Surf Fishing

The Wildwoods, NJ: A Mecca for Fishing, Boating and Water Sports

Situated on a barrier island off the Cape May County peninsula, the Wildwoods, NJ are a natural favorite for those who enjoy fishing, boating and water sports.

For much of the year, the waters off the Wildwoods are bustling with commercial and sport fishing boats returning to their home ports filled with the day’s catch.

Cape May County’s commercial fishing port is the largest in New Jersey and one of the largest on the East Coast. There is a reason why the fishing port is so successful: The waters off the shores of the Wildwoods are ripe with flounder, weakfish, blackfish, bluefish and striped bass.

Not only do commercial fishermen know the value of the area, but those who fish for fun are aware of the ocean’s plentiful bounty, too. Throughout the warmer months of the year, visitors and locals alike enjoy taking the entire family out for a day of boating and fishing. The bayside of the island is filled with boat slips and marinas where boat owners keep their vessels, as well as where charter and party boat operators dock their boats.

Charter and party boat captains in the Wildwoods offer a variety of excursions, ranging from night fishing trips for bluefish or drumfish; full-day excursions in search of tuna, marlin and swordfish; or a Mississippi River-style paddleboat journey for those who prefer to take in the serene sights rather than catching “the big one.” Whether it’s a family outing or a day out with friends, fishing in the Wildwoods’ waters will grant you some of the largest catches off the coast and back bays along the Jersey Shore. Fishing boats typically offer four, six or eight-hour trips. Those who find themselves in need of fishing equipment are gladly outfitted with the necessary rigs and bait.

Although there’s always a chance of returning to port empty-handed, seafood lovers need not worry. Many of the seafood markets throughout the island can provide the fresh treasured catches that got away.

In addition to fishing charters, there are several sightseeing boats in the Wildwoods, each with a captain well-versed in the local marine environment and all with a near-perfect record for finding schools of bottle-nosed dolphins and often whales that make the local waters their home in the summer.

Another maritime activity favored by those in the Wildwoods is crabbing, done in the marshy areas and back bays of the island. Crabbing is a fun, low-cost activity the entire family can enjoy from area bulkheads, fishing piers or from a boat using nets, cages or hand-lines. There are bait and tackle shops throughout the Wildwoods where personnel will help the most inexperienced crabbers choose bait and equipment, and provide suggestions and tips for bringing in a good catch that can feed an entire family a fresh blue claw crab dinner.

For thrill-seekers, the Wildwoods offer high-speed water excursions onboard large speedboats that race along the shores, giving passengers an exhilarating and often refreshing glimpse of the island and its environs from the ocean.

For the more independent thrill-seekers, personal watercraft vehicles (wave runners) can be rented by the hour or day along the beach and bay. Windsurfing is another popular activity for water lovers, especially in Wildwood Crest’s vast Sunset Lake, which has ample space and wind without the wake of the ocean. Parasailing along the coastline is yet another option offering an unmatched maritime experience.

Whether you opt for a full day of fishing, a sightseeing dinner cruise or a few hours zipping over the waves, don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of the Wildwoods’ prime location, surrounded by the bounty and beauty of the sea.

For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit or call 800-992-9732.  


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