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Sandy Hook Fishing Information
Raritan Bay Fishing



Sandy Hook is one of the most popular surf fishing areas in the northern part of the state. It is bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and to the west by Sandy Hook Bay. This sand peninsula is a federal park and usually has daily access fees from Memorial to Labor day. An annual fishing permit can be purchased at the Ranger Station for $50. This permit will allow you access year round and 24hrs a day.

The most popular area to surf cast is called "The Rip". This is where the current of the Ocean and bay meet on the very northern tip of the hook. Many Striped Bass and Bluefish sharpies fish this area exclusively since the rip seems to hold and attract bait and baitfish. Each year several trophy fish are beached in the area. The ocean side of Sandy is also a dotted with many rock jetties and is also a popular place for Blues and Stripers.

The other popular species of fish are Fluke and Blackfish. They are caught on both the bay and ocean sides. Blacks tend to stay around the jetties and rock piles while fluke can be caught along any stretch of the beach.

Bait Stores - While their are no bait stores on Sandy Hook itself their are many stores on your way on the east bound side of Route 36.


Fishing Calendar

Depending on the time of year most Party Boats in Sandy Hoook will fish for the following species:
  • March - April: Blackfish, Ling, Cod
  • April - May: Winter Flounder
  • June - September: Fluke, Bluefish, Striped Bass, Weakfish
Many Charter Boats will fish for the same species as the Party Boats and will also fish offshore for Sharks from June - September and Tuna during August through early October.


Some Fishing Tips

  • Night Fishing is great for Stripers but youíll need a fishing permit. You can purchase one at the Ranger station but they will not accept cash or credit cards only money orders. If your in the area and donít have the money order their are some convenience stores a few miles away in Sea Bright where you can purchase money orders.

  • Depending on the wind, current and tide the Rip may be located in different places along the most northern section of the Hook.

  • Many good areas for Blackfishing from shore when the water temps are cool.

  • Surf Fishing is good along all the local beaches especially in the spring. The first Stripers of the season are usually caught in the area in April/May.

  • Fluke fishing is excellent around the Keyport channel which starts at the 1 can that marks the entrance to the Harbor from the Raritan Bay. Other areas in close proximity are: "The Triangle" which is a few miles NW of Keyport in Raritan Bay between Tottenville on the Staten Island side and South Amboy on the NJ Side. The area is formed by the Raritan Reach channel and the channel coming out of the Aurthur Kill merging. Other spots not to overlook are the Raritan Reach channel ledges and the Keansburg borrow pit which is a football field size hole about 1/2 mile due east of the tip of Keansburg peer. Drifting a combination of a strip of squid and a kellie is the most popular way to fish.

  • Flounder fishing is best in the April and May time frame. Chumming is a necessity to improve your chances of catching a good number of fish. Anchoring is the usual fare dropping down either blood or sandworms. The Harbor and the mud flats west of the Keyport 1 can are popular spots. These areas usually attract the first flounder of the season since the shallow Harbor waters and mud warms up the water to put the fish on the feed.

  • Striped Bass can be caught fairly regularly from shore in the early spring and out in the Raritan bay as the water warms up in late spring.

  • Bluefish are regular visitors in Keyport Harbor. Diving birds are a sure sign there are Bluefish in the area. The most popular way to fish for Blues is to anchor your boat chum with ground bunker to attract the fish while dropping back cut bunker. Make sure to use a heavy mono or wire leader since these fish a sharp teeth that will make short order of 10 - 15 lb mono. Night time is great for Bluefish as well.

  • Blackfish fishing is best done by boat since. Check out any of the local rockpiles out in Raritan Bay. If your not in the rocks or on a wreck your not going to catch.

  • Weakfish fishing in the Harbor by the sailboat moorings is pehaps the best spot in the state. Drifting sandworms from a boat is the ticket here.

  • 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 Ė 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 captains rules as far as keeping fish. Some boats, especially when giant Tuna fishing, will keep most of what their charters catch.