NJ Striper Fishing

The New Jersey coast is one massive 130 mile long sandy beach, and all of it holds striped bass. Forget about New Jersey jokes, the stench at Newark, and stereotypes. Not only is the Jersey shore breathtakingly beautiful, it's full of striped bass!

Besides sandy beach, New Jersey also has eleven inlets and some major estuary systems, and Northern Jersey has close to 200 jetties, including the Vermont Street Jetty where Al McReynolds caught his record breaking 78 pound 8 ounce striper.

The only downside to fishing in New Jersey, and this comes from several natives, is the crowds, due to the high population density. I know once when fishing a Jersey beach in late November the crowds of fishermen were so dense I doubt the Marines could have easily taken that beach!

My first experience with New Jersey was when driving back from a fishing trip to Cape Hatteras. I got sick of driving and the NJ Turnpike, so got off and headed towards the coast. I just wanted to see water, and ended up at Island Beach State Park - both an awesome place to fish and as beautiful a place as you can imagine. Although I only fished briefly as I was out of time and money, I did return and catch a few bass on flyrod a few weeks later.

The stripers show up in March and depending on the weather may be still there as late as January. Big fish time is primarily spring and fall, roughly late May to June and October to November although your mileage may vary. Dead of summer is pretty slow in New Jersey as the waters get pretty hot and the stripers that haven't migrated north get lethargic   - the "summer doldrums" is a common term. I often run across hardcore and well experienced New Jersey striper fisherman in Maine, New Hampshire and Mass in the dead of summer, escaping the summer doldrums and crowds.Thanksgiving Eve Striper, Manasquan River, NJ

This beautiful 42" inch Striper was taken by Bob Manning on Thanksgiving Eve in the Manasquan River on a 7" black Clouser. Estimated at about 30 pounds, Bob safely released it. Often some truly big fish are taken after many people have stopped fishing for the season.

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