Complete Guide to Fishing in Cape May, NJ

Regardless of fishing, Cape May is a beautiful beach town with plenty of amazing activities and memories for families and friends alike. Once you’re tired out from a day of fishing, you can relax by the beach and enjoy a cold local brew of your choosing. But when you’re out on the water with your rod in hand, there will be no rest for you and the fun of fishing will be ever raging. The fishing found in Cape May, NJ is almost unrivaled.

The marinas in Cape May are always filled with fishing boats and anglers ready to get out on the water and now is the perfect time for you to be one of them. Whether you’re planning a day trip out to the Cape or staying for a week filled with fishing, Cape May will provide you with plenty of fishing opportunities and memories alike.

Before you set out on your fishing adventure, it’s important that you stack up on the proper knowledge and review a couple handy tips and tricks.

We have compiled experiences and recommendations into one article to create the complete guide to fishing in Cape May, NJ. Come prepared with the knowledge of the region to make the most out of your time in Cape May. Start your fishing endeavor off right!

What Species of Fish Are Found in Cape May, NJ?

New Jersey lies in the perfect migration zone for fish throughout the year. As it gets colder, fish from the north will come down and enjoy the more tolerable waters of the cape. When the water starts to warm up, a flurry of activity arrives from the south as fish look to cool off in the moderate temperatures of Cape May. With the placement in a temperate zone, Cape May, NJ hosts plenty of different species of fish year-round so you never run out of options.

Some of the most popular fish found in Cape May are the Weakfish, Kingfish, and Flounder. In the right season, you’ll reach your limit on these species of fish rather quickly. Other fish local to Cape May are the Sea Bass, Stripers, and Tog. Each is present in similar seasons and will typically be caught around the same time.

Tuna, Mahi, and Marlin are popular catches by charter boats when you go offshore fishing and you’re likely to find Cod and Ling as the water temperature drops. Bass of all kinds grace the waterways of Cape May and Bluefish tend to be a popular pull for anglers. Striped Bass are one of my favorite finds in the jetties of Cape May and Croakers are a common bottom bouncing catch.

Whenever you plan your trip to Cape May, NJ, chances are you will never run out of game fish choices. Once a season changes and a species moves out, a new species comes in to take advantage of the temperate waters. Come prepared for a full day on the water, but don’t be shocked if you’re returning halfway through having already reached your limit on catches.

What Fish Are in Season?

Different seasons will showcase different species of fish. The climate in Cape May supports a shift in inhabitants as the water temperature changes. Colder months will offer plenty of northern fish as they come down from the waters around New England which are now too cold for them. As the water warms up, fish that moved south for the winter return and bask in the moderate waters.


Summer might be the most popular time for fishing in Cape May as this is when the most species of fish grace their waters. As summer rolls around, you’re likely to encounter Bass of all kinds, Kingfish, Bluefish, Flounder, and Stripers. Weakfish stick around until the end of summer and Croakers show up in mid-June. Offshore you’ll find massive Tuna, Marlin, and Mahi. Many charters go out specifically looking for Sharks in the area.


As the water begins to cool down, many fish have already begun to move back south where the water is still warm. Fall, while being the least active fishing season, still hosts plenty of species of fish for your angling enjoyment. Herring and Bluefish continue to be popular catches in the Cape and Striped Bass are almost always found in the waters of the area.


Now that winter is here, it’s time to shift your style of fishing as a brand-new library of species have arrived. The cold has returned and the fish from the north are seeking more moderate waters. During the winter, you’ll encounter plenty of Cod and Ling which are typically found a few states up. You’ll also find many Blackfish making their way through the Cape.

Best Locations for Fishing in Cape May, NJ

Finding the right spot to fish in Cape May, NJ isn’t difficult as there are plenty of different options available for you to fish.


Fishing in the surf offers plenty of chances to catch some big game fish. Cape May hosts many different beaches where fishing is allowed and promoted. If you bring your rod to any beach that allows fishing in Cape May, chances are you’re going to bring in a decent haul of surf fish. Get ready to line your pockets with different species of Bass. Cape May beach is one of the most popular spots.


The vast amount of piers and bridges provides plenty of spots for more structure oriented fish. Some fish prefer the open ocean whereas others prefer to be close to the legs of a bridge. There are a few bridges that have been designated fishing spots and most of the piers are open for fishing. Lake view docks and Morey’s pier are two of the best fishing piers in Cape May, NJ.

Bay Fishing

If the ocean isn’t offering you any great fishing, simply turn around and turn your focus to the bay right behind you. There are plenty of charters that will take you into the bay for some deep water fishing. Beaches like the sunset beach offer you fantastic access to shore line fishing on the bay.

Fishing in South Jersey? Read our Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Wildwood, NJ

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