New Jersey’s coastal waters are home to a diverse range of shark species, making it a popular destination for avid anglers and fishing enthusiasts. But with so many options available, where do you begin? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of shark fishing in New Jersey, covering everything from the best shark fishing spots and types of sharks you can catch, to the gear and baits you’ll need, and regulations and licenses to follow. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time fisherman, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan your next successful shark fishing trip in New Jersey. So grab your fishing gear, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on the waters of the Garden State.
Best Shark Fishing Spots in In New Jersey
New Jersey has several great spots for shark fishing. Here are some of the best:
- Shark River Inlet: Located in Belmar, this inlet is known for its large population of brown sharks, sandbar sharks, and sand tiger sharks.
- Barnegat Inlet: Located in Ocean County, this inlet is a popular spot for shark fishing, particularly during the summer months.
- Manasquan Inlet: This inlet in Monmouth County is known for its large population of sandbar sharks, which are particularly abundant in the area.
- Cape May: This area is known for its abundance of large sharks, including mako sharks and threshers.
- Sandy Hook: Located at the northern end of the Jersey Shore, Sandy Hook is known for its population of sandbar sharks, which are particularly abundant during the summer months.
Choosing these locations will give you the best shot at catching your intended species of shark. Make sure to have the right gear to deal with these toothy predators.
Types of Sharks You Can Catch in In New Jersey
New Jersey is home to a variety of shark species, some of which are commonly caught by anglers. Here are some of the most common types of sharks you can catch in New Jersey:
- Sandbar Shark: This is one of the most common shark species found in New Jersey waters. They are typically found in shallow waters and can weigh up to 200 pounds.
- Brown Shark: This species is also commonly found in New Jersey waters and can weigh up to 300 pounds. They are typically found in deeper waters than sandbar sharks.
- Thresher Shark: This species can grow up to 20 feet in length and is often caught by anglers fishing off the coast of New Jersey.
- Mako Shark: This is a fast-swimming species that can grow up to 12 feet in length. They are often caught by anglers fishing offshore in deeper waters.
- Tiger Shark: This species is less common in New Jersey waters but can be caught by anglers fishing offshore. They are known for their powerful jaws and can grow up to 16 feet in length.
It’s important to note that some species of sharks, such as the great white shark, are protected in New Jersey waters and cannot be caught.
Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in In New Jersey
The best time of year for shark fishing in New Jersey varies depending on the species you are targeting. Generally, the summer months are the most popular time for shark fishing in the state. Here are some more specific details:
- Sandbar Sharks: These sharks can be caught off the coast of New Jersey from May through October, with the peak season being in July and August.
- Brown Sharks: Brown sharks are typically caught from May through October, with the peak season being in July and August.
- Thresher Sharks: These sharks are most commonly caught off the coast of New Jersey from June through October, with the peak season being in August and September.
- Mako Sharks: Mako sharks can be caught off the coast of New Jersey from May through October, with the peak season being in June and July.
- Tiger Sharks: These sharks are less common in New Jersey waters, but can be caught offshore from June through September.
It’s important to note that shark fishing regulations in New Jersey can vary by season and location, so it’s always a good idea to check with local authorities before planning a shark fishing trip.
Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in In New Jersey
- Bunker: This oily fish is a favorite of many shark species and can be fished whole or cut into chunks.
- Mackerel: This is another oily fish that is a great bait option for shark fishing. It can be fished whole or cut into chunks.
- Squid: This is a popular bait for a variety of shark species, and can be fished whole or cut into strips.
- Bluefish: This is a popular bait for targeting larger sharks, such as threshers and makos.
- Chum: Chumming is a popular technique for attracting sharks to your fishing spot. It involves using a mixture of fish parts and blood to create a scent trail in the water.
In terms of lures, large, flashy lures can be effective for targeting certain shark species, such as threshers and makos. Other popular options include bucktail jigs and soft plastic baits.
Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing in In New Jersey
Shark fishing in New Jersey requires specialized gear to ensure safety and success. Here are some recommended gear items for shark fishing in New Jersey:
- Rod and Reel: A sturdy rod and reel combo capable of handling heavy weights and large fish is essential for shark fishing. A rod with a heavy power rating and a reel with a high line capacity is recommended.
- Wire Leader: A wire leader is necessary to prevent the shark from biting through the fishing line. Use a wire leader with a minimum of 200-pound test to ensure it can withstand the shark’s teeth.
- Hooks: Circle hooks are the most common hook type used for shark fishing. These hooks are designed to hook the shark in the corner of the mouth, which makes for an easier release.
- Gaff: A gaff is a long, sturdy pole with a sharp hook at the end. It is used to help bring the shark aboard the boat once it has been caught.
- Gloves: Heavy-duty gloves are recommended to protect your hands while handling the wire leader and hook.
- Life Jacket: It is important to wear a life jacket while shark fishing to ensure safety in case of an accident.
- GPS and Radio: A GPS and radio are essential safety items to ensure you can navigate and communicate with others while out on the water.
Always use stout gear when fishing for sharks, these predators can put up a fierce fight. Being prepared gives you the best shot at actually landing the shark.
Best Shark Fishing Charters in In New Jersey
There are many charter boats that offer shark fishing trips in New Jersey. Here are some of the best shark fishing charters in the state:
- Jersey Nutz Sportfishing: Based out of Point Pleasant, this charter offers a variety of shark fishing trips, including targeting makos, threshers, and blues.
