Point Pleasant Beach is located near the very northern end of the Intercoastal Waterway, along the eastern coast of New Jersey. The town was established as a summer and weekend destination in the late 1800’s, and quickly developed into one of the most popular getaway spots for New Jersey residents, and many from Philadelphia and New York. Point Pleasant and Point Pleasant Beach grew and developed with the addition of hotels, bed and breakfasts, cottages, and a local extension of the Atlantic Boardwalk. The pleasant, quaint charm of this area has remained virtually unchanged since the turn of the century. Here, the vibrant boardwalk features arcades, an aquarium, rides, along with every level of dining and drinking culture, in addition to lovely views of white sandy beaches and the ocean. Every September brings one of the best seafood festivals in New Jersey to the boardwalk, proving this small town’s dedication to fishing. Surrounded by a natural network of waterways from the Manasquan River and the ocean, this area boasts some of the best fishing opportunities along the East Coast.
In addition to Barnegat Bay and the Point Pleasant Canal, the calm, navigable, deep-bottomed Manasquan Inlet connects the Manasquan River to the Atlantic Ocean, providing extensive year-round options of surf, deep sea, and sport fishing. A commercial fishing fleet calls Point Pleasant Beach its home port, and so do a great number of charter fishing boats and knowledgeable guides. Charters based along the River and from Ken’s Landing at the Point Pleasant Beach Marina offer trips lasting from only a few hours on the local waterways and inshore ocean waters in the morning, afternoon, or evening, to full-day and some overnight jaunts farther out and into deeper Atlantic water. Many of these companies run party boats for larger groups and families during peak seasons.
The Manasquan River and its waterways are home to a variety of local species, including the popular Striped Bass which migrates along the coast and is available in good numbers throughout the year. From March through the end of every year Barnegat Bay and Barnegat Inlet have some of the most productive fly fishing waters in Ocean County. The nearby Pequest Trout Hatchery provides a constant population of Sea Run Brown Trout. These fish are born in the River and soon migrate downstream to the Inlet and shallower ocean waters. Once they reach maturity and sizes between two and four pounds, they return to the River every fall, to the continuing delight of local anglers. Bluefish are another local favorite in early spring and summer, respected for their hearty nature and hefty battles once hooked. Winter Flounder make their runs in these waters during November and December, while Summer Flounder begin moving towards the Inlet early in the spring. Weakfish are in high volume from May until October, with larger specimens taken in the spring when they enter the bay to spawn. These tasty fish are also hard fighters and are usually taken on light tackle. As the season progresses these Fluke move into deeper waters, but remain within very close access all summer long. Other species which show up at various times in the local waterways include Croakers, Black Drum, Spanish Mackerel, and Herring. Offshore charters aim further into the Atlantic Ocean, and for larger specimens of Yellowfin and Longfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Tilefish, even Sharks, Swordfish, and the occasional Marlin. These trips break the Inlet within minutes of leaving the dock, and some go as far as Sandy Hook and Shrewsbury Rocks, working the way back through Long Branch and Sea Girt Reef. Canyon Tuna trips tap into offshore hotspots and a variety of popular saltwater monsters. These waters have produced six IGFA World Records in the categories of Cod, Pollack, and Sea Bass.
Point Pleasant and Point Pleasant Beach comprise one of the most popular and productive areas to fish along the New Jersey coast. Aside from great and numerous options for entertainment on land, including the Boardwalk and its many exciting rides and shops, this area is more advantageous for anglers who come to relax on the water, away from any urban hassle or worry. Any time of the year is good for fishing in Point Pleasant and the quaint, friendly historic town provides everything else to make your fishing vacation even more . . . pleasant.