Reel Fun Sportfishing, LLC
Fishing Reports for 2023 covering Sandy Hook, NJ
"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.


Sept. 22, 2023

Fellow Angler,

As you might or not be aware, the 2023 Fluke season is rapidly coming to an end as of this coming Wednesday Sept. 27th.

Actually, it may be coming to an end this coming Saturday with this coastal storm approaching from the south. NOAA forecasts for the weekend is nasty with 9-11 foot seas predicted from the east. That kind of ocean weather probably puts a nail in the coffin for the Fluke fishing for the 2023 year. Fluke habitually don't like rough seas and big swells and will head offshore to deeper and warmer water for the winter.

But on the brighter side, that same weather should send migrating Stripers down in our waters as the fall Striper migration is about to begin. A call from a fellow charter captain the other day is that resident Stripers are already being caught in both the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers. A very good sign.

Fall migrating Stripers usually arrive sometime around mid October and continue until sometime till the end of November and even longer depending upon our ocean water temps.

If you are so inclined to get in another fishing trip this year, the fall Stripers are a fun time on the water.

The current reg's for NJ Stripers is one (1) fish per anglers 28-31" in length. BUT if you have your NJ Striper Bonus Tag with you, you may retain another fish 24-28".

HOW WE FISH FOR STRIPERS....

If the fish are on the surface....we cast surface plugs and lures. If the fish are hunkered down deep...we troll deep swimming lures OR fish bunker chunks. Anyway you look at it, we do what we have to do to put Stripers in the cooler for you.

It's a long winter, so let's close out our 2023 fishing season with a memorable Striper trip and put some fresh fillets in the fridge.

Tight Lines, Capt. John and Crew


Sept. 6, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Good Morning.

Reporting to you on an "Open boat" trip we had yesterday for Fluke on a terribly hot September day.

Started fishing at the mouth of Raritan Bay as there were still some swells left over from the hurricane offshore. Knew that the swells were going to lay down as the day wore on, we drifted the Flynn's Knoll area and to my surprise, there was a nice body of quality fish there to be caught. We were working the last of the outgoing tide (the best) for about an hour or so and we caught some really nice fat keepers along with our usual array of dogfish, skates and sea robins.

As the ocean lay down and the bite turned off due to slack current, headed offshore to scout a few other options, but regretfully there was slim pickings, so we headed back to our original spot and worked the "incoming" current with still more success.

Nice day on the water for our open boat anglers. Note to fellow boat owners....never leave fish to find fish!

Now on to the fall Striped Bass fishing.....

Fall Stripers will be arriving sometime around mid October, so now is the time to make your plans and reserve your date with us to fish for the fall run of Striped Bass. Either a full 4 man charter or an "Open Boat" trip, the fall run, if close to a repeat of last year, could be outstanding.

If the fish are on the surface....we cast surface plugs and lures to catch them. If the fish are hunkered down deep...we troll deep swimming lures OR fish bunker chunks. Anyway you look at it, we do what we have to do to put Stripers in the cooler for you.

It's a long cold depressing winter ahead, so let's close out our 2023 fishing season with a memorable Striper trip and put some fresh fillets in the fridge.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


Aug. 21, 2023

Fellow Angler, No sense in showing photos of a fish you already know what they look like so I decided to report to you on some of the trips that have taken place for the past few weeks.

So here goes.... Fluke fishing, in general in our area of the state has been a hit or miss situation at times. Find a small pod of Fluke and your in good. The Fluke, like last year, has been mostly ocean side with the better catches (legal sizes) coming from the rough stuff ( wrecks, reefs and rubble) that pave much of the ocean floor.

Regretfully, Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays have not been up to the task of producing "consistent" quality fish. Some trips we find them close to home, other days we had to travel 30-40 miles searching for that gold at the end of the rainbow. Not easy fishing to say the least, but if we put in the time and persevere, we usually get rewarded.

Everyone, for the most part, has struggled at times finding that pot of gold as was the case last year. Look, I'm not going to B/S you and sugar coat this or any report....Fluke fishing has been tough for just about everybody here in the northern part of the state. Further south, not so much and further east much better.

Everyone has their opinions as to what the hell is going on with these fish (and I have mine which I'm not going to get into on this forum) but this fishery is not the way it was 10 years ago.