- Canyon Runner Sportfishing: This charter offers both inshore and offshore shark fishing trips, with a focus on targeting large makos and threshers.
- Gambler Fishing: Based out of Point Pleasant, this charter offers full-day and half-day shark fishing trips, with a focus on catching sandbar and brown sharks.
- Reel Reaction Sportfishing: This charter offers shark fishing trips out of Belmar, targeting a variety of shark species, including sandbar, brown, and mako sharks.
- North Star Sportfishing: This charter offers shark fishing trips out of Cape May, targeting a variety of shark species, including threshers, makos, and blues.
It’s also a good idea to research each charter company and read reviews from previous customers to ensure a quality experience.
Regulations and Licenses for Shark Fishing in In New Jersey
Shark fishing in New Jersey is regulated by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to ensure sustainable fishing practices and protect the shark populations. Here are some regulations and licenses you need to be aware of before going shark fishing in New Jersey:
- Fishing License: A valid New Jersey fishing license is required for all anglers over the age of 16 who are fishing in New Jersey’s marine waters.
- Shark Endorsement: In addition to a fishing license, anglers who plan to target sharks in New Jersey must obtain a shark endorsement. This endorsement can be added to a regular New Jersey fishing license at an additional cost.
- Minimum Size Limits: There are minimum size limits for many shark species in New Jersey. For example, the minimum size limit for Atlantic sharpnose and bonnethead sharks is 54 inches fork length, while the minimum size limit for sandbar sharks is 54 inches precaudal length.
- Bag Limits: There are bag limits on the number of certain shark species that can be harvested in New Jersey. For example, the bag limit for sandbar sharks is one per vessel per trip.
- Prohibited Species: There are certain shark species that are prohibited from being harvested in New Jersey, including great whites, basking sharks, and whale sharks.
- Circle Hooks: The use of non-offset circle hooks is required for all shark fishing in New Jersey. These hooks are designed to reduce injury to the shark and increase the chances of a successful release.
It’s important to note that shark fishing regulations in New Jersey can vary by location and season, so it’s important to check with local authorities and obtain any necessary permits before heading out on your shark fishing trip.
Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in In New Jersey
If you’re planning a shark fishing trip in New Jersey, there are many lodging options to choose from depending on your budget and preferences. Here are some suggestions for places to stay when shark fishing in New Jersey:
- Beachfront Hotel: If you’re looking to stay close to the beach, there are many beachfront hotels and resorts in towns like Atlantic City, Wildwood, and Cape May. These hotels offer easy access to the ocean and can be a great option for anglers who want to be close to the action.
- Bed and Breakfasts: There are many bed and breakfasts throughout New Jersey’s coastal towns that offer a more intimate and cozy atmosphere. These can be a great option for couples or families looking for a quieter and more personalized experience.
- Vacation Rentals: Many anglers choose to rent a vacation home or condo for their shark fishing trip. This can be a great option for larger groups or families, as it provides more space and amenities like a full kitchen.
- Camping: There are many campgrounds throughout New Jersey’s coastal towns that offer a budget-friendly option for anglers. Many of these campgrounds offer RV sites as well as tent camping, and some even have amenities like swimming pools and game rooms.
- Fishing Lodges: For a more specialized experience, there are several fishing lodges throughout New Jersey that cater specifically to anglers. These lodges often offer packages that include guided fishing trips and accommodations.
No matter where you choose to stay, be sure to book your accommodations well in advance, especially during peak fishing seasons.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in In New Jersey
There are many great options for accommodations when shark fishing in New Jersey, depending on your preferred location and budget. Here are some suggestions:
- Point Pleasant Beach: This popular beach town in Ocean County is home to many shark fishing charters and offers a variety of accommodations, including hotels, motels, and vacation rentals. Some popular options include The White Sands Oceanfront Resort & Spa and The Driftwood Motel.
- Cape May: This historic seaside town in southern New Jersey offers a variety of shark fishing charters and accommodations, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. Some popular options include The Beach Shack and The Virginia Hotel.
- Atlantic City: This popular resort town in Atlantic County offers a variety of shark fishing charters and accommodations, including hotels, resorts, and casinos. Some popular options include The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and The Tropicana Atlantic City.
- Long Beach Island: This barrier island in Ocean County offers a variety of shark fishing charters and accommodations, including hotels, motels, and vacation rentals. Some popular options include The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club and The Surf City Hotel.
No matter where you choose to stay when shark fishing in New Jersey, be sure to check for any package deals that may be available that combine accommodations and fishing charters.
In conclusion, New Jersey offers great opportunities for shark fishing, with a variety of species available to catch and many experienced charters to guide you on your adventure. However, it’s important to be aware of the regulations and licenses required for shark fishing in New Jersey to ensure sustainable practices and protect the shark populations. With proper planning and responsible catch-and-release practices, you can enjoy a thrilling and rewarding shark fishing experience in New Jersey while preserving the ocean’s natural resources for future generations to enjoy.
Meet Nic Armitage, a devoted outdoors enthusiast with an insatiable love for fishing, boating, and a wide range of adventurous activities. His passion for the great outdoors knows no bounds. Nic is your trusted guide into the world of nature, sharing his experiences and expertise on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.