Travel Destinations

Fishing in Cape May, New Jersey

Stronger than the Storm


While parts of New Jersey's 127-miles of coastline were battered by Superstorm Sandy nearly a year ago, most of the Garden State's beaches and resort areas suffered only minor flooding. Among those that spared Sandy's wrath are the towns along the state's southernmost region, including historic Cape May. Well-known as a summer vacation destination, Cape May has evolved over the years into a year-round destination offering a calendar full of events. The fall season is a fine time to visit the area as the inshore and offshore fishing can be some of the best of the season. From Labor Day to Thanksgiving, anglers have ranging from striped bass along the famed Cape May Rips, to billfish and tuna that inhabit the offshore canyons.Cool nights and warm sunny days often provide some of the seasons best conditions to chase your favorite species from beach or boat as water temperatures remain conducive to good fishing. Obviously weather plays a major role in determining the length of the fall season but it is safe to say if storms stay away, look for a late season shot at white marlin, blue marlin, wahoo and dolphin right through mid-October, especially in the canyons south of Cape May. Big eye and yellowfin tuna as well as true albacore can be found as late as Halloween. Although summer flounder season closes in late September, striped bass action kicks into high gear along the inshore waters. As water temperatures begin to fall in early October often some of the best fishing for this popular species can be found well into December. Bluefish can also be spotted along the same haunts where striped bass lurk and these toothy critters fill the gaps between bites by linesiders.Cold Spring Inlet is deep, wide and well-marked providing safe passage to Cape May Harbor. The United Sates Coast Guard Training Center is located immediately inside the harbor and a strictly enforced no-wake zone must be observed to avoid getting your visit off to a bad start.Once inside the harbor finding local dockage is easy. Numerous marinas can be found but two specific marinas stand out for their service, facilities and location. Canyon Club Resort Marina (609-884-0199,, recently dredged to a depth of eight feet at mean low water, boasts concrete floating docks, easily accommodating today's largest sportfishing vessels. A fully stocked Ship's Store is on site with other amenities including electric, cable TV, WiFi, in-slip gas and diesel fuel, showers, laundry facilities and pump-out facilities. Should the need arise for service work during your visit, the Service Center at Canyon Club is located on the premises and has 35 and 80 ton travel lifts plus trained technicians to handle any repairs required to get you back on the water.South Jersey Marina (609-884-2400, suffered a major fire late last summer, which destroyed the restaurant and yacht sales office while also leaving the marina office and retail space unusable. In late October, Superstorm Sandy flooded the entire first floor of the marina. Since that time, the entire marina building from the ground up has been renovated. The new Ship's Store immediately catches your eye upon arrival and is well stocked with all of your everyday fishing and boating needs including a delicatessen to grab a quick bite. The newly renovated on-site restaurant, Saltwater Café, offers an eclectic breakfast and lunch menu, allowing for both indoor and outdoor dining. Saltwater proudly shares a portion of their profits with Wild Oceans and offers one of the most beautiful views of the harbor and marina district.Just steps away from Saltwater Café you'll find Fathoms, a gift boutique featuring cutting edge nautical apparel. Other facilities updated include state-of-the-art laundry facilities, showers and heads. In-slip amenities include those also offered at Canyon Club, South Jersey Marina's sister marina.Dining in Cape May is one of the best parts of any visit, with most of the Garden State's top restaurants found in downtown Cape May. Menu selections range from simple salads and sandwiches to exquisite steak, seafood and international dishes. Among the best are the Washington Inn, Ebbitt Room, 410 Bank Street, Lobster House, Lucky Bones, C-View, Axelson's Blue Claw and Ugly Mug.No visit to Cape May would be complete without a trip to the Historic District, where Victorian-era homes, hotels and bed and breakfasts paint a picture of a by-gone era. Art galleries, antique shops and specialty boutiques can also be found and horse-drawn buggy tours of the historical sites are available. Bird watchers flock to the area around the Cape May Lighthouse (215 Light House Ave., 609-884-5404) while a short drive away from town will lead you to the Cape May Zoo (707 Route 9 N., 609-465-1033).Nearly a year later, the Jersey Shore continues to rebuild from the devastating affects of Hurricane Sandy. Much of the media focus continues to highlight the areas which were hardest hit leaving many to believe the entire coastline was destroyed. Much of Cape May County, including Cape May and its surrounding waterfront communities are in fine shape. The fish are waiting and local businesses are anxious to accommodate you.

Product Spotlight: Penn Torque 2 Lever Drag Reels

Available in four sizes, Penn's new Torque Lever Drag 2-Speed offers their Quick-Shift 2-Speed system which easily shifts from high or low gear to adjust to any fishing situation. The sealed Dura Drag system eliminates hesitation with drag curves that help prevent lost fish, while staying protected from the elements. This Torque Lever Drag 2-Speed is a fully machined and anodized aluminum reel with six shielded, stainless steel high quality ball bearings, plus a thrust bearing to minimize handle resistance when under load. The lightweight forged aluminum Braid Ready spool with Line Capacity Rings liminates the guess work of how much lineremains on the spool while fighting a fish. Visit for more information.

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