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When most anglers hear the name Harvey Cedars, they instantly think about million dollar homes and limited fishing access. But looks can be very deceiving.
By J.R. Warnet

The borough of Harvey Cedars, New Jersey is quite small; 1.185 square miles to be exact and located on Long Beach Island in between Surf City and the Loveladies. Within this area anglers can find some very good fishing from spring until well into fall. The main thing to know about Harvey Cedars is it has only a handful of fishing spots from land. Most of the area is set aside for beachfront homes, so boats and kayaks are great to have here. Harvey Cedars is located on a barrier island so it’s either ocean and surf action to the east or shallow bay fishing to the west.

If you’re driving onto the island, a stop at Bill’s Surf and Tackle (6332 Long Beach Blvd. 609-342-1372) is the first place to hit. Bill’s offers a full tackle shop centrally located. If you want to try fishing from shore, Sunset Park on West Salem Avenue has a small pier and a small, unpaved boat launch. From here, if you are fishing from a kayak you should check out Harvey Sedges and Sandy Island. They are located in front of the Harvey Cedars Bible Conference and hold fluke, bass and blues through the seasons. Geographic spots like Turtle Cove and Big Cove are located within the marsh area further into the bay across from the Bible Conference building. These spots are pretty shallow and maps note between a foot to five feet in most spots.

Small structures like Sloop Sedge can hold good sea grass beds where shrimp and silversides like to hide. Also try Kinsey’s Cove for fluke, blues and weakfish if the water temperatures are stable. Lures such as Tsunami swim shads, Berkeley Gulp! Shrimp and Mullet bodies will work great in the flats.

Surf fishing and trolling in front of Harvey Cedars is the best option for larger fish. East Atlantic Avenue and 73rd street have good surf action and limited fishing pressure. A little trough is set out in front of these areas where baitfish get trapped during the change in tides. Bass anglers usually troll off Harvey Cedars as they make their way up and down the coast. Water depths go from 6 to 18 feet closer to shore and expand out to 20 to 30 feet once you go a couple hundred yards off the beach. Trolling in the spring with Maja bunker spoons is always an easy way to hook bass or blues, while trolling umbrella rigs with tubes in the fall will work nicely.

For the beginning of the fall, fluke will be out front in the surf. Due to an influx of colder water in the bay, most fluke made it out into the ocean. Weakfish made a showing in Harvey Cedars in April, but died off after Memorial Day and grass shrimp chumming or baiting with shedder crab is trout magic. Mullet rigs with live bait are your best choice during the late summer and fall times. Shark fishing from the beach is also good at night in July and August. Bunker schools have been sticking close to shore for most of the season and should be helpful when the bass return.

Harvey Cedars is one of the least talked about spots in New Jersey. Most fishermen see the glitzy beachfront and think not much can be happening there, but behind the mansions anglers can find serious fishing with very limited fishing pressure. Think of Harvey Cedars as a quiet, secluded area of the Jersey Shore where nice sized fish come to hide. When fishing pressure is too much near the inlet, most fish will migrate toward Harvey Cedars where the smart angler will be waiting.

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