Boating & Fishing


It’s all about the water at the Jersey Cape!

With the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Delaware Bay to the west and channels, sounds and inland waterways from Ocean City to Cape May Point, there’s definitely something about the water that attracts visitors to Cape May County.

From deep sea fishing to back bay crabbing, paddling a kayak to riding a wave runner, parasailing, water skiing on Sunset Lake to dropping a line off a jetty, the waters that border Cape May County are perfect for having fun.

Boat Parades such as Night in Venice in Ocean City, the Festival of Lights in Stone Harbor and the Christmas in July boat parade in the Wildwoods are highly anticipated summer events that can be viewed from boats and docks as well as street locations along the  parade route for land lubbers.

From ocean to bay and inland with fresh water ponds and lakes in the northern areas of the county, fishing is a popular recreational activity.  For all you anglers, be sure to enter your catch in the Annual Cape May County Fishing Contest.  There is no pre-registration or entry fee.  Each fish entered that meets the size and weight limits will receive a citation to memorialize your catch.   Prizes are awarded for the top three fish in each category.  Surf and jetty fishing is allowed along the beachfront, just make sure you check with your town for time regulations and restrictions.

Boat rentals and slips are available for hire and can be found at docks and marinas along the back bays and dozens of party and charter boats offer 4-hour, 6-hour, 8-hour and all day trips for  inshore, back bay and canyon fishing excursions. Licensed captains and crews take the worry out of navigating the waters and take you right to the fishing action.  Boating, sailing and surfing lessons are available in many waterfront communities along the Jersey Cape. 

Bait and tackle stores offer just about everything you will need from U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets and safety equipment to tide charts and snacks to ensure a fun and safe day on the water.  Fresh water fisherman need a license and salt water fishermen need to register with the New Jersey Fish and Game. 

Saltwater fishing promises great action whether it’s the high seas, along the shoreline or on a jetty.  What you catch depends on the time of year and where you are – a few miles out to sea and it could be tuna, bluefish, dolphin, shark, sea bass or mahi mahi. Closer to the shore it’s more likely strippers, bluefish, weakfish, tautog or other good-eating fish.  

For those who enjoy the water but just aren’t into fishing, jet skiing or kayaking, check out sightseeing trips - a salt marsh safari aboard a catamaran is the perfect way to get up close and personal with nature. There are whale watching tours or even a cruise across the bay on the Cape May Lewes Ferry, both are great opportunities to see dolphins, interesting birds or marvel at a magnificent sunset.  
The Annual Cape May County Fishing brochure with contest rules and regulations, size requirements and a list of marinas and bait and tackle stores that serve as contest weigh stations, along with previous year contest winners is available.


For more information, see the following publications:

fishing boat
Back Bay Boating3_559d652483b9c
Fishing pier
OC bridge boat ramp