In any event, we have been finding our days catch one way or another in many places. Some quality beauties and some barely legal to make the cooler, but we do find our days catch in the end and make it an enjoyable day on the water for you and your family and friends.

A day on the water is still better than a day at the office.

I have some more Fluke charters coming up shortly and I will report to you on those hopefully with a picture of some big beast. (The whales are putting on a pretty impressive show as they feed on bunker schools)

The water around our area today was alive with Spanish Mackerel and a swarm of small Bluefish.

Tight Lines, Capt. John and Crew


July 25, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Went on the hunt for some Fluke with the Kuklis family (left to right...John, Jason, Jill and Nicole) on Tuesday morning the 25th of July.

As has been the case for the past few years, charter and head boats alike have to search for small pods of Fluke throughout the bay and ocean to put a catch together.

Amazing amount of sub-legal throwbacks happen on every trip along with legal and sub-legal Black Sea Bass and the ever present and annoying Dog Fish.

The Kuklis family trip was no different as we caught just about everything that we drifted over putting the legal Fluke and Sea Bass in the cooler to show for a extensive amount of travelling.

All total, we traveled 40 miles finally winding up at the best spot for action which was 10 miles off of Sandy Hook on some rough bottom. But hey....we do what we have to do to put you onto fish.

I do have a few August openings for Fluke charters for anyone who is interested. Don't forget about our Open Boat trips for my singles out there.

Having said that, if you would like to make a reservation, call me at 908-421-4761.

Tight Lines, Capt. John and Crew


July 13, 2023

Fellow Angler,

They say that timing is everything...well that wasn't more true than my last report to you talking about the late arrival of Fluke in our waters.

Appears that just as I was bemoaning the lack of "quantity" in our current Fluke season, than a body of new Fluke seems to have invaded our waters sometime Saturday evening/night or Sunday morning.

Just finished reading online reports from a few charters and headboats that fished Sunday (before the rains came) and they did really well with Fluke in the ocean in a few different locations. Numerous throwbacks as well as a good amount of quality keepers were reported to me via emails I've gotten and online reports.

All I can say is "it's about time" they showed up.

To me it's all about water temperature for these fish as the bay is now at 76.4 degrees and the ocean is now at 72.5 degrees.

So, let the fun and games begin with these fish. Just about all the good catches have been in and around wrecks and rocky bottoms, so plan accordingly...bucktails and Gulp will do.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


June 9, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Now that the bay Striper fishing appears to be slowing down, it's time to turn my attention to bottom fishing for the best tasting fish in our waters..Fluke.

I always try to keep abreast of where and what others are catching from our local waters here in NJ as well as the reports heading north along Long Island and beyond.

First off, it has been reported and photographed that a head boat caught a 10.2 lb. doormat Fluke the other day right in our bay...nice fish to say the least. From previous experience and 19 years on the water I know where there's one there are others. A very good sign to say the least for our fishery for Fluke as opposed to last year.

Also read that some really nice quality fish are being caught south of us in NJ waters both in the bays as well as ocean side. Another good sign. Quite frankly, I'll take a bunch of 4-5 lb fat Fluke over a single doormat any day and twice on Sunday.

Moving north, reports are coming in from Montauk that show some quality fish being taken there also. All ocean fishing once again on some rocky terrain.

Conversely, reports coming from private boaters fishing the Nantucket Shoals area reporting slim pickings so far this year. But that will change any day now as this is a real hot spot for Fluke throughout the summer.

We are ready to roll with our standard 6 hour bay/ocean Fluke trip for either private ($600.00) or open boat singles ($150.00 p/p) as well as our 8 hour Doormat Fluke Hunter marathon fishing ocean wrecks and reefs.

Our 8 hour Doormat Fluke Hunter trip for full 4 man charter is $800.00 or $200 p/p for single open boat patrons. We will be fishing our 8 hour Doormat Fluke Hunter charters in July and August.

Please refer to my website for "Open Boat" availability and for making your reservation for either a Wed. or Friday by calling me at 908-421-4761.

So let's go anglers and anglerettes....it's time to Fluke fish.

Tight Lines, Capt. John


June 1, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Please mark your calendar for Wednesday June 21st as the start of Reel Fun Sportfishing's Fluke Season gets underway in earnest.

