If you’ve never tried the deep sea fishing NJ has access to, we can sum it up in two words: fast and furious. New Jersey’s bluewater season only lasts a few months but when it’s good, it’s really good. Blue and White Marlin keep even the most skilled sportfishers locked into their fighting chairs, while monster Blue and Mako Sharks put heavy tackle to the test. 
 
But the most famous fish in the area have to be Tuna. Bluefin, Yellowfin, Bigeye, Albacore – they’re all here and they’re looking for a fight. Throw in a few Swordfish lurking in the deep, and you have one of the toughest and tastiest lineups imaginable.

What to Expect from a Deep Sea Fishing Trip

New Jersey’s best big game action takes place out at the canyons, some 80 miles offshore. These deep-water trenches take a while to get to, but you can count on a full cast of Tuna, Sharks, and Marlin when you get there. The Hudson Canyon is the go-to spot in North Jersey, while the Wilmington and Baltimore Canyons cater to towns further south. 
 
You don’t have to travel that far for to find great fishing, though. The New York Bight holds Bluefin Tuna in just 60-90 feet of water in the fall. Makos don’t come quite as close, but can be found in the deeper Bight waters along the path of the Hudson River. This means you could be hooked on 500-pound fish within an hour of leaving the dock in Point Pleasant or Highlands.
 
The long runs are less avoidable in southern towns like Brigantine and Atlantic City. Twelve-hour trips are the minimum here, and overnight charters are common. The upside of fishing in South Jersey is you won’t have to compete with every angler in the greater NYC area. It’s all down to how much time you have.

Fishing Techniques

Trolling is the main way of catching Marlin in New Jersey. You can work your way through huge changes in depth by zig-zagging across the canyons. This makes them perfect trolling territory. You’ll need serious heavy trolling rods to target Blue Marlin, but switching down to lighter gear (somewhere in the 50-pound range) will let you target Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and White Marlin all at once.
 
Marlin aside, most guides pack up their trolling gear once the waters get warm and start chunking instead. Mackerel and Herring work well for Tuna, while Bluefish are the go-to Shark bait thanks to their famously-strong scent. Whatever you’re going after, the first step is to chum the water to alert nearby hunters. Once you start throwing baits in, every fish for miles around will want to find out what’s happening.
 
However you fish, you’re in for an awesome time. New Jersey has some of the biggest fish and most experienced captains in the country. So next time you’re planning your summer vacation, remember that there’s more to the Garden State than boardwalks, beaches, and Jersey Shore.

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Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in New Jersey

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Bluefin)

Shark (Mako)

Top Deep Sea Fishing Charters in New Jersey