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Top Fishing Charters in Cape May

Fishing in Cape May

Cape May is so well placed for awesome angling it’s a wonder the area isn’t more famous. Cape May fishing charters can explore sheltered sounds less than a mile from town or head through Cape May inlet to the deep, open waters of the Atlantic. Turn the other way on your way out of the marina, and you cut through Cape May Canal straight into the awesome shallows of Delaware Bay.
Cape May marks the meeting of northern and southern species, and anything from Black Drum and Spotted Seatrout to Blackfish and Weakfish can be caught here in big numbers, alongside a whole load of Striped Bass. Don’t spend your whole time in the bay, though. Monster Bluefin, Yellowfin, and Bigeye Tuna wait offshore. Head out far enough, and you can also find White and even Blue Marlin. There’s no end to the awesome hookups Cape May fishing has in store for you!

Fishing Spots

Your first choice is simple: bay or bluewater. Cape May’s Atlantic coastline isn’t usually fished as the inshore action is so good elsewhere. If you head out past the Inlet, you will be traveling 20, 60, or even 100 miles offshore in search of big game pelagics. Stick to be bay, and you will be fishing shoals and bars for inshore gamefish. These are a few of the spots you might visit.

Jarvis Sound

If the five-mile cruise through Cape May Canal is just too much for you, head to Jarvis Sound to enjoy great inshore fishing a stone’s throw from town. The local creeks and mud flats are highly tidal, but when the fishing’s hot a range of gamefish show up here, drawn by the big schools of bait.

Brandywine Shoals

The Brandywine Shoals are one of the best spots in Delaware Bay for Weakfish. You can also catch some decent Bluefish here, and there are plenty of deeper wrecks around for bottom fish like Seabass and Tautog.

Cape May Rips

The mouth of Delaware Bay is hands down the best place for landing Striped Bass. A series of sandbars create rips all along the entrance to the bay, which are ideal hunting grounds for hungry Stripers.

Five Fathoms Bank

Want to set your hooks into something a little bigger? Head out to Five Fathoms Bank and battle a variety of Sharks. This is also a great spot for trophy Bluefish, and you can even find Tuna here during the heat of summer.


Cape May charter boats don’t mess about when it comes to the bluewaters. The best deep sea fishing Cape May has access to is 80+ miles out at the canyons, and that’s exactly where you’ll be going if you want Marlin, Tuna, and other big game A-listers. Wilmington, Poor Man’s, and Baltimore Canyons are the most popular, out on the continental shelf.

Fishing Techniques

Cape May charter guides use a range of techniques to get you pulling in big fish. Weakfish are caught by casting jigs baited with shredder crab or plastic worms. Black Drum are usually targeted using clams on heavy bottom rigs. Fishing at night is the best way of bringing in the biggest fish, with monsters well over 100 pounds being pulled out of Delaware Bay in the past.
Stripers are taken in a few ways around Cape May. You can drift baits over the rips at the mouth of the bay, or head further inshore to chunk for them with Menhaden. Drifting is a more reliable way of filling the icebox, but Bunker chunking routinely brings in the biggest fish of the season. Diamond jigging can be effective for both Stripers and Bluefish, but is best in federal waters where you can’t keep your catch,
Cape May Tuna fishing charters mainly troll around the canyons and other bluewater spots. You can also have a lot of fun throwing jigs or poppers for Tuna. Sharks are caught the same way the world over: get the water nice and bloody, then throw in baits on big circle hooks and heavy wire leaders.

Need to Know

You don’t need a fishing license aboard New Jersey charter boats. Fishing from shore or from a pier may require a permit, depending on the body of water you’re fishing. 
Cape May
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Cape May Fishing Seasons

We’re not going to lie, winter isn’t the hottest time for fishing any more than it is for weather. There are decent catches of Tautog, Crab, and Bluefish for hardy anglers, though.

Walk the beach with your significant other, taking in the South Jersey shoreline without a soul in sight. Once that’s over, head out to catch some tasty Blackfish for dinner.

Shark fishing picks up offshore in March, with Makos, Hammerheads, and more toothy beasts showing up around deep-water banks. Tautog are closed for harvest throughout March.

Blackfish are back on the menu and biting hard after their spring closure. Weakfish show up in big numbers, and Striped Bass fishing kicks off with a bang. The sportfishing season has started!

Tautog and Seabass make for great food fishing while Striped Bass and Bluefish keep sportfishers happy. Offshore, the first Yellowfin Tuna can show up on a good year.

June is the start of tournament season, with the South Jersey Shark Tournament and the Canyon Club Overnight Tuna Tournament bringing in fish almost as big as the prizes!

The tournaments continue throughout July, with the family-friendly South Jersey Offshore Showdown and the much more competitive Stone Harbor Marlin Tournament.

The MidAtlantic is the most important event in the New Jersey fishing calendar. This event pays out over $3,000,000 in prizes every year, drawing anglers from across the country.

Tournament season has finished, but that doesn’t mean the action is over! Target Blue and White Marlin and Mahi Mahi offshore while Speckled Trout and Flounder flood the bay.

Big Mako Sharks and Bluefin Tuna show up for one last battle in October. In the bay, Tautog, Speckled Trout, Flounder, and more are still biting hard, making for tasty table fare.

Cape May’s summer visitors may have moved on, but Striped Bass, Blackfish, and Winter Flounder are more than enough to keep you busy in November.

Enjoy some of the best Striper fishing Cape May has to offer, then head home with lots of tasty fish for dinner. Cow Stripers are always on our Christmas list!

Cape May Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Cape May

"Fishing with Joseph"

Linda D. fished with Captain Mac on July 21, 2019

Captain Mac was a good boating experience, we did catch fish, but I was hoping for flounder.

"Half Day Trip With Captain George"

Tish C. fished with Heavy Hitter Sport Fishing LLC on July 21, 2019

If the west wind is blowing, make sure you bring fly spray, or clothing to cover your legs. They find you, even miles offshore!

"4 hour trip"

John S. fished with Heavy Hitter Sport Fishing LLC on July 1, 2019

Great trip for first timers and smaller kids- ages 8-12

"Flounder trip with Captain Frank and Mate Connor "

Lew C. fished with Team Over Pour Sportfishing on August 5, 2017

Listen to your Captain ..he has the knowledge and is willing to teach you how to catch the fish currently on the bite. Don't be afraid to ask questions or raise concerns, he wants to make you trip enjoyable.

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in Cape May, New Jersey for the first time?

Top Targeted Species in Cape May

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Tuna (Bluefin)

Tuna (Bluefin)

Seabass (Black)

Seabass (Black)

Bass (Striped)

Bass (Striped)



Black Drum

Black Drum

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)



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