Photo by Nancy Orlowski
Go Fish in Monmouth County
Sandy Hook, flanked by the Atlantic Ocean
and Sandy Hook Bay, is one of the most
popular surf fishing areas in the northern
part of the state. This sand peninsula, part
of Gateway National Recreation Area, is a
federal park and usually has daily access
fees from Memorial Day through Labor
Day. An annual fishing permit can be
purchased at the Ranger Station for $50,
allowing 24/7 access year-round. Sandy
Hook’s most popular area to surf cast is
called “The Rip,” where the currents of the
ocean and bay meet on the northern tip of
the hook. Many striped bass and bluefish
sharpies fish this area exclusively since it
seems to hold and attract bait and baitfish.
Sandy Hook is also a popular place for
blues, stripers, blackfish and fluke.
Keyport lies in the middle of the Bayshore
area and is the gateway to New Jersey’s
A NJ State fishing license, available at fishing supply and
bait shops, is required for all freshwater fishing (ages 16–69)
in the Monmouth County Park System, and a trout stamp
is also required when fishing for trout. Although a license is
not needed for saltwater fishing (coastal river/ocean/bay),
it is necessary to register with the New Jersey Saltwater
Recreational Registry Program, and catches must conform
to NJ State species size and number limits. The state
registration is free and provides an exemption from national
registration. For more information about fishing licenses, fish
stocking, places to fish and a list of fishing events, visit www.
monmouthcountyparks.com and www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw.
Anglers, Get the Line on Fishing
Fill your bucket with striped bass, large- and smallmouthed
bass, blackfish, bluefish, bluegills, carp, catfish,
cod, crabs, crappie, flounder, fluke, freshwater eels, ling,
muskie, panfish, perch, pickerel, porgies, sunnies, tiger, tog,
triggerfish, trout, bluefin tuna or weakfish. Hook a fish in a
creek, coastal river, pond, lake, reservoir, bay or the mighty
Atlantic Ocean. Board a boat, wade in the water or cast from
a jetty, pier or shore.
F I S H I N G & BOAT I N G
famed Raritan Bay fishing. The Keyport
area hosts a number of marinas, a public
launch ramp and fuel docks as well as a
wide variety of bait and tackle stores.
Atlantic Highlands and Middletown’s
Port Monmouth section are two popular
jumping-off destinations on Sandy Hook
Bay due to their proximity to some of New
Jersey’s best fishing grounds: Sandy
Hook, Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay,
Flynns Knoll, Romer Shoal, Shrewsbury
Rocks, and the Shrewsbury and Navesink
rivers. Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina
is home to one of the state’s largest fleets
of party and charter boats as well as a
full-service marina and launch ramp, and
small boat rentals are available. Leonardo
State Marina in Port Monmouth features a
public launch ramp and a snack, bait and
fuel store that is accessible by water.
Highlands is home to seven marinas on
the Sandy Hook Bay, just north of where
the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers
meet. Bahrs Landing Marina offers 24-
hour pay-at-the-pump fuel and overnight
transient slips, and dock & dine at Bahrs
and Moby’s as well as an on-board dinner
service at the dock.
The Belmar Marina, near the Shark River
Inlet, is home to New Jersey’s largest
fleet of party and charter boats that sail
every day of the year, weather permitting.
It’s a great place to set sail or to rent a
small motor boat for some fishing action
closer to shore. Some ships also go out
for afternoon fishing charters and special
excursions, such as sunset cruises and
July 4th fireworks.
Note: When on the water in a county park, visitors must follow NJ State boating laws and Park System rules and
regulations. Gas-powered motor boats are not allowed on Monmouth County Park System waters, except the ocean.