Lunch & Dinner Cruises BUY TICKETS ONLINE www.sparkexploreocean.com 17 Saltwater Fishing RIVER LADY Toms River, NJ 732-349-8664 www.riverlady.com 1/2 mile off Exit 81 GSP Saltwater fishing can be an exciting experience at the Jersey Shore, and Ocean County offers a wide variety of options, whether you’re an avid fisherman or fishing for the very first time. Because varying water temperatures and weather conditions change the types of fish that could be pursued in the same bodies of water in each of its four full seasons, many people consider this area to be the best fishing location of the entire East Coast. Another attractive characteristic of the Jersey Shore area is the wellestablished fishing infrastructure that offers public and private boat launches, party boats and charters. There are also various land fishing opportunities for pier-fishing and surf-casting from public beaches. Many huge fish have been taken from the Jersey Shore without a boat. PARTY BOATS OR CHARTER – PICK YOUR PLEASURE Ocean County has many party boats available that offer full- and halfday trips as well as night runs. The main benefit of a party boat is that you simply show up and pay a small fee to go fishing—all equipment, including bait, is provided. The boats are also staffed with mates who will do everything for you from baiting your hook to helping you land the fish, and many will even clean and fillet the fish for a small fee. Large groups are welcome—some party boats can accommodate as many as 75 people. Charter boats tend to offer a more personalized fishing experience for smaller groups—in some cases as few as two people—customized to the client and focused on harvesting large fish. There is also less probability of tangled fishing lines or other problems common on a full party boat. If you have your own fishing boat, chances are you fall into the “avid fisherman” category and will be leveraging one of the various boat launch opportunities. However, during the fall months, both party and charter boats travel over a hundred miles on twenty- or thirty-hour overnight missions to the canyons to harvest tuna, one of the best tasting-fish sought from the Jersey Shore. THE FOUR SEASONS AND WHAT TO CONSIDER When you hit the mackerel migration at its peak in the spring, it can be one of the most rewarding fishing experiences because they are so plentiful and fun to reel in. The spring is also a huge target for fishing both stripers and black sea bass. Many party and charter boats target stripers as the sporting fish of preference for this time of year. The summertime is a great opportunity to go for fluke, founder, blue fish, shark and kingfish. Most party and charter boats will target fluke, flounder and blue fish as a single package during the summer months. All of these fish make great dinners and are fun to catch. Tuna move in closest to the shore in the fall—but no closer than the canyons over a hundred miles out. There you have the opportunity for longfin, yellowfin and bluefin tuna, which are extremely large fish and in high demand. Stripers also move back into the area in the fall, along with weakfish and black sea bass. In the winter, the fishing slows down a bit in New Jersey, but it’s a great opportunity to fish for cod, whiting, white perch and winter flounder. COME PREPARED Always remember that the temperature and wind at the dock may not be what you experience out on the water. Once the boat leaves the dock, there is no turning back, so plan accordingly. Dress in layers, and bring a jacket, hat and sunglasses. Consider that you will be walking on a slippery wet deck when you choose your footwear. Sunblock is an absolute requirement because of the intensity of the sun and the reflection off the water in the summer months at the Jersey Shore, even on a cloudy day. Make sure you have access to food and plenty of water—the salty air will make you thirsty, and staying hydrated will help keep your fishing adventure a positive experience. Bring a towel to wipe your hands between catches, as well as a plastic bag or a cooler for getting your catch back home. Register before you go fishing. It’s free and can be processed online at www.SaltwaterRegistry.nj.gov. Saltwater anglers are exempt from registering if they are either under 16 years old or fishing on a party or charter boat. Always check the minimum size requirements for a given species—this information is likely to change on an annual basis.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above