Taking a trip to New Jersey? You have to try out the surf fishing scene that this state has to offer! With miles of beaches all along the coast, nearly every city and town has some really great surf fishing spots. Lucky for you, we compiled a list of some of the best places that New Jersey surf fishing has to offer!
Best Places for Surf Fishing in NJ:
- Long Beach Island
- Cape May
- Island Beach State Park
- Sandy Hook
Long Beach Island
LBI in New Jersey is a classic place for surf fishing. With nearly 18 miles of beach and ever changing sandbars, there is always going to be a spot to find some real trophy fish. There are plenty of bait shops for restocking gear, as well as local experts to help find your best location and offer surf fishing tips on navigating the beaches. Some local towns on the island have even built public access piers for fishing and crabbing on the bayside if you aren’t having any luck with the ocean.
One of the most popular and successful spots for fishing on the island is a place called Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. At the most northern tip of the island, you have the option to fish both the beach and the bayside, providing you the opportunity to look for all types of fish.
The best time to go surf fishing in Cape May is evening and night time. During the summer months, the beaches are generally packed with families and sun tanners, which gives little room for fishing. Generally speaking, the evenings and nights tend to be better for fishing regardless of the season so it’s best to spend your days relaxing before gearing up for an evening of fishing. Fall surf fishing for stripers is also popular in Cape May.
At night, the beaches are generally empty. To find the best fish at night, you need to start looking around the jetties. There are usually plenty of striped bass swimming through. With both bayside and beachside fishing all year round, Cape May is a really great place to start for people just looking to enjoy their time by the waters!
With plenty of walkable jetties and coastlines, Belmar, New Jersey is a hotbed for sport fishing. On the north end of Belmar is snake river inlet. This inlet is the perfect spot for surf fishing! It seems like there always are plenty of trophy fish just waiting to be plucked out of the water!
Most people tend to start up North at the Shark River Inlet and work their way south towards Sea Grit. Night time is also a really great time for fishing as well. There tend to be fewer people out on the waters and the big fish are known to be more populated in the area when the sun goes down.
Island Beach State Park
Arguably the best place in not just New Jersey, but the entire Atlantic coast for surf fishing! Island Beach State Park is roughly 10 miles long with perfect undeveloped barrier islands and sand bars galore. Finding trophy fish don’t seem to be a problem here. There’s a long history of people pulling out massive fish like a 55-pound bass back in 2009.
The waters are filled with bluefish, striped bass, and weakfish. With most of the park open to the public year round, this is a classic place to begin an epic adventure of looking for huge fish! You are not required to have a license to fish here so anybody with any skill level can dip their lines in the water!
Sandy Hook, NJ is filled with opportunity for great fishing. You do need a permit to fish there, but the prices are reasonable. They offer day passes during the busy seasons like Labor Day weekend, but also offer a year long permit for $50. The Rip is a popular location on the northern part of the beach. Filled with bluefish and striped bass, this is the point where the ocean and the bay meet.
Striper season all along the beaches usually begin in April/May. Night time seems to be a good place to start if you want to catch a big fish. Less crowded beaches and bigger fish swimming by means plenty of opportunities to find something great!
Final Thoughts on New Jersey Surf Fishing
Surf fishing in New Jersey is somewhat of a pastime in this state. There are miles of coastline and plenty of hotspots to try out. Whether you are fishing from the beach or on one of the many piers, making sure you have the proper surf fishing equipment is always essential.