We will be switching over from spring Stripers to Fluke on that date and will be available for private 4 person charters or our ever popular Wednesday/Friday "Open Boat" fishing trips for our single anglers throughout the remainder of June, all of July, August and September until the end of the Fluke season on September 27th.

New for 2023 I am offering a 4 hour "bay only" Fluke fishing trip for those who are tight on time off from work or on a limited budget and want to get some time off to distress.

I also offer our standard 6 hour bay/ocean Fluke trip for either private or open boat singles as well as our 8 hour Doormat Fluke Hunter marathon fishing ocean wrecks and reefs for the fish of a lifetime.

Please refer to my website for "Open Boat" availability and for making your reservation for either a Wed. or Friday or call me at 908-421-4761.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


May 28, 2023

Fellow Angler,

As you can see by the enclosed photograph, the great Striper as well as Fluke in Raritan Bay continues. Tim Gardsy (second from left) and his and family caught some beautiful Stripers as well as our first legal Fluke of the season on a combo trip at various locations in the bay.

Our Stripers ranged in size from 30-36" and the Fluke we kept up to a 21" fish caught in the bay. The anglers also chose to release other legal Stripers and keep what they were going to have for future dinners. Good move guys and not waste a valuable resource.

The weather on our trip could not have been better under bright cloudless skies and a very light SE wind. Ironically for a holiday weekend, the boat traffic was light so we could enjoy our day on the water with the exception of 2 boneheads that decided to roar right through feeding and surfacing Stripers that totally killed the bite.....a-holes!

Anyway, we had a really nice trip out with a great bunch of fishermen who will be coming out with us again in the fall for the return of the migrating Stripers sometime in October.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


May 21, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Good Morning. As you can see by the enclosed photograph, the great Striper fishing in Raritan Bay continues. Frank Lamondola (center) and his friends caught some beautiful Stripers at various locations in the bay on a rather windy and unsettled afternoon trip.

The weather report from the previous day predicted the windy morning was suppose to settle down by 1 pm, but that never happened and we had to tough it out in rather sloppy water for most of the afternoon....yikes.

Afternoon fishing is great as the amount of boats on the water is a lot less taking the pressure off the fish to run and hide. It's hard to tell from the picture, but those are some really big fish that were all over 32' in length and weighed approx. 15-18 lbs.each. That's one hell of a lot of fillets to take home.

As you may or may not be aware, the fall Striper run is going to change drastically with maximum size being reduced from 38" to 31" after July 2nd. So if you're looking to fish for some bigger fish, now is the time to do it.

To lessen the blow of fall Striper fishing regulations, I strongly urge you to get your Striped Bass Bonus tag for the fall giving you an additional fish to take home. I am making arrangements to have the bonus tags onboard for the fall if I can.

Tight Lines, Capt. John


May 13, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Good Morning and a very happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there.

Pictured is the Greg Lyons group after a day of Striped Bass fishing in Raritan Bay. Not an easy day as the amount of boats fishing scattered the fish all over the bay and to be successful you had to move around to find the fish. A typical Saturday in the bay especially with all the recreational "weekend warriors". So, bottom line, I avoid the fleet at all costs....enough said.

Sailed off to a few of my own locations without a crowd and we hit pay dirt as you can see. These fish had sea lice on their bodies which is an indication that they just arrived into the bay from their journey south of us...probably Chesapeake fish migrating north after their spawn.

That's why you hire charter captains...knowledge.

There are some really BIG beasts (50-60 lb. Stripers) ocean side, but catching those really big girls have to be returned to the water and nothing goes in the cooler. Also on the downside, beating up those magnificent fish in a fight could damage the fish and indirectly kill a fish that produces 200 to 300 thousand eggs in the process. We need our big breeders now more than ever for the future of the fishery...so I'm not hunting down those ocean side Stripers. Additionally, the smaller 15-25 lb. bay fish are much better eating.

I've been reading reports by the head boats, that the bay Fluke fishing has been quite good considering the water has been cool as of late, but is now just entering the low 60's. This appears to be a good beginning to the Fluke season.

So let's go Flukers....it's game on if your interested in putting some flatties in the cooler. Since ocean water temps are still so cold, the Fluke are migrating as far west as they can to warm water in search of a meal.

