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Captain Dave Wittenborn
302 West Ave
Beach Haven, NJ 08008

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to Business!!

The Compass Rose is back in the water after Hurricane Irene and ready to go fishing.  There was little damage to the island despite a category 1 hurricane making a direct hit.  The fish should be extra hungry and I am excited to make my first trip.  We took all of the appropriate precautions for the storm and were lucky to get away with such a small impact.  Let's go fishing.



9:05 pm edt 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Makes Historical Landfall in LBI

Hurricane Irene has made landfall along the New Jersey coast near Little Egg Inlet with 75-mph winds, the first hurricane to make landfall in the Garden State in over a century.

Only two hurricanes have made landfall in New Jersey in the last 200 years.

An 1821 storm crashed into Cape May and zipped up the route of what is now the Garden State Parkway.

A 1902 hurricane struck just north of Atlantic City and ripped out piers in the beach resort.





8:29 am edt 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

In preparation for Hurricane Irene, the Compass Rose as been pulled out of the water and is on land.  I evacuated my family off the island yesterday after we tied down and packed away all of our personal items that we couldn't fit into the truck.  Leaving the island felt like we were in a war zone.  There were no cars or people on the streets with State Trooper and National Guard check points for at least ten miles along RT. 72 once you left the island.  The authorities in charge were taking this extremely seriously and I must say they were doing an excellent job.  I have a lot of friends who decided to stay and ride out the storm and stay on the island.  I am sure they will be safe but they will most likely lose power along with natural gas service so it will be a long couple of days for them.  All of the business are closed and literally boarded up so there is no place to go for supplies or food.  Below is a picture of Murphy's Market and Uncle Will's Pancake House as I was leaving the island.  I have also attached a couple of photos from a charter trip on Thursday that we were able to sneak in before the storm.






7:39 pm edt 

Jim Hutchinson of the Asbury Park Press and Islander fishes with Captain Dave

I was honored with the opportunity to have Jim Hutchinson fish aboard the Compass Rose this past August for an open boat trip out to the reef site.  We had a great day on the water and a good time was had by all on board.  Here is his write up in the local paper, the Islander and the Asbury Park Press as it appeared on August 19, 2011:

"Joining a fishing captain on an "open boat" trip has become popular during the past several years. An open boat trip is when a fishing captain charges individual anglers a fee to fish on the boat for the day.

For many reasons, including economic factors, owning a boat is not for everyone. Fishermen without boats have several options to do some fishing without the responsibilities and expense of owning their own boat.

One choice is to rent a boat from a local boat livery. While this will get you on the water for the day, practically all boat rentals are restricted to bay waters. To fish ocean waters, you must either fish on a head boat or make arrangements with a fishing guide.

A head boat is a large boat that may take anywhere from a dozen anglers up to as many as 75 for a day's fishing. Fishing on a head boat is an economical choice, and many good catches are made on headboats every day.

The drawbacks to fishing on a head boat include the large crowd of strangers you will fish with and a lack of personal contact with the captain himself. Captains must divide their attention between all the anglers on the boat and their captain's responsibilities.

Another option is to charter a boat and crew. Most charter boats are licensed to take up to six anglers. When you charter a boat, you control who and how many people you fish with. With the smaller number of anglers, you get the chance to interact with the captain.

The main drawback to chartering a boat is the expense.

Depending on the length of the day and the type of fishing, a charter can run from $400 for a half day fluke trip to more than $3,000 for an overnight tuna trip.

When a captain finds charters are slow, he can declare certain days to be open boat trips.

He determines where the boat will fish and their target species. Each angler on an open boat pays a fee to fish. Depending on the type of trip, this can range from $75 to $200 or more.

When you fish on an open boat trip, you do not select your fishing partners for the day.

Capt. Dave Wittenborn runs the Compass Rose out of Beach Haven.

The boat is a 29-foot center console with twin 250 horsepower Yamaha outboard engines. He has found Saturdays in the summer to be difficult to find full charters.

Wittenborn says that a large portion of his customers are vacationers, and Saturdays in the summer are "turnover" days when rentals are either ending or just starting.

Wittenborn found that running an open boat trip on Saturdays in the summer almost always ended up being successful.

These trips enable small groups of anglers to fish at a reasonable price. Many times they can book spots at the last minute.

Last Saturday, the Compass Rose had an open boat trip that fished for fluke at the Little Egg South Reef. The boat left the dock in Beach Haven at 7 a.m. and returned about 1:30 pm.

As with all trips, Wittenborn supplied all necessary fishing gear and bait.

Chris Semenuk of Greenwich, Conn., had his 12-year-old son Logan out fishing in the ocean for the first time.

He wanted an inexpensive way to introduce Logan to fishing and found Wittenborn on the Internet.

He booked the trip the night before, after learning the weather would be good.

Pete Wellstood of New Rochelle, N.Y., also found the boat on the Internet and took the fishing trip while his wife and daughter spent time at the beach.

Craig Breslin of Maplewood received the trip as a birthday present from his wife.

Jim Adelsheim of Newton, Mass., has been fishing with Wittenborn for seven years. He has both chartered the boat and signed up for the open boat trips.

He said he likes the captain's friendly attitude and the way he handles families.

The group ended up with six keeper fluke, along with about 30 throwbacks. Once they returned to the dock.

Wittenborn cleaned the fish and split them up evenly among the anglers so that everyone could have a fish dinner.

Information on Wittenborn's trips can be found at"






7:11 pm edt 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Reef Fishing

I spent the last 3 days taking groups out to the Garden State South Reef.  All trips were very successful and the weather couldn't have been nicer.  Pete Wellstood and Nicloe Beadle caught the two largest fluke of the week.  Both were 24" and weighed close to 5 pounds.  We had many Fluke over 20" and had over 80 shorts that had to go back to "grow up".  Seabass are still M.I.A. from this reef.







3:06 pm edt 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mid Season Report

The water has warmed into the mid seventies and the ocean fluking is finally under way.  This is my favorite time of the year to fish.  The fluke are now moving out of the bays and onto the ocean lumps.  We had a great weekend fishing around the reefs and had a steady pick of fluke and sea bass.  The sea bass fishery is generally slow from July to early August due to the fact that the fish are spawning.  The fish are still there, however, they have other things on their minds.  Luckily the fluke fishing this weekend was outstanding.  As we get closer towards the end of the month and into September, I will move the trips away from the reef areas and closer to the lumps off the beach.  Every year, the fish pile up on the lumps in about 30 to 50 ft of water and this makes for a very fun fishery.  We have missed this the last few years because the state has cut the fluke season short before the fluke made their migration to the lump area off our beaches.  This year, the season goes until the end of September and we will once again have the opportunity to target this historic fishery.

JamieLapp.jpg BigFluke.jpg

7:28 pm edt 

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