Barnegat Bay

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Fishing in Barnegat Bay

Taking up a third of New Jersey’s Atlantic coast, Barnegat Bay is a prime destination for holiday-makers and fishing enthusiasts. The 42-mile stretch of water comprises some of the east coast’s best brackish waters. Come fishing in Barnegat Bay and explore a range of fishing grounds unrivaled elsewhere.
 

Types of Fishing

From the Metedeconk River in the north to the wetlands of the south, there’s something inshore for everyone, while an offshore trip will appeal to the more adventurous angler. Bring the whole family aboard to learn to fish, or get your own kicks – it’s all here! 
 

Inshore Fishing

The obvious place to start is on the bay itself. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a barrier jetty, its brackish waters are a popular haunt for many exciting and delicious fish. 
 
These calm, shallow waters are an ideal place to learn to fish. Take a charter out of Point Pleasant and you’ll discover lighter fish like Fluke, Weakfish, and Blowfish from the canals to the bay.
 
A charter out of Lacey or Ocean Townships will give you the best chance of hitting the sweet spots. Avid anglers can use this opportunity to land the Barnegat “Grand Slam!” Spend a whole day on the water and give yourself the best chance of this prized title. 
 
Target Weakfish as the sun comes up, before targeting Bluefish around Sedge Island. In the afternoon, you can take advantage of the Fluke as they appear in the warm water, before hitting up the rocks around Barnegat Inlet for huge Stripers!
 

Offshore Fishing

Any angler worth their salt will relish the chance to battle it out with some monster fish out in the Atlantic. You’ll need a full day to get to the fishing grounds offshore, with some productive reefs around 30 miles from shore. If you’re lucky, some Yellowfin Tuna and Mahi Mahi will make their way past in summer.
 
If you want almost guaranteed success, then venture 70 miles out to the canyons or the continental shelf 110 miles out. White Marlin, Bluefin Tuna, and Mako Sharks join the Yellowfins and Mahi Mahi, to give you unbeatable fishing in the Atlantic’s deep waters.
 
Beware, though, these trips aren’t for the faint-hearted. Not only will you need at least 10 hours on the choppy waters, you’ll also need some serious strength to battle it out with these beasts!

What to Expect

Most captains run trips in the bay and offshore, so your trip will most likely take place aboard a luxury offshore sportfishing vessel. Comfortable and with all the amenities you need, you could spend days on the boat – and some captains give you that option. 
 
To get to the deep waters offshore, you’ll need at least a full day. Why not take advantage of it and spend multiple days on the water?
 
Captains also tailor their trips to certain fish, and you can spend as little as four hours perusing the inshore bay, or up to 10 hours going after some of its prized fish. 

How to Prepare

Everything you need for a productive day on the water awaits you on board, including all fishing gear and plenty of bait or lures. Your fishing license is even covered by the charter operator so all you need to do is bring some drinks and snacks and make yourself at home!
 
With year-round angling opportunities in the bay and beyond, there’s no reason to miss out on the incredible fishing in Barnegat Bay. Make New Jersey your next fishing destination and you won’t regret it! 
Barnegat Bay
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Barnegat Bay Fishing Seasons

January
Most captains will have their boats out of the water for repairs as the year starts. But if you’re lucky enough to find someone to take you out, then there’s plenty of exciting inshore action to be had.
February
The weather doesn’t look like it’s getting any better so a trip offshore is out of the question. Fear not, though, as winter Flukes, Tautog, and Weakfish fill the bay for you to target.
March
Spring dawns and brings with it plenty of new opportunities. More and more captains take the plunge and get out on the water, with the inshore bite still strong despite the mild weather.
April
Get ready for the season to kick into flow as it’s all steam ahead when April comes. Hit the inshore waters for the pick of the fishing, while Mako Sharks provide plenty of pulse-racing action offshore.
May
While you may feel it’s time to get offshore, you won’t want to miss the inshore season at its peak in May. Stripers, Bluefish, and Black Seabass are the cream of the crop, so head out and fill the boat.
June
The inshore season is still in full-swing as the offshore fishing opportunities start heating up with the weather. Catch the earliest Tuna and Marlin, or fill your cooler with Striped Bass, Flukes, and Seabass.
July
Weakfish and Flukes hit their stride in June, with the Point Pleasant Fluke Tournament taking place inshore. Spend a couple of days on the water and head offshore for some Billfish, too. 
August
August may be the best month to get on the water in and out of Barnegat Bay. Bonito, Mahi Mahi, and Bluefin Tuna join the offshore party, with the inshore action as good as ever. 
September
There’s no sign that the season is drawing to a close, with plenty of chances to get on the water in September. Head offshore and battle it out with Marlin, Mahi, and Tuna for the last hurrah of the season.
October
The shallow waters are the place to be once more as the autumn weather kicks in. The pelagics have departed, leaving behind plenty of delicious creatures inshore for you to target. 
November
Striped Bass, Bluefish, and Seabass are still abundant in Barnegat Bay in November. Don’t miss out on one of your last and best chances to fill the freezer before the holiday season.
December
As the year draws to a close, so does the fishing season. Many captains take December to rest before the new year. If you do find one hardy soul on the water, then it will be on the bay, going after a Christmas gift. 

Barnegat Bay Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Barnegat Bay

Half Day with Captain Frank Wagenhoffer
Elizabeth D. fished with Fin Chaser Charters– Point Pleasant on August 1, 2020
Hire Capt Frank Wagenhoffer he knows where the fish hide
Fishing with Frank
Tony N. fished with Fin Chaser Charters– Point Pleasant on June 6, 2020
Book with Fin Chasers and Captain Frank.
Full day trip with Captain John and Eddie
Tom V. fished with Purple Jet Sport Fishing Charters 2 on November 3, 2019
Prepare for some great fishing and a great time!
full
Sam C. fished with Purple Jet Sport Fishing Charters on June 5, 2019
enjoy everything around you and the group you bring
8 Hr trip inland
Jon D. fished with Megan Beth Sportfishing on October 9, 2018
Know what fish are in and biting Check restraints for breakfast, some are closed for the season
Offshore fishing on Megan Beth
Richard W. fished with Megan Beth Sportfishing on August 25, 2018
Great fishing, a lot of boats to choose from. Everyone is friendly and it's a beautiful area.
Half Day on the Gypsea
Jason W. fished with Gypsea Sportfishing on August 18, 2018
If you get sea sick, or it is your first time, take dramamine the night before and again an hour before boat departure. Point Pleasant can get very busy, so give yourself extra time to get through traffic.
Good day of fishing
Stephen W. fished with Queen Mary Open Boat & Charters on August 9, 2018
There was a mix up on fishingbokker. We thought we were going out for fluke but that wasn’t the case. We didn’t realize until we were at the marina. Not a huge deal but was more of a mixup on the website than a negative review on the ship or captain.

Top Targeted Species in Barnegat Bay