Sandy Hook

7 Fishing Charters

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Fishing in Sandy Hook

Often overlooked for some of the bigger bays along the Intracoastal Waterway, Sandy Hook is a hidden gem of New Jersey’s fishery. The barrier spit protects the synonymous bay from the Atlantic, serving up calm, brackish waters at the confluence of the Shrewsbury River and the ocean. Come fishing in Sandy Hook and discover these quiet, yet thrilling hunting grounds. 

Types of Fishing

At the crossroads of the river and the Atlantic, a fishing charter out of Sandy Hook offers up plenty of opportunities. Head up the river for more freshwater species, fish the bay, or head to the deep waters offshore – it’s all here! 
 

Inshore Fishing

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s something for you in the bay. The calm waters make for excellent opportunities to learn to fish, as you steady yourself and cast away for a range of smaller fish, before working your way up to the bigger creatures. 
 
There’s plenty for experienced anglers too, with monster Stripers giving you an intense battle, along with Fluke, Bluefish, Scup, Porgy, and Tautog for you to fill the boat with. Whatever your skill level, you’re in for a productive day targeting a range of different, delicious fish. 
 

Offshore fishing

While the majority of fishing in Sandy Hook takes place in the bay, some charters will take you to the depths of the Atlantic. You’ll need at least a full day on board to hit the canyons or the continental shelf up to 100 miles off, as you battle it out with pelagic beasts like Mahi Mahi, False Albacore, Marlin, Tuna, and many more. 
 
Beware, though, the waters can get choppy and the fish are strong. You’ll want some experience on a rod and reel, with some hardy sea legs before heading offshore.

When to Go

The beauty of fishing in Sandy Hook is that it takes place year-round. While the season runs from April to December, you can still find some hardy captains who’ll take you out to the bay in winter. If you’re looking to go offshore, then summer is your best bet, with the waters much safer and more productive then. 

What to Expect

You’re in for different experiences depending on whether you’re heading inshore or offshore. Longer trips to the deep waters take place aboard huge, purpose-built offshore sportfishing boats, featuring plenty of space to relax on the way out and to take cover from the weather.
 
Hit the bay and you’ll most likely be fishing aboard a smaller vessel. A center console or bay boat will keep you afloat in the shallower waters, and provide near 360-degree vision and space to navigate as you move with the fish around the boat. 
 
If you’re on a budget or are by yourself, then you can join a shared charter out of Keyport, Middletown, or Highlands. Aboard a bigger vessel, you’ll share your experience with other fishing enthusiasts. 
 
Whatever you want from your fishing trip, Sandy Hook has it. Come aboard a charter and indulge in all your fishing dreams!
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Sandy Hook Fishing Seasons

If you find a captain to take you out in January, then you’ll most likely have the water all to yourself. Get your fill of delicious Tautog and Cod for a warming dinner at the end of the day.
It’s quieter than ever on the bay, with most captains preparing for the forthcoming season. Fear not, though, as the historical and quaint towns that dot the coast offer plenty in the way of attractions.
While the boats return to the water, the fishing hasn’t quite hit its stride yet. Warm-up for the season with a trip along the stunning coastline and test the waters before going fishing.
Inshore season really gets going come April, with Flounder and Stripers making their way into the bay. Head out for some productive fishing and set the tone for the rest of the year.
You can tell that the season has arrived in May, as the fishing heats up with the weather. Take part in the annual River Cup to show off your fishing skills in the brackish waters of the Shrewsbury.
The start of summer is the best time to target Striped Bass in the bay, and anglers from all over flock to take part in the Spring Striped Bass tournament – a sign of just how good the fishing is.
Whether you fancy staying in the bay or heading offshore, July is the time to go. Scores of Weakfish and Bluefish join the inshore party, while Marlin and Tuna start to appear offshore.
You’ll still face the dilemma of where to fish come August, with offshore fishing hitting its peak season and the inshore fishing as good as ever, as shown by the Summer Fluke Tournament in the bay. 
As the kids go back to school, the beaches start to clear up and prices come down. There’s no sign of the fishing letting up, though, so take advantage of this chance to hit the waters and get your fishing fix.
As the pelagics start to dwindle away, the bay remains full of exciting and delicious fish for you to target. Hop aboard a charter in October and discover the riches of Sandy Hook in favorable conditions.
While the weather may start to turn, the inshore fishing remains as red-hot as ever. Join the Fall Striped Bass Tournament and land a trophy-sized monster to show off to the whole bay.
The season is drawing to a close, but you may still find some charters to take you to the bay. Tautog return to these waters, while there are still a few lingering Bass and Flounder for a warming treat.

Sandy Hook Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Sandy Hook

Bass (Striped)

Bass (Striped)

Seabass (Black)

Seabass (Black)

Flounder

Flounder

Tautog

Tautog

Bluefish

Bluefish

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Little Tunny (False Albacore)

Little Tunny (False Albacore)

Weakfish

Weakfish