April 13, 2024

Hardcore Game Fishing

Game Fishing News

New Jersey: A beginner’s guide to party boat fishing

Reading Time: 7 minutes

If you, like us, love big boats and you cannot lie, then Party Boat Fishing in New Jersey is something you need to have on your radar. This is a fun way to have an unforgettable time in one of America’s favorite summer fishing hotspots. Even if you aren’t much of a fishing fanatic, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the sights and feel the fresh ocean breeze on your face.

After all, it’s never too late to start fishing, and a party boat is as good a place as any. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know before you even set one step on the dock. We’ll cover the best times to go party boat fishing in NJ, what you should bring on trips like these, all the different species you can catch, and more. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of any party boat fishing trip!

What to Expect When Fishing on a Party Boat

Like the name suggests, what sets party boat trips apart from other types of fishing is the fact you’ll be on a big boat with a bunch of other people looking to catch something. As with anything else in life, there are both pros and cons with this approach that you should consider. Let’s start with the pros:

  • Price. Thanks to the scale of the whole thing, it’s a very cost-efficient way to go fishing in inshore and nearshore waters. It’s useful if you’re curious about giving fishing a shot but don’t want to overspend.
  • Convenient facilities. A big boat means lots of room for facilities. This includes toilets, seating with plenty of shade, and built-in ice boxes for your catch.
  • Trip options. These will be different from boat to boat, but one thing’s for sure, you can expect all sorts of options like Tuna trips, nighttime Bluefin adventures, and more. We’ll cover these in more detail later, so stay tuned.

On the other hand, the drawbacks are mostly related to the fact you’ll be fishing with a lot of other people. Even with a highly-skilled crew, it’s impossible to provide the same kind of personal attention to every single person on the boat. And, of course, you’re limited to the one line you’ve got with you, unlike smaller charter boats where your captain can easily set you up with a couple at least.

What can I catch while party boat fishing in New Jersey?

Thanks to NJ’s diverse fishery, you’ll certainly be spoiled for choice when it comes to potential targets. By far one of the most popular species on party boat trips is the delicious Fluke. Also known as Summer Flounder, these bottom feeders ensure a lot of party boats are absolutely packed when the season hits. Since you’ll mostly be drift fishing, we highly recommend a squid strip and killie combo to use for bait.

An angler holds up a Fluke he caught fishing on a party boat in New Jersey.

Striped Bass are another signature species of the New Jersey fishing scene. Not only can you go after them for most of the year, but they’re fun to catch and can get pretty large in the fall. Bait-wise, most anglers will opt for live eels in fall and sandworms in spring. Stripers are attracted to motion, so focus your attention on rips and tears in the water if you spot any.

Finally, this section would feel very hollow without the humble Bluefish. It’s not exaggerating to say these guys are pretty much everywhere, from the shallow beaches to the open ocean. In terms of sheer numbers, Bluefish certainly take the cake. Catching two dozen of these on a single trip is more than possible. They have a ravenous appetite and will put up a fight, so get ready to break a sweat.

Other fish you can run into during a trip include Cod, Porgy, Tautog, and even various Tuna. Some boats run special trips for the latter, so make sure to read on if you’re in the market for some Yellowfin and Bluefin delights.

When to Go New Jersey Party Boat Fishing

Now that we’ve covered the what, let’s jump into the when. To cut a long story short, just make sure to avoid the cold months of December through March since you won’t be seeing any active party boats around that time. Instead, consider whether you’d like a spring, summer, or fall trip.

A pair of anglers hold up some Seabass they just caught on a party boat in NJ.

Spring is usually all about the Seabass and Tautog (i.e. Blackfish) bite. The “schoolies” around this time are busier than later in the year so there’s plenty of fish to go around. As for Blackfish, their season starts just after the Easter holidays so fishing can be a good way to work off some of that infamous festive fat.

Come summer, everyone’s going nuts about Fluke as one of the tastiest fish you can catch on the eastern seaboard. A little skill and luck will have you returning home with a 10 lb “doormat” or two in the bag. It’s also the time to get in on the Tuna action if you’re looking to brave the deep blue. Because of the heat, night trips for Cod and Bluefish are also a staple of summertime party boat fishing in New Jersey.

