Junior Mate Program

Junior Mate Program


In memory of Captain John Koegler. He was an excellent fisherman, a good friend and teacher, and a natural scientist.


The 2019 Season's Organizational Meeting for the BHCFA Junior Mate Training Program will be held at 7 p.m., 6/27/2019 at the


New Jersey Maritime Museum
528 Dock Road, Beach Haven N.J.


Parking is available on the east side (back) of the Museum or on the street where marked.

Call Capt. John Lewis @ 609-670-5980 or Capt. Jimmy Zavacky @ 609-915-2498 for details about the BHCFA Junior Mate Training Program.

View 'The Islander' Junior Mates Article

Learn to be a better fisherman! Learn hands-on techniques! Taught by the leading charter boat professionals.

  • Learn to be a better boater and fisherman including knot tying, navigation, boat handling, tackle and boat maintenance, weather, safety, first aid, and all of the other skills that will make you more valuable on the water.


  • Learn all of the other skills that increase your value as a crew member on charter and private fishing boats. This program includes “hands on” training. The best way to learn is by doing under the supervision of experts.
  • Become proficient in all of the skills and meet all of the qualifications and you can be offered a paid mate’s position in the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association charter fleet. This is the best summer job you can imagine!
  • Learn personal responsibility and how to work with others as a team.
  • Your membership in the BHCFA Junior Mate program lets you stand apart from the crowd.


Download the Junior Mate Associate Membership Application here.




2019 BHCFA Jr. Mate Training Schedule

Every Thursday evening from late June into August.

Note that the New Jersey Boater Safety class is two nights,

Wednesday 7/24/19 and Thursday 7/25/19


From 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Public Is Invited To Pre-Register And Participate in the NJ Boater Safety Course!




Program Cost - $25 plus the cost of U.S. Coast Guard approved random drug test program including the "pre-employment" test.


All Junior Mates MUST be enrolled in the “ American Professional Captains Association” random drug test program and have had their "pre-employment" tests prior to being allowed on any BHCFA Member Captain's boat with paying passengers aboard. 


We recommend that any potential Junior Mate join the APCA Drug Test Program prior to their first Thursday evening training meeting of the season since initial processing of the “pre-employment” test takes time.

You must call them to register (800-468-7447) and tell them you are a Junior Mate with the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association to qualify for the discounted fee.

Do not register on the APCA website or you will have to pay full price. Call APCA using their toll-free number [800-468-7447] and register by phone. Tell APCA that you are applying as a Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Junior Mate and that the agreed fee is $25. The normal fee is $90 so make sure you tell them about their special price for our Junior Mates. APCA will instruct you as to what drug test center to go to by sending you a packet of instructions to your home.


Junior Mate applicants should reach their 13th birthday or older by this coming August 1. Interested applicants who will not be 13 by August 1, 2018 should look forward to joining the program in the year when they will turn 13 by August 1.


This is a serious charter boat crew-training program. We expect all Junior Mates who enrol to participate and learn more about the sport they love ... fishing. It is not a recreational program per se even though Junior Mates normally have a lot of fun working and learning with BHCFA Captains and other BHCFA Junior Mates.


Only qualified candidates will be invited to work as mates on BHCFA Member Boats and earn their Charter Boat Mate Certification.


Charter Boat Mate Certification normally takes three seasons of training.


Junior Mates are assigned to BHCFA Member Captains on a random basis.

BHCFA Captains invest their time and resources to teach Junior Mates the trade craft of charter fishing.

Junior Mates only receive pay when their Captain decides the Junior Mate has earned pay. The dedication of time and effort is what the Junior Mate invests to learn the trade.


No Junior Mate can expect pay during any on-the-job-training even with paying passengers on an a BHCFA member boat until their  Captain tells them they are qualified to run a charter trip as First Mate on their own and actually run trips as First Mate.


Paying passengers may give a tip to a Junior Mate as long as such a tip does not reduce the tip given to the First Mate.


Junior Mates should understand that a charter fishing trip is a complex undertaking and that charter boats and the equipment and tackle on board is complicated. Junior Mates are expected to participate in pre-trip setup and after-trip clean up and tackle and boat maintenance as part of their training.


Learning everything there is to know about the details of running a charter fishing trip are important parts of a Junior Mate's training. If a Junior Mate thinks of the “hands on” activities as “work,” they are missing the point. Yes, some of the activities get you hot, sweaty and dirty but you will have gained priceless knowledge so you use what you learned the next time the subject comes up.


        Parents are welcome to attend the Thursday night Training Meetings.



We strongly recommend that all Junior Mate Candidates start learning their knots using the website listed below even before the Training Program begins.

The knot instructions can be found at www.animatedknots.com.

Junior Mates have to learn their knots and rigging and that includes doing the assigned Knot practice for homework.


Junior Mates renewing APCA Drug Test participation should call APCA to do so since the billed renewal price is $80 but BHCFA Junior Mates only pay $25 if you call to remind APCA of your special rate and renew over the phone.


Jr Mate schedule, 2019

Updated 4/19.

All classes are on Thursday evening starting at 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted.

NJ boater training is two nights Wednesday 7/24/19 and Thursday 7/25/19 starting at 6:00PM


Week 1-    6/27/19   NJ Maritime museum.

Sign up.

Experienced mates and captains to test and  demonstrate knots to new mates during sign up.

A description of the program and a report of fisheries status.


Week 2- WEDNESDAY 7/3. NJ Maritime Museum

Cast net throwing with Frank Crescitelli of Fin Chaser Charters


Week 3- 7/11 Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna club

420 Pennsylvania Ave. Beach Haven

CPR. Family and friends are also invited at a cost of $45 each


Week 4- 7/19   Maritime Museum

Jim Hutchinson Jr. Fisherman Magazine, Photography. Taking better fish pictures and reports and getting published


Week 5Wednesday 7/24/19 and Thursday 7/25/19 NJ Maritime Museum

 NJ boater safety class starting at 6:00 PM

               Thursday 7/25/19,

                Second and third year mates, Chart reading and navigation.


Week 6-  8/1  Morrisons  

Fish cleaning, bait preparation and boat maintenance.


Week 7-  8/8  NJ Maritime Museum,

 Amanda Funk from Garmin electronics will talk about The latest advances in marine electronics.


Week 8- 8/15  NJ Maritime Museum

 Last class. Knot test discussion of the program and charters, mate survey.


Friday 8/16 Jr Mate tournament.




Junior Mate Program Blanket Permission Form

Click here to Download the Blanket Permission Form in PDF Format.

Download Acrobat to view/print Application and Blanket Permission Form Here