Our bays and rivers are great places to find and fish for Fluke. We're ready to go if you are.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


 

April 29, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Yep...that's me with some reel nice Fluke caught last August. You too can be the proud owner of fish like this as the official start of the NJ Fluke season begins this coming Tuesday May 2, 2023.

The bag limit, same as last year, is 2 fish 17-18" and one fish over 18" per angler. So for a 4 person charter, that's 12 legal Fluke in the cooler and a bunch of delicious fillets to take home.

New this year, I am offering a 4 hour "Bay Only" fishing trip for Fluke departing at 7 am and returning at 11 am for those on a limited budget, a limited work schedule or young anglers who get too antsy to fish for 6 hours. That's right, 4 hour relaxing fun fishing for Fluke in the bay for just $495.00 with all rods/reels/bait and tackle included. (Mate gratuity extra)

We will continue our Striper fishing through the month of May but we will take Fluke charters if and when Fluke start to show in decent numbers in the bay and rivers. At that time for new charters, it will be your choice as to whether to fish for Stripers or Fluke. (I am also open to a combo trip for both species if that's what floats your boat but only available on our 6 hour charter and for a small extra fee).

The Striper fishing is holding up well in all areas. Jigging flutter spoons, casting shads and top water lures, live lining and trolling are all producing as these fish are on a feeding binge.

As you can see, the weather this weekend has knocked me off the water, but we will resume Striper fishing this coming week. Although May is quite busy, I still have a few open dates if you want to tussle with a 20-30 lb. Striper. Incredible fish!

As always, "Thank You" for your continued patronage over the years and sincerely hope we have earned your trust. If you would like to make a full charter reservation or get in on one of our Open Boat trips, call me at 908-421-4761.

The fish are here and so are we. Time to fish.

Tight Lines, Capt. John and Crew


April 15, 2023

Just wanted to take this opportunity to alert all my Open Boat fishermen of the dates that we are now taking reservations for Striped Bass fishing.

Here are the dates in May.....

Wednesday May 10.....4 spots open

Friday May 12..............3 spots open

Wednesday May 17......3 spots open

Friday May 19...............4 spots open

As always, the fare for our 6 hour Striper fishing trip for our single anglers is $150.00 with all rods/reels/bait and tackle supplied. (Gratuity for the mate is extra). We depart the dock promptly at 7 am and return around 1 pm.

We now have the availability to fish with live bunker for Striped Bass with the addition of a permanent live well that mate Rich was kind enough to volunteer to take on the task of installing. Now the hard part is finding bunker to put into the live well for bait. Not an easy task at times.

We have also added an enormous supply of custom made Advantage Flutter Spoons, shads, top water plugs and other various lures along with our huge supply of trolling gear to insure that we are well prepared for whatever the fish are looking to eat for breakfast.

Aside from a few slowdowns in action due to weather related issues and/or full and new moon cycles, Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays are alive with Striped Bass.

We would like to "Thank You" for your continued patronage over the years and sincerely hope we have earned your trust.

If you would like to make a full charter reservation or get in on one of our Open Boat trips, call me at 908-421-4761.

The fish are here and so are we. Time to fish.

Tight Lines, Capt. John and Crew


April 15, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Yesterday we ran our annual crew trip with my son and mate Chris, mate Rich and John Cuozzo of Advantage Promotions my marketing guru for fun day on the water. This is an annual crew trip fishing in Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays for Striped Bass.

Casting shads, live lining bunker or trolling usually does the trick. Today we battled some persistent in and out dense fog and the bunker were not to be found in any one spot for us to throw the cast net...hard to read bunker schools with a chop in the bay. So we decided to troll to cover as much water as possible and put some fish in our cooler. We are now trolling a 4 line spread to increase our success rate.

Basically, the fish were spread out all over the place as all vessels were moving and searching as did we. We had to troll to put fish in the cooler as we did put a 4 man limit (4 legal keeper fish) in the cooler and released a dozen more . All fish we kept were in the 32-36" range.....no big slobs like we had the other day. On each and every charter, we do what we have to do to put fish in the cooler for you.

All in all, not a bad day, just a little slow due to that persistent east wind and opposing outgoing tide and that stubborn fog that just wouldn't burn off. Tomorrow is another day.

