Fishing Tips for the Jersey Shore
There are lots of ways to enjoy fishing at the Jersey shore. From surf fishing to charter fishing trips, here are some tips to help you catch the big one!
1. A light, easterly breeze seems to bring fish to the surf.
2. When the surf is too rough, try the inlets and back bay areas.
3. Fish seem to bite right before a storm or weather change.
4. Keep your bait moving — you cover more territory and make your bait look more lifelike.
5. Let your bait dangle, for a more lifelike appearance.
6. Try surf fishing early in the morning and right before dark.
7. Use a light line for a farther cast — don’t use more than twenty pound test line in the surf.
8. Keep your bait in a bucket or cooler so the sea gulls don’t steal it.
9. Try fishing with two rods — one with a farther cast and one with a shorter cast to catch different types of fish.
10.Try casting off the deep side of a jetty for good results.
11.Try fishing the inside of a sandbar at high tide.
12.Use a sand spike to hold your reel while baiting up or taking a fish off the hook.
13.Wash your reel in fresh water when you are done fishing.
Extra Tips for Bay Fishing
1. Time your fishing around the tide changes. Two hours before and two hours after high tide are good times to catch fish.
2. Looking for flounder in the bay? Use a weight to keep your bait on the bottom. Flounder are bottom feeders and sight feeders — your bait must be on the bay floor and visible.
Booking a Charter?
1. Check with the local Better Business Bureau.
2. Ask for references. If nothing else, talk to folks around the marina where the charter boat is docked.
3. Check for insurance and licensing. Make sure the Captain is U.S. Coast Guard licensed. Also be sure that the captain will be coming along on your particular fishing date.
4. For inshore and bay fishing charters, you will probably be using your own gear. On the bigger offshore boats, gear and bait will probably be provided. The rules may vary from boat to boat.
5. Most charters do supply rods and reels, bait and tackle, ice, and a fish box to store your catch.
6. Bring along something to carry your fish home in.
7. Bring along snacks and drinks.
8. Don’t forget the sunscreen if you are on a day trip!
So how do you decide what kind of charter you want? Offshore fishing trips usually mean you’re hunting for big game species like tuna and marlin. Offshore fishing is also known as sportfishing, and you will often be at least twenty miles off the beach. Wreck and reef fishing means you’re looking for bottom fish and deep water dwellers like sea bass. Inshore or guided fishing means you’re on the bay, looking for local fish. A guided fishing trip may be a good alternative to a longer, more expensive sportfishing trip.