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Top Fishing Charters in Atlantic City

Fishing in Atlantic City

Known for its scenic boardwalks and large piers full of amusements, “America’s Playground” has a lot to offer visitors, especially in the busy summer months. Atlantic CIty has a colorful reputation, helped in no small part by shows like Boardwalk Empire. Atlantic City fishing charters have action to rival anything on land, and the characters beneath the waves are as exciting as anything HBO can conjure up.
 
From the shallowest flats of the Absecon Bay to the darkest depths of the Atlantic Ocean, big fish fight hard to break off your lines. The list of species is enough to get any angler’s blood pumping. They range from light tackle favorites like Speckled Trout and Red Drum to heavyweight titans like Blue Marlin, Mako Sharks, and Bluefin Tuna. And that’s without even getting started on the incredible Striper and Bluefish action you’ll find nearby. You’re certainly not going to get bored here!

Atlantic City Fishing Spots

Whether you’re looking for a quick trip bayside before hitting the beach for the day or an overnight adventure trying for a record catch, you’ve got a lot of spots to choose from. So many, in fact, that we’ve had to seriously limit ourselves when writing up our favorites. Your guide will always have their own, and you won’t regret hitting them, but here are a few to help give you the lay of the land.

Absecon Bay

You don’t even need to leave town to find great fishing in Atlantic City. The sheltered waters of the Absecon Bay hold big populations of Flounder, Fluke, Weakfish, and Striped Bass. Stripers are known to winter here, extending the seasons well past its traditional run. Lakes and Reeds Bays are also good, although they lack the freshwater influx of Atlantic City Reservoir.
 

Atlantic City Ridge

AC’s outside fishing starts as soon as you come out of the inlet, with dozens of wrecks and reefs full of Tautog, Seabass, and other tasty bottom fish. The ridge is notable for its great Bluefish and Striper bite, and can easily be combined with surrounding sites to maximize your catch.
 

28 Mile Wreck

Also known as the Varanger, this 9,000-ton tanker was down by a German U-boat back in ‘42 and has been drawing big fish ever since. A trip out here will get you on some of the biggest Bluefish around, as well as a variety of Sharks. It can also hold tasty big game species like Bluefin Tuna and Mahi Mahi when they’re in season.
 

The Canyons

You’ll need at least 16 hours to enjoy the best deep sea fishing Atlantic City has to offer. Make the trip out to Baltimore or Wilmington Canyon, and you’ll be well rewarded for your perseverance. Blue Marlin and huge Bluefin Tuna hunt in these waters, alongside monster Makos and even Swordfish down in the depths. This is big game fishing as it should be - loads of huge fish all packing into one tight spot!
 

Atlantic City Fishing Pier

If you’re a fan of Striped Bass, you can’t leave town without hitting the iconic Vermont Avenue Jetty. Atlantic City Striper fishing was rocketed into the limelight here when Al McReynolds pulled his world-record fish out of the water in 1982. His 78-pound, 8-ounce record has since been beaten, but who knows what else is hiding here?
 

And More!

Head south, and you hit endless shoals and awesome structure like Great Egg Reef and the Stone Beds. Head north, and you can worm your way through Brigantine Bay into the awesome freshwater fisheries of Mullica River. There’s no end to Atlantic City’s angling potential, so get out there and start fishing!

Fishing Techniques

Now that you know where you’re fishing, you may want to know how you’ll be doing it. A lot of the bayside action focuses on live bait and light tackle, especially for species like Fluke, Seatrout, and Red Drum. Bluefish and Stripers are targeted one of two ways. Throwing jigs or plugs on spinning gear can get great results. Otherwise, stoke up a feeding frenzy with snag-and-drop style fishing, tearing a triple hook through bait shoals, then freelining it back into the pack to be devoured by hungry hunters.
 
You’ll be using a variety of techniques in the deep waters offshore. Marlin are caught by fast-trolling over the canyons, zig-zagging over them to hit different depths in the shortest time. Big Bluefin can also be caught by trolling, but you’ll have more fun taking them on poppers or jigs. Sharks are caught the same way the world over: Drop a chum slick and wait. Whatever you’re after, using heavy, 80-lb stand-up gear is a middle-of-the-road set-up that keeps your options open to whatever decides to hit your baits.

Need to Know

There’s no general saltwater fishing license in New Jersey. When fishing aboard Atlantic City fishing charters, you’re not required to carry any kind of license. When fishing from piers or from the shore, there are different permits depending on what you are targeting. You can find full details and get yours from the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website. Seasons and limits for Highly Migratory Species (like Tuna, Sharks, and other big game fish) can change over the course of the season. Your captain will be able to give you the full details of all current seasons during your trip.

Atlantic City Fishing Seasons

Hit the sands for the annual First Day at the Beach festival. Music, games, refreshments, and entertainments kick off the new year in style. Otherwise, Striped Bass are biting hard in the bay.

If you want to get aboard a luxury boat but it’s too cold to fish, head to the International Power Boat Show to see the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.

The New Jersey fishing season starts in earnest in March. Blue Crab are open for harvest, and big Makos are showing up offshore. The first few Flounder are being caught in the bay, too!

Blackfish are back on the menu in April, and everyone wants to get their hooks into these tasty rock-dwellers. Bayside, Weakfish arrive to join the Flounder, making for great eating all around.

Black Seabass are legal to harvest from May, giving you more great reasons to fish the local wrecks. The Bluefish bite is really getting good by now, and big Stripers are starting to show up, too.

Head up the road to Tuckerton, NJ, to enjoy the annual Seafood and Music Festival. If you’d rather catch your lunch, hit the outside structure to bag some delicious Seabass.

As the weather heats up, so does the bite offshore. Yellowfin, Bluefin, and Bigeye Tuna are all in their prime and the Marlin bite is getting strong. There are also huge Makos, so pack some wire leader!

August is peak Marlin season out at the canyons, with both Blue and White Marlin on the scene. You can also start catching Swordfish this time of year, as if two Billfish weren’t enough!

If you missed the seafood in June, you’ve got another chance in September! The Rotary Seafood Festival welcomes you to feast yourself on Crab, Oysters, fish, and more.

The summer high season is over by October. What that means is much more water for you! Target Stripers, Blues, Flounder, Weakfish, Croakers, Tautog, Seabass, Scup, and much, much more!

Can’t face another turkey this year? Luckily, November is peak season for Tautog and Seabass! There are still plenty of Striped Bass left, too, making for amazing eating all round.

Enjoy the holiday season with a walk along Atlantic City’s landmark boardwalk. There will be plenty of seasonal cheer, and more than enough amusements to while away a winter’s day.

Atlantic City Fishing Calendar

Top Fishing Techniques in Atlantic City

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Atlantic City

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Seabass (Black)

Bluefish

Nearby Fishing Destinations