Honestly, that's the way it is for Striper fishing in Raritan Bay....red hot one day and lukewarm the next. You just never know with these fish. That's why they call it fishing and not catching as they say.

I did get a chance to video some of our trip with a fish on by my son Chris doing the honors...click here please.

If you would like to make a Striper reservation or get in on one of our Open Boat trips (Open Boat dates currently available...April 26th and 28th)

Call me at 908-421-4761 to reserve your spot.

The fish are here and so are we. Time to fish.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


April 11, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Did a very special charter today with 3 generations of the Basso family....dad Andrew (holding a 40 lb. Striper), son Beni and grandpop Robert.

Little did we know that we would catch and release the biggest fish of this young season with that 40 lb. Striper that you see here. Incredible fish once you got close to her. We pulled her out of the water just long enough to weigh her and take her picture and then she went back into the water and swam on her merry way. Hopefully, other anglers that catch her release her too. That fish was a very old (16 years) and too valuable to kill for the dinner table. She more than likely had 200 to 300 thousand eggs in her belly. Incredible specimen.

Very eventful day as we started out with 2 quick fish and then it totally shutdown of a few hours until mate Rich spotted a flock of diving birds off in the far distance and we made a bee line toward them and started casting shad lures when all hell broke loose. Cool day to say the least.

It's obvious that a new body of bigger fish have invaded our waters and they are here to entertain us.

Pictured left is 3 keeper fish from the cooler and our tally of legal releases were 8 fish which included that 40 lb'er Striped Bass.

It doesn't get any better than this for so early in the Striper season. So if you're planning on fishing with us, don't hesitate to call now and reserve your date.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


April 7, 2023

Fellow Angler,

As you can see by the photo below from our Tuesday charter, we had a nice day on a flat calm and windless day in Raritan Bay. Just wanted to take this opportunity to alert all my Open Boat fishermen that we will be starting our Open Boat trips Wednesday April 26 and every Wednesday and Friday thereafter for those of you who are interested.

Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays are alive with Striped Bass a good 2 weeks ahead of schedule and fishing is really good right now.

I've been asked lately how do we fish for Stripers which starts a long discussion on the art of Striper fishing.

First off let me state that we employ whatever means necessary to put fish in the cooler. That may be casting shads, plugs, lures, flutter spoons, bunker chunking, live-lining as well as trolling.

Striped Bass are bottom feeders, especially the bigger females as the smaller fish tend to swim mid to upper in the water column. We love catching BIG fish, even though by law we are not allowed to retain them. If you want big fish, like we do, then you have to get your presentation within 5 feet of the bottom most of the time.

There was a time when I hated trolling, but ever since the introduction of the MOJO rig, which has been used down south for over 20 years, this lure has been an incredible Bass catching tool. A lure that cruises within 5 feet of the bottom in that sweet zone.

15 years or so ago, we use to clam for Stripers. A really messy day on the water, but in hindsight that fishing was a lot of fun. Get a bushel of sea clams, pick your spot, anchor up and start slinging clams for chum and wait for a hookup. Easy fishing, a lot less gas and everyone was a happy camper. For many reasons, clamming has all but vanished as casting lures, chunking bunker or trolling has taken its place.

Bunker, on the other hand, are great baits to use when bait fishing. Problem is they are not easy to catch in good numbers for a day on the water. If you're not using fresh caught (same day) bunker, you're just wasting your time.

So you get the most bang for your buck, we strive to get you to a productive area with lines in the water as soon as possible.

Here's the bottom line....we do whatever we have to do to put fish in the cooler. If we are lucky enough to find a pod of feeding Stripers, we will cast shads and other lures. If not, then our second choice is to go on the troll to help us find fish to catch.

Whatever it takes to catch Stripers, with the exception of dynamite, we will do to make your day a memorable one. Your happy, I'm happy, the crew is happy.

We would like to "Thank You" for your continued patronage over the years and sincerely hope we have earned your trust. If you would like to make a full charter reservation or get in on one of our Open Boat trips, call me at 908-421-4761.

The fish are here and so are we. Time to fish.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


April 4, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Pictured is the Scott Koppa family along with mate Rich with just a few of today's outstanding Striper catch in Raritan Bay. You couldn't ask for better weather or better fishing as the anglers limited out on Stripers, 3 times over. We released all the other fish that we weren't allowed to keep to fight another day.

