Ocean County has a well-deserved reputation for its wealth of natural resources
and outdoor activities. One top activity is its outstanding saltwater fishing.
Beginner and expert anglers alike find topnotch fishing
through a variety of fishing species and techniques.
Whether boat fishing in protected bay waters, experiencing
the thrill of ocean fishing or angling with feet firmly on dry
earth, fishing is outstanding in Ocean County.
There are three inlets in Ocean County that provide boating
access to the Atlantic Ocean. Farthest north is Manasquan
Inlet with Barnegat Inlet in mid-county and Little Egg Inlet to
As a rule, the season of the year dictates the species of fish
available. Spring opens with the arrival of large migrating
striped bass and bluefish. As these fish move north, they
are replaced by smaller bluefish, summer flounder and
weakfish. Artificial reefs and shipwrecks close to shore in
the ocean come alive with black sea bass, tautog and other
In summer, boats head offshore for sport fishing
opportunities, including mahi-mahi, tuna, sharks, and
billfish. Closer to shore, there is a variety of small fish for
anglers fishing on the beach as well as flounder, small
panfish, and blue claw crabs in the bay waters.
Once fall arrives, fishing excitement grows with the return
of striped bass and bluefish from the north. Boaters and
surf casters alike wet their lines hoping to catch that trophy
striped bass of a lifetime. A variety of fishing tournaments
add to the excitement of fall fishing.
Anglers without boats have several choices. There are boat
liveries from Barnegat Bay south to Great Bay renting out
boats of various sizes for serious fishing or a family day on
the bay. The ports of Point Pleasant, Barnegat Light and
Beach Haven all have extensive fleets of boats for hire. In
addition, some small marinas also offer rentals.
For anglers wishing to fish from shore, many municipalities
maintain public fishing areas. Most beaches in Ocean
County are public and offer great scenic opportunities in
addition to excellent fishing.
Photo by N. Orlowski