The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife maintains a directory of New Jersey party and charter boats offering yearround
adventure on the state’s bay and ocean waters. Party and charter boats, docked in ports at all the major ocean
inlets and bays on Monmouth County, let you take advantage of the skill and knowledge of experienced captains and
well-equipped vessels at a reasonable cost. All party and charter boats are inspected and licensed by the U.S. Coast
Guard for the passenger’s safety; all captains are qualified and licensed. Anglers can book trips departing from
Keyport, Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Middletown/Port Monmouth, Rumson, Belmar, Manasquan and Brielle.
The basic difference between the two types of boats is that a charter must be reserved in advance by a group of
passengers. Most party and charter boats are privately owned and their prices are at the discretion of the owners.
The prices vary depending on the length of time and the type of fishing and most offer special rates to groups,
children and senior citizens. Food, drinks and rental rods are available on the boats.
Party boats are large vessels that carry anywhere from 20 to 150 passengers, sailing on a daily schedule for
designated species. Party boat passengers pay individually as they board on a first-come-first-served basis until the
boat is full. Bait is provided and rods, reels and tackle may be rented onboard. Most ports have several party boats,
offering a variety of types of fishing. There are full, half and three-quarter day, morning, afternoon, evening and night
trips available. Some party boats feature special long-distance trips for tuna, tilefish, cod or whale watching. Such
trips usually require advanced reservations.
Charter boats are typically smaller in size. While most charter boats carry a maximum of 6 to 8 anglers, others carry
much larger groups. Many party boats can also be reserved for large group charters. The primary advantage of a
charter is that an entire boat can be reserved for a selected group.
NJBoating.org is a comprehensive,
easy-to-use interactive website
linking you to the best of boating in
New Jersey. Use the site’s mapping
features to locate pumpouts and
boat ramps in the Garden State
or to get info on the best boating
practices, fishing regulations and
CHARTER and PARTY BOATS
Trip fees vary considerably,
depending on trip length and costs
of fuel and of bait and tackle, which
are supplied. Some boats will
arrange to cater food if requested.
Planning a fishing trip during
your vacation? Most vessels offer
online booking, and tickets may be
bought in advance or as a gift. For
a complete list of party and charter
boats, visit www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/
Photo by Wally Bilotta