Equipped with GPS, radar, and electronic fish-finding technology, you wouldn't think the Capt. Robbins is more than 60 years old. Rainbow Deep Sea Fishing's captain Victor Hartley purchased the storied vessel in 2011 and refurbished it the next year. The acquisition was a homecoming of sorts, as Hartley once worked on the ship as a child. Today, the Capt. Robbins ferries up to 125 passengers on fishing trips off the shores of New Jersey.
Tony Hoffman, a United States Coast Guard licensed captain, brings more than 35 years of fishing experience to his charter boat company. During guided fishing trips, he escorts groups out on the back bays and instructs them in the basics of fishing using on-board rods. The action takes place on the Family Fisherman, a 40-foot pontoon boat equipped with an open-air deck, a state-of-the-art stereo system, and the busts of famous bluefish. Passengers can cast a line at flounder, sea bass, and small sand sharks, enjoying views of the glistening New Jersey bays along the way.
The Jersey Shore famously bustles with Ferris wheels, roller coasters, boardwalk shops, and restaurants, but the action doesn't stop at the waterline. Propelled by twin diesel engines, the 75-foot Queen Mary trolls the waters in search of both entertainment and mammoth striped sea bass, Atlantic bonito, bluefish, and long-buried swim trunks. The crew specializes in teaching newbies—including kids—how to handle a fishing pole, and enclosed lounges and separate women's and men's restrooms keep less sea-weathered sailors comfortable.
The John Jack is a US Coast Guard–certified, 50-foot titan of the sea, operated by a friendly crew and knowledgeable captain. Two Caterpillar engines––each producing 800 horsepower––propel the red and white ship through the waves, staving off currents as passengers embark on chartered fishing and diving trips around the Point Pleasant Beach area. It can reach speeds of up to 25 knots and travel up to 350 miles between fuel stops, so it’s not uncommon to see the vessel docked in ports at Montauk, Cape May, Virginia, or Cape Hatteras. The interior is air conditioned, and houses a refrigerator, microwave, icemaker, and power outlets. Outside, quartz halogen lights illuminate the deck, creating a night atmosphere that still provides enough light for fishing, diving, or reading Magic 8-Ball responses.