book any charters in advance so you can lock in those prime tidal days for Stripers and know I'm a big fan of fishing specific tides.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR......Saturday, Feb. 24th, 2018....10 am to 4 pm.

Also, regular returning anglers will now receive our "10% Off Captains Card" after your first trip with us. All subsequent fishing trips after the first one and we'll deduct 10% off the fare.....a great deal for those who fish with us often and our way of saying "Thank You" for you patronage. Just present your card on the day of the trip and we'll knock off 10% of the fare.

This brutal weather has really taken a toll on our waterways....the Shrewsbury River and most of the slips in our marina are frozen over. Ice flows are occurring throughout Sandy Hook Bay as well as Raritan Bay. Tough cold spell we're in, but that may change soon.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew

December 22, 2017

As we approach Christmas 2017, allow me to extend a very Merry Christamas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family.

We will resume our 2018 fishing schedule around April 4th, fishing for Striped Bass with our "Open Boat" inaugural trip. The price for our 6 hour Striper trip is $125.00/pp paid "in advance in full" prior to the trip itself. We sail with only 4 anglers to insure plenty of space to fight your fish and totally enjoy your time with us. (Gratuity for the mate is additional)

Our "Open Boat" trips sail every Wednesday leaving the dock promptly at 7am and returning around 1 pm.

Of course we also do full "reservation" private charters for a parties of 1 to 4 for Stripers as well as Summer Flounder (Fluke).

For further information and to reserve you fishing trip, please call 908-421-4761.

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew

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arters Sandy Hook, NJ