No season is bad when fishing in New Jersey, especially Wildwood. This beachside town offers incredible fishing variety for any angler looking to try their luck in the water. No matter the type of fishing you specialize in – be it inshore fishing or offshore fishing – there are ample opportunities for you to bring home your limit.
Wildwood, a coastal town in NJ, is one of the best saltwater fishing locations on the east coast, only matched by neighbors like Ocean City or Cape May.
I’ve compiled this complete guide to fishing in Wildwood, New Jersey, to help you make the most out of your fishing adventure.
Where Can You Fish in Wildwood, NJ?
Wildwood, New Jersey, is located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, just south of the Delaware Bay.
It offers several fishing locations that are popular among anglers. Here are some of the best fishing spots in Wildwood:
1. Wildwood Crest Beach
The beaches in Wildwood Crest, including Sunset Beach, provide opportunities for surf fishing.
Anglers can target species such as striped bass, bluefish, flounder, weakfish, and kingfish.
2. Wildwood Crest Pier
The fishing pier in Wildwood Crest is a popular spot for anglers. Located at Rambler Road and Ocean Avenue, the pier extends into the Atlantic Ocean and provides access to deeper waters.
The pier is equipped with cleaning stations and fishing rod holders for convenience.
3. Cape May Inlet and Jetty
Just a short drive south of Wildwood, Cape May Inlet and its adjacent jetty offer excellent fishing opportunities. The jetty provides access to deeper waters and is known for species like striped bass, bluefish, flounder, tautog, weakfish, and black drum.
The Cape May Inlet itself is also productive for fishing, especially during certain seasons and tidal conditions.
4. Back Bays and Inlets
The back bays and inlets around Wildwood, including the Great Channel and Grassy Sound, are great spots. Anglers can fish from boats, kayaks or even try their luck from the shoreline in suitable locations.
5. Charter Fishing
If you’re looking for a guided fishing experience or want to book a deep-sea fishing trip, Wildwood has various charter fishing options available. Charter boats can take you to productive fishing grounds for species like tuna, marlin, shark, and other game fish.
These trips typically require advance booking and may vary depending on the season and weather conditions.
Where Can You Fish in North Wildwood?
- Hereford Inlet: Hereford Inlet is a scenic inlet that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Hereford and Cape May Bays. You can fish from the shore or from boats.
- North Wildwood Beach: The beaches in North Wildwood are great for surf fishing. Anglers can cast their lines from the shoreline and target species like striped bass, bluefish, flounder, weakfish, and kingfish.
- North Wildwood Jetty: The jetty in North Wildwood, located near the Hereford Inlet, provides access to deeper waters and is known for attracting a variety of fish species.
What Types of Fish Can You Catch in Wildwood, NJ?
The specific species you can target will depend on the season and your chosen fishing location. Some common fish species you can catch in Wildwood include:
- Striped Bass: Striped bass, also known as “stripers,” are a popular game fish in the area. They can be caught both from the beach and from boats.
- Black Sea Bass: Black sea bass can be found near offshore wrecks, reefs, and rocky structures. They can be caught from boats or from the shore.
- Bluefish: Bluefish are another popular and aggressive game fish in Wildwood’s waters. Bluefish can be caught from the beach, jetties, and boats.
- Flounder: Flounder, including summer flounder (fluke), are common in the waters of Wildwood. Flounder can be targeted from the beach, jetties, and boats, especially in areas with sandy or muddy bottoms.
- Weakfish: Weakfish, also known as sea trout, can be caught from the beach, jetties, and boats.
- Kingfish: Kingfish, also called king croaker or whiting, are smaller fish and can be caught from the surf using simple bait rigs.
- Tautog: Tautog, also known as blackfish, are bottom-dwelling fish that can be found around jetties and rocky areas. Tautog fishing is popular during the cooler months.
Best Season to Fish in Wildwood
Fall (September to November) is considered one of the best seasons for fishing in Wildwood. As water temperatures cool down, species like striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, and flounder become more active and abundant. Fall offers great opportunities for surf fishing, pier fishing, and fishing in the back bays.
Springtime in Wildwood offers good fishing opportunities for species like striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, and flounder. As the water temperatures rise, these fish become more active and migrate closer to the shore.
Summer is a popular season for bluefish, flounder, kingfish, weakfish, and occasional striped bass.
Winter fishing in Wildwood is generally slower, but some anglers target species like striped bass, winter flounder, and tautog.
What About Fishing Charters in Wildwood?
There are several fishing charters available for anglers who want to experience deep-sea fishing and guided fishing trips:
- Starlight Fleet: The Starlight Fleet operates out of Wildwood Crest and offers various fishing charters, including half-day and full-day options. They target species like flounder, sea bass, bluefish, weakfish, and more. The charters provide all fishing equipment and bait.
- Cape May Lady: The Cape May Lady offers fishing charters departing from the South Jersey Marina in Cape May, which is located near Wildwood. They offer half-day and full-day fishing trips targeting flounder, sea bass, tautog, and more species. The charter provides all fishing gear and bait.
- Miss Chris Fishing: Miss Chris Fishing offers fishing charters departing from Cape May, which is a short distance from Wildwood. They offer half-day, full-day, and evening fishing trips. All fishing equipment and bait are provided.
These charters provide a charter captain and the necessary equipment for a successful and enjoyable fishing experience. I recommend you research and contact individual charters to inquire about availability, pricing, trip durations, and targeted species. Booking in advance is typically advised, especially during peak fishing seasons.
Do You Need a License to Fish in Wildwood?
Yes, you need a fishing license to fish in the state of New Jersey, including in Wildwood. Whether you are fishing from the beach, pier, jetty, or any other fishing location in Wildwood, you will need a valid New Jersey fishing license unless you qualify for an exemption.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife issues fishing licenses, and they can be obtained online through the division’s website, at select retail locations, or by mail. Licenses are typically available for various durations, including annual, seven-day, and one-day licenses, allowing you to choose the option that suits your needs.
Fishing in South Jersey? Read our Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Ocean City, NJ