Incredible day to say the least considering the bigger fish have arrived about 2 weeks earlier than normal probably due to the very mild winter we had. I recorded a 4 minute video of the action as all 3 anglers hooked up at the same time....3 fish on was what I heard in the cabin. This doesn't happen often as I was surprised by all the hooting and hollering going on behind me.

Outstanding job Koppa family. See you again soon.

If you would like to make a Striper reservation or get in on one of our Open Boat trips, call me at 908-421-4761.

The fish are here and so are we. Time to fish.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


April 1, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Good morning on this rainy and windy Saturday April 1, 2023. Not a nice day so I thought it would be a good idea to bring you up to date about Striper fishing in and around Sandy Hook, NJ. Bigger Stripers have moved into Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays and are being caught casting lures to these fish.

Fish ranging from 28" to 40" (big fish) are being caught now. I'm usually accustomed to fishing mid April when NY waters open up their season, but the NJ side of the bay is now giving up some really nice fish so the boat is in the water and ready to go for you if you are interested in putting some beautiful Striped Bass in the cooler and on your dinner table.

As stated above, these fish are hungry after a winter layover and are attacking paddle tail shads, top water plugs and flutter spoons throughout the bays when they are schooled up. And when not in schools, the old tried and true method of trolling rigs will surely put those fish in the cooler.

I have to laugh when I recently read postings that "we don't troll"...yea right. Look let me state facts....everybody trolls at times when they have to produce for their anglers. Raritan Bay is a big place for scattered fish swimming around looking for a meal. Regretfully, trolling produces when other means don't because it lets us "cover a lot of water".

I'm not a big fan of trolling. There was a time when I hated it, but when "schools" of Stripers break up, trolling is the final sure-fire way of making the days catch.....hands down. Rather than spend wasted time searching for a tight school to jig, I've got my lines in the water catching fish...it's that simple. We want to catch fish just like you do...even more so. I'm not out for a tour of the bay and either are you. We do what we have to do to put fish in the cooler, however means that is.

If you would like to make a Striper reservation or get in on one of our Open Boat trips, call me at 908-421-4761. The fish are here and so are we.
Time to fish.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


March 30, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Just a quick note that the boat is now in her slip and ready for another fishing season. Another day in paradise as they say.

Had two discussions with my fellow charter captains at the marina today and was assured that bunker (bait fish for Stripers) are in thick in the bay, but most of all Striped Bass are being caught in numerous places both in Sandy Hook Bay as well as Raritan Bay.

Good news for sure. Not quite an all out beat down that we had in the fall, but that should come eventually. With the mild winter we had, the arrival of Striped Bass in our waters is early, but who's complaining.

As is customary, mate Rich and mate/son Chris and I we will be doing a crew trip very soon to get a handle on where these fish are taking up residency. We are ready to roll in Jersey waters and then on April 15th in NY waters as well.

If you would like to make a Striper reservation or get in on one of our Open Boat trips, don't hesitate to call me at 908-421-4761.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


March 26, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Just wanted to alert you that spring Striped Bass are already starting to show in Raritan Bay. Although some are small sub-legal size fish, they are here just the same. Pretty damn early I would say, but because of the very mild, snow less winter at the shore, the fish are making an early appearance.

Have we been out yet...no, but soon. We are trying to get an early start to our Striper season hopefully to go after these early arrivals. Not quite sure as to the size of these fish, but I hear they are in the 24-28" range...some legals and some throwbacks. Another report I got from a very good source is that a large school of Stripers were ocean side with birds diving on the baitfish the Stripers were attacking just outside of Point Pleasant inlet.

Another very good sign that the migrating fish are on the way...and hungry. Two very encouraging reports from reliable informants. It's good to know people in this business.

We should be ready to roll within the next 7-10 days, so get ready. As is customary, we will be doing a crew trip once the boat is in the water to get a handle on where these fish are taking up residency.

When we are ready to roll, you'll know. If you would like to make a Striper reservation or get in on one of our Open Boat trips, don't hesitate to call me at 908-421-4761.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


March 8, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Just a few words about fishing with the season for spring Stripers rapidly approaching.

