Fishing Fishing and more Fishing!
I can't think of a more relaxing, theraputic activity than flounder fishing in the back bays. Unlike offshore fishing, the back bays are smooth and protected. The investment is minimal, depending on the boat of choice. Very simple, light tackle is all you need. Some squid strips and a bucket of minnows, a hook and sinker, and a light fishing rod. If you don't have a boat there are inexpensive party boats available or even rental boats. Use enough weight to get your bait to the bottom and drift along the edges of the channels where deep water meets shallow water. Watch the rod tip, the weight will cause the tip to bent and release as it bounces off the bottom. When that pattern is interupted, point the tip towards the water to allow the flounder to get the hook in its mouth. Then pull back and hook the fish. Un-like those TV shows on Sunday morning with Roland Martin, You don't have to pull back with all your might and cross it's eyes, a firm steady hook-set is all you need. Keep steady pressure on the fish as you reel it up to the boat and use a lnding net to bring it in safely. Minimum size for summer flounder in NJ is 16 1/2 " and 8 fish are allowed to be kept per perso, per day. Saturday, May 10th, 2006 is opening day for this year's Fluke season. Get out there and relax!
Equipment: Almost any boat will do but I prefer a center console between 16' and 25' with lots of open space.
Your fishing rod should be strong enough to support the use of weights up to 5 ounces, with a flexible tip that will allow the rod to stay bent while fighting the fish. I usually use a spinning outfit with 10 lb test mono line or a conventional rod and real with 10- 12 lb test.
Keep your tackle simple. You'll need a variety of bank style sinkers between 1 ounce and 5 ounces. Some hooks in the 2/0 -4/0 size and some leader material in 15 to 20lb test. I prefer Flourocarbin lines to mono for the low visibility. Barrel swivels will keep your rig from tangling and make it easier to tie to your main line. Tackle stores have pre-made flounder rigs, but I prefer to tie my own. Another popular rig for flounder fishing is a bucktail. It's basically a hook with a weight attached to the eye and buck hair wrapped on it to immitate a small fish. This bucktail comes in many colors and weights and a peice of bait can be attached to it or even an artificial worm that flutters in the water.
The bait of choice for most flounder fishermen is a squid strip and a small "Killie" minnow sandwich. I prefer using strips of fresh mackeral because of the strong scent it lets out.
- Sailing and Boating
Mini golf isn't technically a sport... but it is one of my favorite pastimes. There are about 10 mini golf courses right on the boardwalk and several in town. The one pictured here, Congo Falls, is my favorite. It ranges between 5 to 8 dollars per game. Mini golf is a great family acitivity that can include everyone, even small children and grandparents.
Equipment: Provided by the course.
- Family Travel
- Study Abroad
Bike or Surrey on the Boards
Ocean City allows you to ride surreys and bicycles on the boardwalk. The surreys are wonderful because the large ones accomodate 4 adults and 2 small children. It's great because you can include older people in the activity, but it's not a burden on the people peddling because surreys are a breeze to use. You'll see signs directing you to surrey and bicycle rental places all over.
No skateboarding or rollerblading on the boards... :(
Ocean Kayaking-rent from BAY CATS
different from river kayaking, but just as fun. boats have holes in them so water can go in and out, so you will get wet! rather than sitting "in" these kayaks, you sit on top. takes more muscle than river kayaking too. (well, for me) fighting wind and current wore me out! great fun though!
Equipment: bathing suit, sandals, a dry pack for your stuff. If you're like me, and don't bring along a dry pack, you can ask the place to hold your stuff. (which they won't take responsibility for) so you have to be trusting, hopeful, or like me, not carrying anything of real value
Fun for all ages! Not all NJ beaches allow boogie boards but Ocean City is one that does. You stand out in the water about waist deep or more, catch a wave, flop on your board and ride it in as far as possible. Other boarders and hapless swimmers make a few collisions and/or wipe outs inevitable, but they are always mild mishaps. No real danger here!
Equipment: a boogie board-if you don't have one-well, that's what the boardwalk is there for! They run $12 on up.
- Family Travel
- Water Sports