Atlantic City is not only a great place to try your luck at the slots, it's also great place to try your luck fishing... There are many charter and party boats in the area that cater to "High Rollers" and recreational fishermen. There are also plenty of places to fish from the surf. As a matter of fact, the world record Striped Bass was caught off of a jetty in the Atlantic City surf. It weighed in just shy of 79 pounds!!
Just a few miles south of Atlantic City, you will find Ocean City. Rather then catering to Gambler's this area is most well know for it's Amusement Boardwalk and has a more family friendly feel. Both areas have great opportunities to fish inshore for Striped Bass and Bluefish as well as offshore for Sharks and further offshore canyon fishing for Tuna, Mahi and Marlin. They are also very close to some great reefs, wrecks and snags to fish for Blackfish and Seabass, as well as the more protected waters of Great Egg Harbor Bay and Great Bay.
Atlantic City also plays host to 2 of the Northeast's largest boat shows... An indoor show at the Atlantic City Convention Center in the winter and the in water show at the Farley State Marina in late summer.
April - May: Winter Flounder, Striped Bass and Drum
June - September: Fluke, Bluefish, Striped Bass, Weakfish, Drum, Shark and Tuna
October - November: Striped Bass
Some Fishing Tips
Surf Fishing is good along all the local beaches especially around jetties and inlets. If you'd like to do some exploring, head south out of the city itself and drive towards Cape May. You will find numerous small toll bridges that cross over water and you are sure to find fisherman there... You can also head north out of the city and fish the quieter Brigantine area beaches.
Bluefish are caught in great numbers in the surf and by boat. Diving birds are a sure sign there are Bluefish in the area.
Blackfish is best done by a charter or party boat since you need knowledge and experience to locate and fish wrecks and rock piles. If you're not in the rocks or on a wreck you're not going to catch.
Drum fishing is best done by boat and is very exciting if you'd like to tangle with an inshore fish that can weigh in excess of 70. Best months are generally May and June and the best place is Delaware Bay.
Striped Bass are usually targeted in the ocean from a boat and in the surf.
Tuna are targeted in the summer months offshore in the Canyons.
Sharks are targeted all through the summer months and can be are usually be caught inshore of the canyons anywhere from 15 - 50 miles out.
Please be responsible and only keep what you intend to eat and practice catch and release!
Party Boating - Make sure to arrive early and get a good spot on the boat. You want to stay near the bow or the stern this way you can fish comfortably regardless of the direction the boat is drifting.
Charter Boats - Book trips early and make sure you have a species in mind and have a back up spices in case the fish don't cooperate. Make sure and discuss it with the captain so they are prepared and are in agreement. In the case of fishing for Tuna, make sure you are aware of the captain's rules as far as keeping fish. Some boats, especially when giant Tuna fishing, will keep most of what their charters catch.
Offshore Canyon Fishing - is not for the faint of heart and is best done on a 30+ foot boat with an experienced crew. Depending on what part of the canyon is producing you are likely make a 70 mile run off shore. This can prove to be very trying in a small boat unless conditions are near perfect. Leave canyon fishing to the experts and book a charter boat... It's safer, more enjoyable and you are more likely to catch fish since these boats frequent the canyon and know where the fish are.
Canyon Fishing For First Timers
If you're fishing for Tuna on a private boat, make sure the boat has a permit.
Make sure you have sufficient fuel range. Plan for a trip of 200 miles or so to play it safe.
If your forced to carry spare tanks of fuel , make sure you keep them strapped down and you have an easy way to transfer fuel since it can get rough out on the open ocean.
File a float plan before departing to let people know where your going and when you plan to return.
A Loran or GPS and a EPIRB are musts.
Try and team up with other boats going out.
Try to avoid running back in the middle of the afternoon since this tends to be the time when the wind kicks up.
A minimum of 3 people is advisable to split up the driving.
Get plenty of rest before you leave. The trip is very tiring.
Check water temp charts to identify general areas where the water is warmer.
When you arrive in the general area be careful to pay close attention to temperature breaks and or bottom structures like drop offs as these are likely areas for fish.
If you plan to anchor and chunk make sure you have at least 1000 feet of anchor line since you are likely to be anchoring in 200+ feet of water. An anchor ball or windless will make it much easier to bring in the anchor.