Hidden ecological wonders can be found throughout New Jersey’s diverse landscape that offers an ecosystem of breathtaking beauty. Over one million acres of farms, forests, and wetlands – including 40 miles of Delaware River landscape, waterfalls, rugged mountain scenery, and unlimited outdoor activities – are available for exploration by hiking, canoe, kayak, or swimming – and that’s all inland. But the most popular outdoor activity in New Jersey has to be fishing. Thanks to such vast marine borders, the soil is rich and healthy almost everywhere along the northeastern and southwestern coastlines. Small towns and villages have prospered for hundreds of years along the coast, including a few along the southeast which are among the most popular resort and vacation destinations on America’s East Coast. With over 127 miles of New Jersey coast and 157 miles of Delaware Bay and River, not to mention over 4,000 lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, bays and reservoirs crisscrossing the state, New Jersey is a fishing paradise.
Blue skies, cool breezes, and endless miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches make the New Jersey Shore a popular destination for many people from many places. Dozens of fun-filled Jersey Shore towns provide entertainment from shopping, carnival rides, and vibrant boardwalk atmosphere, to endless stretches of solitude and peaceful, quiet hours. From Sandy Hook to Cape May, or one of the diverse shore areas in between, New Jersey’s beach and fishing towns offer exceptional coastline, beautiful barrier islands, and endless opportunities to wet your line with practically no worrying whether something will soon be tugging back from the other end.
Bounded by the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean, most of New Jersey has a moderate climate with cold winters and warm, humid summers. Winter temperatures are slightly colder and summers slightly milder in the northwestern hills – away from the water – than in the rest of the state. High season for inshore fishing runs from May through November, with good numbers before and after these beginning and ending periods. January is practically the only month with unimpressive catch counts, and that is more likely due to the lack of participation than any absence of game. Offshore seasons are slightly briefer, due to migration, but some popular targets are here all year. Billfish are usually available from June through October, but Yellowfin Tuna and Sea Bass are caught in good numbers year-round. Mahi Mahi are most popular from July through October, in accordance with Bluefin, Weakfish, and Bluefish who show up a bit earlier, in May. Wahoo come to prominence in July and remain through October. Fluke, or Summer Flounder, have rebounded in great numbers in recent years, and they are abundant from June through November. And these are only a few. If you can stand the weather outside in New Jersey, you can’t really miss the fish.
Hundreds of charter and party fishing boats are available for hire along the New Jersey coast, taking you quickly into the deep blue sea for hookups with Marlin, Atlantic Mackerel, Yellow, Bluefin Tuna and Bigeye Tuna, Wahoo, Bonita, Bluefish, and many more of the most popular species. Many charters focus on one species of fish, especially during the numerous tournaments hosted along the coast every year. Competitions for Sharks, Marlin, Mahi Mahi, and Tuna can fill an entire calendar, and New Jersey based boats have won a number of prestigious events. A day of surf fishing can bring payoffs in Blues and Striped Bass, among others all up and down the coast. In the northern areas of Sandy Hook and Belmar, bays and rivers offer tantalizing numbers of Flounder, Stripers, Weakfish, and Tautog. Central areas around Brielle and Point Pleasant share a wealth of Fluke, Blues, Stripers, Sea Bass, and Sea Run Brown Trout from the Manasquan River waterways, and the shelter of barrier islands along the coast. Towards the south, towns like Long Beach Island see even better numbers of the regional favorites, with the addition of another, new facet to fishing. So many shipwrecks highlight the underwater topography in these waters that offshore wreck fishing is gaining in popularity. Large Sea Bass, Tilefish, and Cod are a few of the popular catches available in these cozy shelters during almost every month of the year. At the very southern tip Cape May is most prominent among many other fishing communities, and hosts over 100 charter fishing boats based out of more than 15 local marinas. Such easy access to rich, fertile rivers, bays, and quick, deep Atlantic waters makes practically the entire Jersey coast ideal for saltwater sport fishing.