Though New Jersey may be best known for Bruce Springsteen, "The Sopranos" and a boisterous governor, the state's 127 miles of coastline boasts some of the finest fishing found on the planet. While it's possible to enjoy good fishing for a variety of species year 'round, including winter months, the best opportunities to score some of the tastiest fish in the brine are during the popular summer months of June through September. From the back bays, rivers and near-shore waters on out to the offshore canyons you'll find a plethora of hungry gamefish to tangle with utilizing a variety of tactics and tackle.
Manasquan Inlet separates the town of Manasquan and borough of Point Pleasant Beach and also provides passage from the calm waters of the Manasquan River to the Atlantic Ocean. The inlet is deep, clearly marked and well defined thanks to large jetties on each side. Once inside the inlet you'll pass Manasquan to the north side of the river followed immediately by the Borough of Brielle where you'll find transient, seasonal and year-round dockage. Hoffman's Marina East lies just before the Railroad Bridge that services New Jersey Transit's North Jersey Coastline, and this 50-slip marina can accommodate vessels up to 120 feet. Fuel, bait, ice, waste pump out, showers, electric and cable TV are available, and there's an IgFA certified scale to weigh your catch. Just beyond the Railroad Bridge, also along the north side of the river, lies Hoffman's Marina West. This full-service marina, which underwent a complete overhaul since its purchase in 2012, includes a complete service center including two travel lifts. Seasonal, transient and year-round slips are available as well as rack storage for vessels up to 36 feet. Other amenities include a fully stocked Ship's Store, high-speed fueling, waste pump-out, ample shore power, showers and an in-ground swimming pool. Immediately adjacent to Hoffman's West is waypoint 622, the newest member of the Hoffman's Marina family and home to the restaurant of the same name that recently opened and received kudos for its contemporary American cuisine prepared with prime meat from local farms and wild-caught seafood. while rebuilding and updating the docks at waypoint 622 is still underway, transient boaters are still welcome to tie up for dinner or even overnight.
Whether you're a kayaker, center console angler or bluewater battlewagon owner, there's a species for you. June finds hungry bluefish receptive to surface plugs in the Manasquan River and nearby bays while ocean anglers use jigs and chumming techniques to score choppers. Striped bass are sought by live bait anglers who snag bunker (menhaden) and then allow them to swim among the bait schools and river anglers casting rubber baits. Fluke (summer flounder) can be found in rivers and bays as well as on snags, wrecks and reefs along the coast. The annual migration of mako sharks along the 30 Fathom Curve and beyond gets underway while offshore canyons begin to yield catches of yellowfin and big eye tuna to those trolling natural baits and artificial lures. Depending on water temperature and bait arrival, the first blue marlin and white marlin will also be caught. Catches of most of the species previously noted get even better in July though striped bass numbers will drop off as water temperatures rise. The same goes for August, though mako sharks become scarce due to warm water. For the latest in fishing information and what rigs, baits and lures are producing best, several fully stocked tackle shops dot the area and are staffed with local pros who can offer tips and tricks for every species.
For a day away from the boat, beautiful sandy beaches, quaint shops and boutiques and excellent restaurants can be found in downtown Manasquan for those seeking handmade crafts, clothing, artwork, jewelry, linens and antiques. you can keep the kids happy away from the beach or pool at a variety of T-shirt, ice cream, fudge and saltwater taffy shops plus miniature golf. The Point Pleasant boardwalk is a short drive away with games, rides, arcades and an aquarium.
Manasquan is one of New Jersey's popular vacation spots and whether you tow your center console there for a long weekend or plan on an extended stay during the summer, its beaches, fishing, shopping, cultural events and fabulous restaurants will draw you back again and again.
Fishing is one of America's most enduring pastimes, something in which people of all ages can participate and an activity that millions of families and friends enjoy each year as a way to spend quality time in the outdoors. Professional charter fishing with a licensed captain and crew is one of the most exhilarating outdoor activities in the world but has historically been expensive until now. A new company called Share A Fishing Charter introduces a new way to fish. It built the world's first online booking system that sells individual spots on fishing charters, finally giving anglers an affordable way to book and experience professional fishing. It allows you the option of booking one, two or more spots and share the cost with other anglers. The savings grow as more join the group. Learn more at: shareafishingcharter.com.