One of the best spots for fishing on the east coast of the United States has to be Ocean City, New Jersey. The vast variety of fish you’ll encounter is astonishing and the number of fishing spots it hosts can be overwhelming. With so many options, finding the right spot to settle down and begin fishing can be quite the process. Ocean City boasts plenty of beach-side fishing spots, bay options, offshore charters, and pier locations to provide you with the perfect location.
Before you start your next great fishing adventure in Ocean City, it could pay well to learn more about what you might expect to find. Knowing the local fauna will help you to prepare for your expedition and come with the right tools and equipment for the job. In this complete guide to fishing in Ocean City, NJ, we will talk about the types of fish you’ll encounter, the best locations for fishing, and what techniques local fishers use to snag the fish.
What fish are in the waters around Ocean City, NJ?
One of the biggest deciding factors for most fishermen looking for a nice location is what type of fish are present. Being located in a rather temperate climate in the Atlantic, New Jersey waters are subject to seasonal change. Your options will be vastly different in the winter when compared to the summer.
Beach and open water fishing can net you larger fish like bluefish, flounder, or sea bass. If you’re going to be out on the beaches, there will be plenty of options for you to catch. You will also find blackfish, kingfish, and some species of sharks. Some rockfish have also been reported by beach fishers. Striped bass tend to come through in the thousands during certain periods.
Catfish, sea trout, sea bass, and drumfish are all commonly spotted in the bay and in the creeks of Ocean City. If the beaches are crowded and the charters are full, you can always turn around and head to the bay for some reliable fishing opportunities. Sheepshead, croakers, flounder, and snapper blues are also common features of the local bays and creeks.
Ling, perch, sea robin, skate, shad sharks, black and red drum, spot, and so much more can all be found in Ocean City waters. You’re not limited by any stretch of the imagination to what fish you can find. No matter where you end up fishing – bay, beach, pier, offshore – you’re bound to encounter a vast array of fish. Ocean City, New Jersey has one of the best ecosystems on the east coast.
Best Fishing Spots in Ocean City, NJ
If the weather is too poor for an offshore charter, you won’t be limited to the number of fish you catch. Anglers tend to flock to the beaches whenever the weather turns poor and many of them reach their daily limit pretty quickly. The number of kingfish caught skyrockets whenever charters are canceled for the day, as they tend to swim closer to shore.
There are many beaches that have allocated spots for fishing. You’ll have to be careful, however, as some public beaches have restrictions on fishing and only allow swimming or reserve fishing for specific hours. Typically, you’ll see signs on your way that will guide you to the fishing spots. Fishing success seems to be the same throughout the beaches as long as you use the right bait.
If you’re looking to catch large flounder that will match your daily limit pretty quickly, then the bay is the best place for you. Catches reported from this location have been getting bigger and bigger and the frequency of catching reported from bay spots is on the rise as well.
The common consensus seems to be that one of the best locations for bay fishing is Corson’s Inlet in the south part of Ocean City. The popularity of this spot has been growing in recent years as more and more anglers are reporting major success in the surrounding waters.
If you’re looking for the larger game, there are plenty of offshore charters available to take you to the best locations. Reefs off the coast of Ocean City are a popular fishing location for many species of fish. Plenty of trout, sea bass, and flounder can be found swimming around in these offshore reefs, only accessible by boat.
You can either join a charter and head out on their boat, or you can bring a boat of your own to take you to the reefs. As is true with all locations in Ocean City, it is required that you purchase a permit before you’re allowed to fish. Boating often comes with separate requirements like licenses and permits.
Click here to check out more information on OCNJ fishing charters.
There are plenty of piers and bridges that have been allocated as fishing spots and are popular amongst anglers. Flounder, blues, and brown sharks are of the common fair from piers and bridges and have been reported with some frequency. Parts of the old Longport Bridge have been converted into a fishing pier and are a fantastic spot for fishing.
Other popular bridges and piers include the J. Edward Klingener Fishing Pier and the Dolores Cooper Bridge. Parks in the same area are great for taking a break from fishing or bringing your family along for the fun.
Fishing Methods for Catching Fish in Ocean City, NJ
Knowing what types of fish are available in the location you intend to fish in will help prepare you with what types of bait to bring along. For surf fishing and kingfish specifically, fishbites and bloodworms are a fantastic bait to use. These tend to bring in quite the attraction to kingfish and other species of beach fish in Ocean City.
The method of luring will differ based on both where you’re fishing and the type of fish you’re trying to attract. Some fish in Ocean City will go for the classic cast and wait strategy, while others might prefer bottom bouncing or drifting. With the vast amount of fish to be found in Ocean City, New Jersey, chances are you’ll catch something regardless of your baiting method.
Check out our Complete Guide to Fishing on Long Island.