Boats: For Kayaking or Fishing, Big or Small- Which One is for You?

The swimming and the sunbathing are great, but getting out on boats is the way to make a vacation on the Jersey Shore really special. There are so many ways to enjoy this pleasure when you are down at the Shore, from a little aluminum dinghy or a canoe, to a fabulous Charter for your closest 100 friends.

No question about it, if you want to add a little excitement and change of pace to your visit to the Jersey Shore, be sure to get out on any kind of vessel you can!

Messing about in small boats

One of the simplest ways you can try out your navigational skills is to rent a small aluminum fishing skiff. This is a great way to spend a day, and if you bring some fresh fish back to the gang at the rental house, it's a bonus. If you also want to get a little exercise while you are out on the water, consider a canoe or kayak.

For instance, at Canal Side Rentals in Wildwood, you can rent crabbing or fishing boats as well as bait and tackle. At Lake View Docks in Wildwood, rentals include wave runners, small cruisers, sailing vessels, kayaks, and paddlers.

The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights will rent wave runners as well as small fishing skiffs.

Head a little further north to Spring Lake, and you can have your pick of canoes, kayaks, and rowboats at Weekend Outfitters. (They also have surfboards and bikes for rent, if you forgot yours!) For a real fun day on the water, consider ordering one of their picnic packages, which include a meal packed with linens and china.

Or go south, and hit Island Kayak in Stone Harbor for surf kayaks. You can paddle the Seven Mile Island area by yourself whether you are an experienced or beginner kayaker, or you can get instruction and tours.

Most of the time, rentals include gas, maps, fishing equipment, and safety equipment, but make sure you ask in advance to know what you are getting.

Or just Messing About

If you want to go a little bigger and a little better, consider a private charter. Get a couple of friends together, and the captain will take you wherever you want to go. Just sit back and pretend you own this beauty, but without the upkeep, cleaning and bank loan! The Long Shot is a 32 foot Downeast out of Atlantic Highlands (Long Shot Charters) and Reel Fun Sportfishing also plies the waters of Sandy Hook.

Call it what you want, but call it fun

But the grandaddy of all these experiences on the Jersey Shore are the big commercial fleets that many people take out for a half or full day of fishing. Some people call them headboats and some people call them "party boats". Just take a ride or a stroll to the water and you will find these famous fleets in just about any town on the Shore. The most popular, and the ones with the biggest fleets are (heading from north to south): Atlantic Highlands, Sea Bright, Belmar, Brielle, Point Pleasant, Ocean City, Egg Harbor and Cape May.

The greatest thing about this concept is that you can just stroll up, find out what time they sail, and jump on board when the time comes. Nothing fancy, no reservations, and they are one of the least expensive ways to spend a day out on the ocean, since they hold up to 100 people, so they can keep the per head price down.

Whatever way you decide to spend a day out on the briny blue on the Jersey Shore, make sure you are prepared in advance. You never what the weather will bring, so make sure you have

  • Rain gear
  • Boots
  • Warm Clothing
  • Dry Bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen

    You will also want to bring along your food and beverages if they are not supplied. They are no snack bars out there on the water!

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