The NJ Striper season is now officially open (March 1st) as we await the arrival of the spring run of Raritan Bay Striped Bass. Hopefully, the Bass that were so plentiful this past October and November, will reappear for a continuation of the insane fishing that took place in the bay.

Quite frankly, the sport of fishing doesn't get any better than what we experienced last fall as reports from the Chesapeake area were no match for what we encountered here.

Why is that? Tons of bait fish in the bay kept the Stripers feeding for weeks during a feeding binge. I am starting my 19th year in the charter business and nothing prepared me for the massive numbers of Stripers that first appeared on October 7th and lasted right through December....incredible.

Let's all hope for somewhat of a repeat of that fall fishing.

Fluke..the start of the Fluke season is officially now May 2, 2023 until it closes September 27th. The bag limit is, as it was last year, 2 fish 17-18" and one fish over 18" for a total of 3 fish per angler. A 4 man charter then can put 12 legal Fluke in the cooler. 12 fish in the cooler yields a lot of fillets and some really great dinners.

I am now taking reservations for spring Striper charters for either full 4 man private charters or holding your spot for you as a single angler on one of our Wednesday/Friday "Open Boat" fishing trips.

The fare for our "Open Boat" trip is $150.00 p/p or $600.00 for our private 4 man charter. Gratuity for the mate (around 20%) is additional.

Please note that the months of May and June are rapidly filling up the weekends, so I would recommend a weekday trip for lesser boat traffic if you are available.

I hope you are doing well during this mild winter and look forward to your call to make some fishing time together.

Tight Lines ,
Capt. John and Crew


Feb. 23, 2023

Fellow Angler,

Reel Fun Sportfishing is now taking reservations for our special 8hr Doormat Fluke Hunter charters designed especially for the seasoned veteran "bucktailer" fishing ocean wrecks and reefs searching for that PB doormat Fluke.

This is an 8 hour trip for a maximum of 4 anglers fishing the deep water wrecks and reefs where the "big girls and boys" hang out.

The fare is $800.00 for the private charter (4 persons max) with all bait and/or gulp supplied (or bring your own).

Please note...this trip is highly dependant on the weather as I require light winds and calm seas to sail for everyone's safety. We will be sailing a lot of water, but the reward could be a fish of a lifetime for you.

Call me at 908-421-4761 to reserve your date.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John


January 31, 2023

Fellow Angler,

This coming Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County (SWABC) one of the best fishing clubs in New Jersey, is having their annual anglers flea market.

This is a yearly event and the only one of its kind in the northern New Jersey area for the saltwater angler. Last years flea market was a roaring success as the hall was filled to the brim with numerous vendors selling both new and used fishing gear as well as fishing seminars open to all who attend.

Don't miss this once a year extravaganza of fishing rods, reels, tackle....well you name it and will probably be there for the saltwater angler.

Here is the info......

Date: Sunday February 5, 2023
Place: Hilton Hasbrouck Heights 650 Terrace Ave., Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
Times: 9 am till 3 pm
Admission (Adults) $5.00, Kids under 10 Free

Tight Lines,
Capt. John and Crew


December 29, 2022,

Fellow Angler,

Reel Fun Sportfishing would like to welcome you to our 2023 fishing reports web page. We will be starting our 19th year in the charter fishing business. Here you'll find our fishing reports upon completion of our trips throughout the year fishing both for Striped Bass in the Spring and Fall and Summer Flounder (Fluke).

We usually begin our Spring Striper season around April 15th of every new year and if the fall run of Stripers in 2022 is any indication, the spring run of Bass in Raritan Bay for 2023 could be a real bonanza.

So if you're planning of fishing with us in 2023, please call and make your reservations early for those prime tidal days. I now have my appontment book set up with the full year of daily tides. Our charters are 6 hour trips for Striped Bass in the spring and fall and 6 or 8 hour Fluke trips in the summer.

For our single anglers, we do "Open Boat" fishing every WEdnesday and Friday if we are not booked for a private charter. To learn more about Reel Fun Sportfishing, go to the navigation bar above and read all about what we've been doing for the past 18 years.

You can reach me at 908-421-4761. Let's fish for those spring Striped Bass.

Tight Lines,

Capt. John and Crew


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