For sheer variety, fishing in the fall is the best of the bunch. This is the time of year when Stripers get really big, so if your goal for the year is to reel in some “cows” as they’re also known, you’re in the right place. Likewise, it’s the perfect time to go after Blues since the big ones can get close to 20 pounds.

Types of Party Boat Trips in New Jersey

At this point, you know what you’re after, but picking a specific trip is another important decision to make before you can step aboard. Shorter trips are the most popular but are far from the only option you have.

Four anglers holding up the Fluke they caught on a party boat fishing trip in New Jersey.

Half Day Trips

Usually lasting around 4–5 hours, these trips are the mainstay of New Jersey party boat fishing. The state is famous for its excellent fishing mere minutes from shore, so you can be sure most of that time will be spent with rods in the water at the ready. This is also a great option for family trips and first-time anglers looking to get a feel for things.

Most party boats offer half day trips both in the morning and afternoon, as well as special night trips for the likes of Cod, Bluefish, Stripers, and others. Just be sure to book your place on the boat well ahead of time if you plan on fishing during peak season.

Full Day Trips

For those who don’t like to cut things short, you have the option of 7–8 trips to make full use of your time on the water. Whether it’s Fluke in the summer or Stripers and Bluefish in the fall, nothing beats the feeling of coming back home exhausted with a bag full of fine fish. If you’re going together with your family, you can also look into boats that offer fun extras like fireworks when heading back to shore.

Specialized and Private Trips

Finally, there’s the option of special trips geared towards specific seasonal angling. Experiences like deep sea Tuna trips come with a premium price tag, but are well worth the cost. Not only that, but you can also opt for a private trip should you want the entire boat to yourself. Get some friends or colleagues together and really put the party into party boat fishing.

What to Bring on a Party Boat

Two anglers in layered clothing show off a Striped Bass they just caught.

Now that you’ve got everything planned out, it’s time to look at those little things that make all the difference. Here are some things to consider bringing for your fishing trip.

  • Layered clothing. Of all the things on this list, this one is probably the most important. The air can become cooler when you’re on the water so it’s better to have an extra layer of clothes with you in case you need it. For day trips, bring sunscreen and a brimmed hat for the best experience.
  • Motion sickness medicine. Those of you who get seasick should make sure to take some Dramamine before the trip. If you’ve never been on the sea before, it’s better to have some to hand just in case. Party boats typically won’t turn around because of one guest getting nauseous, and you don’t want to ruin your day on the water.
  • Drinks and snacks. Fishing can be hard work for both beginners and experts alike. To keep your energy and spirits up, we recommend you pack some water and light snacks. For extra convenience, you can bring them in an ice box that you’ll then use for your catch after the trip.
  • Cash. On the other hand, on some boats you have the option of buying drinks or snacks in case you’re traveling light, so keep some cash handy. Besides, it’s good form to leave a tip when you’re satisfied with the crew.
  • (Optional) Fishing Gear. When fishing on party boats, fishing gear sometimes doesn’t come included in the price of the trip. This means you can either rent the gear or bring your own if you have it. Should you opt for the latter, just make sure it’s appropriate for the type of fish you’re going after.

New Jersey Party Boat Fishing – the Jewel of the Eastern Seaboard

Panoramic view of Jersey City and the Statue of Liberty.

As you can see, there are so many good reasons to go party boat fishing in New Jersey that it’s hard to settle for just one. Whatever your fishing inclinations, there’s a trip out there with your name on it. Some would say New Jersey is as good as it gets on the East Coast, and we can only agree! The only way to know for sure, though, is to give it a go and see for yourself.

Have you ever been party boat fishing in New Jersey? Anything to recommend to your fellow anglers? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

The post Party Boat Fishing in New Jersey: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Vuk
Title: Party Boat Fishing in New Jersey: A Beginner’s Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/party-boat-fishing-new-jersey/
Published Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2022 13:00:00 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Share This