Sandy Hook NJ Fishing Reports (2014)
"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.

April 18, 2014

Fellow Anglers,

The first legal keeper Striped Bass of the season finally appeared yesterday in the bay by a few of my fellow captains fishing out of Twin Lights Marina. This is very good news as the spring striper season has been delayed somewhat probably due to the cold bay waters from all the snow runoff during our brutal winter here in New Jersey.

So here we are....April 18th (Good Friday), but for me that's just about on time based upon my last years captains log that I keep. So for those of you who have been anticipating the start of the Bass season, the fun and games have begun. So pick up the phone and give me a call and let's lock in your day on the water for those spring Stripers.

You can call me at 908-421-4761 as I have a few choice dates in May as well as great June Striper fishing days.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

April 14 , 2014

Please accept my apologies for this rapid succession of fishing reports, but a few developments have taken place over the past 2 days that I thought you should be aware of if you are an avid fisherman like me and tracking the arrival of spring Stripers.

As Capt Al Ristori reported in his blog this morning, the Elaine B. party boat from the Highlands, finally, landed what is believed to be the first legal Striper from our area.....hallelujah! It's a start.

On the downside, most, if not all, the charters that sailed from my area had a very tough weekend in the back of the bay with no reports of keeper bass being landed. Some shorts, a few flounder, even some skates, but no legal keeper bass. Tough, tough fishing this weekend by some very good boats. We happen to be on a full moon phase right now and the water temperatures has been fluctuating from tide to tide which really doesn't help either.

But on the bright side..... Capt. Marc of Reel Fun Sportfishing, who has his boat in Leonardo, spotted schools of bunker yesterday which is a very good sign. The fish that was caught on the Elaine B. had a adult size bunker in it's belly so that tells me a lot.

My friend Lorenzo, who happens to brag alot, but is a damn good bass guy, fishes the Raritan bayshore area often, almost nightly, and told me yesterday that he got good size and numbers "fishing at night with both clams and sandworms" in very shallow water. No wonder the boats can't get to them. At night and shallow (5-6 feet) of water. But, they are there and that's very encouraging.

My son Chris and I took the boat out yesterday morning to do some winter flounder fishing up in the Navesink River with little results to show for our effort. Boy, it's really bad when you can't put 4 flounder in the cooler as we tried just about every imaginable bait and method to get a few bites. Slow, slow day even on that species in an area that use to be the top producing body of water for winter flounder. Very sad state of affairs on the winter flounder.

It's only a matter of time now...probably days that this Striped Bass thing is going to break open. Remember, we had a brutally cold and snowy winter and all that cold water runoff from upstate streams and estuaries is taking place right now.

I want to get you out there catching bass, but I refuse to go for a fruitless boat ride, so for now, we sit and wait. Any day now, any day! Finally, have a quiet and peaceful Easter and Passover this week. Ah spring.....finally!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

April 4 , 2014

Fellow Anglers,

The Marine Fisheries Council, in a special meeting last night, has officially set Friday May 23, 2014 as the opening day for our 2014 Fluke season here in New Jersey with a closing day of Saturday September 27.

The season will run for 128 days with a bag limit, per angler, of 5 fish at 18" so for our 4 man charters that will be able to keep a total of 20 fish. So to all you who were asking me about an opening day fluke trip, there you have it. Time to get on the phone and let's get the season going.

The water temperatures for Stripers in Raritan Bay was recorded this morning at 44 degrees in Keansburg..... still a little cold for bass to turn on but getting close now. Surprisingly, the temps have been rising quite good the past week, and with the passage of this past Sunday's full moon, I suspect that a few degree improvement will get these fish on "the feed" any day now.

The boat work is progressing nicely, in between crappy weather days, with the hull bottom being painted. This weekend, Twin Lights Marina should be able to finish their work so I can go down and give her a coat of wax and outfit her for the season and then she'll be ready to go.

And finally, if you never fished with us before, we would love to have you join us in 2014. Reel Fun Sportfishing is offering all first time Reel Fun anglers our $50 Reel Fun Gift Card that will be mailed when you book a charter with us. Just present your card at the end of your first fishing trip and we'll reduce the unpaid balance by $50.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

Fellow Anglers,

On behalf of the crew and I, a big "Thank You" for making this year's show another success for Reel Fun Sportfishing. It's obvious that with the brutal winter we've had here in New Jersey, cabin fever really set in as was displayed by the big crowds that attended all three days of the show.

It was good to see a lot of familiar faces from previous years fishing trips. It looks like it's going to be a very busy year for Reel Fun and the staff as we now begin to get the boat ready for the first run of spring Stripers that will invade the western part of Raritan Bay sometime around mid April (my estimate) or when the water temps get to around 45 degrees.

