Photo by C. Leslie
The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife maintains a
directory of New Jersey party and charter boats offering
year-round adventure on the state’s bay and ocean waters.
Party and charter boats, docked in ports at all the major
ocean inlets and bays on Monmouth County, let you take
advantage of the skill and knowledge of experienced
captains and well-equipped vessels at a reasonable cost.
All party and charter boats are inspected and licensed
by the U.S. Coast Guard for the passenger’s safety; all
captains are qualified and licensed. Anglers can book trips
departing from Keyport, Atlantic Highlands, Highlands,
Middletown/Port Monmouth, Rumson, Belmar, Manasquan
The basic difference between the two types of boats is
that a charter must be reserved in advance by a group of
passengers. Most party and charter boats are privately
owned and their prices are at the discretion of the owners.
The prices vary depending on the length of time and the
type of fishing and most offer special rates to groups,
children and senior citizens. Food, drinks and rental rods
are available on the boats.
Party boats are large vessels that carry anywhere from 20 to
150 passengers, sailing on a daily schedule for designated
species. Party boat passengers pay individually as they
board on a first-come-first-served basis until the boat is full.
Bait is provided and rods, reels and tackle may be rented
onboard. Most ports have several party boats, offering a
variety of types of fishing. There are full, half and threequarter
day, morning, afternoon, evening and night trips
available. Some party boats feature special long-distance
trips for tuna, tilefish, cod or whale watching. Such trips
usually require advanced reservations.
Charter boats are typically smaller in size. While most
charter boats carry a maximum of 6 to 8 anglers, others
carry much larger groups. Many party boats can also be
reserved for large group charters. The primary advantage
of a charter is that an entire boat can be reserved for a
selected group. Trip fees vary considerably, depending on
trip length and costs of fuel and of bait and tackle, which
are supplied. Some boats will arrange to cater food if
Planning a fishing trip during your vacation? Most vessels
offer online booking, and tickets may be bought in advance
or as a gift. For a complete list of party and charter boats,