The crew and I will be doing some exploratory trips as soon as the boat is ready to find the first substantial body of fish and at that time I email you our findings. As of today, I haven't heard any "finalized" information for this years Fluke regulations other than 5 keepers @ 18" per person per day. When I do, I'll be the first to send another post and tell you of the start and finish dates.

As you know, I'm a big "outgoing tide" guy so I'll be trying to steer you to those dates based upon my tide charts for 2014 (you don't get that kind of service from other fishing operations!). I strongly suggest you make some purchases of 2,4 & 6 ounce Spro bucktails if you intend to do some fishing with me around all the "sticky" stuff (wreck/reef) for the bigger fish. White and chartreuse/white are my preferred colors so please be prepared. One final reminder is to read our fishing reports. I post our reports every evening after one of our trips. Just log onto our web site and click the "fishing reports" tab at the top of our home page.

Once again, Thank you for a great show as it's always a pleasure seeing and talking to you.

One final word...KUDOS goes out to my entire staff for helping out this weekend at the booth as well as John Cuozzo (Advantage Promotions), Bill Climas and Donnie from Tastee Subs in Franklin Park and lastly the entire Somerset Expo staff (Tod, Julia and Mike) for a job well done.

Let the 2014 season begin.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

March 6, 2014

Mate ChrisFellow Anglers,

I'll be giving 3 seminars on "Bucktailing for Fluke" this year at the Somerset Saltwater Expo. So mark your calendar and stop by to give a listen to a seminar on a very effective and my favorite way to catch those tasty Summer Flounder we all love to eat.......bucktailing.

Here are the dates, times and locations :

Friday March 14 @ 4:00 pm @ the Front Lobby Theater
Saturday March 15 @ 11:00 am @ the Exhibit Hall Rear Theater
Sunday March 16 @ 2:30 pm @ the Exhibit Hall Rear Theater

The Somerset Saltwater Expo is now only a week away. This year promises to be another banner year for the show with numerous vendors there ready to make great deals on all your fishing needs as well numerous seminars to sharpen your skills.

I'll have my reservation book with me if you care to book a few of your fishing trips at the show along with some goodies that we'll be giving away. A small deposit using your credit card will hold your day(s) for you.

See you at the show!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John & Crew

January 15 , 2014

Fellow Anglers,

This is the beginning of a new year and the start of our 2014 fishing reports. We hope you had a very happy holiday season as we start the beginning of a new year. If you like to go back to last years reports or beyond, scroll down to the bottom of this page and you will find our archived reports from 2011 and 2012 with reports, pictures as well as YouTube videos to watch.

The next major event here at Reel Fun Sportfishing will be the Somerset Saltwater Expo on March 14-16 which you should mark on your calendars now so you don't forget.

This is the "Show of Shows" if you're a saltwater angler fishing in New Jersey. Just about all the major manufacturers of rods, reels, lures, line, clothing, gear, tackle, custom made rods and much more will be on hand to sell their good's at great prices as this show is the 2014 seasonal kickoff to saltwater angling. Also, there will be a number of northeast charter captains there to answer your questions and book your charter fishing trips for spring and fall Stripers as well as Fluke(Summer Flounder) and Sea Bass and Tog. Also at the show will be the rep's from the great fishing clubs that fish in our area which every dedicated angler should join and be a part of in support of our passion. There si so much to see and so much to do at this event that 3 days really doesn't really cover the time you need to see everything.

There will be seminars on livelining bunker, clamming, bunker chunking, trolling and jigging for Striped Bass, bucktailing for Fluke, as well as bottom fishing for Sea Bass and Tog. The techniques used in throwing a cast net will also be covered and much too much to cover here. All 3 days will be filled with items of interest including surf fishing as well as saltwater fly fishing. There will also be some of the top fishing boats on display for sale such as Contender from Gateway Marine, Parker from Schraeder Yachts and more just to name a few that you can see and touch and talk with the rep's there to answer all of your questions and maybe sell you that ride of your dreams.

Last year's show saw the biggest attendance of any of the previous 8 years and this year should and could possibly exceed last years numbers. This is an event you just can't afford to miss. So mark your calendars, and call you fishing buddies to see the biggest saltwater show in the entire northeast. Don't forget to stop by our booth (same location as last year) and let's talk fishing and if you sign up for my email fishing reports at the show, I'll have a nifty Reel Fun Tote Bag to give you. I'll also have something special for those of you who book a charter at the show too.

So stop by and let's get the 2014 fishing season off to a roaring start.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John

***Coming Soon.....don't miss out***

The Expo opens it doors:

Friday March 14, 12 noon till 8 pm.
Saturday March 15, 10 am till 6 pm.
Sunday March 16, 10 am till 5 pm.

For archived 2011 Fishing Reports and here.
For archived 2012 Fishing Reports and here.
For archived 2013 Fishing Reports and here.

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arters Sandy Hook, NJ