Manasquan Inlet Reef - The Fisherman

Manasquan Inlet Reef

Map showing Manasquan Inlet Reef
Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife.

NW Corner            40 05.653’ / 074 00.000’

NE Corner             40 04.945’ / 073 58.728’

SW Corner            40 04.891’ / 074 00.000’

SE Corner              40 04.175’ / 073 58.728’

Talk about easy access for the average boating angler. The newest addition to New Jersey’s growing artificial reef program, the Manasquan Inlet Reef, was birthed in the summer of 2017, and its favorable short distance of only 1.7 miles southeast of Manasquan Inlet makes it a perfect spot to bring the family and friends out for a day fishing.

Sitting roughly .7 miles east of the mile marker bell buoy, the reef covers .95 square miles in waters ranging from 67 to 74 feet deep.  An advantage for anglers as well is that the reef rests just north of the northern reach of the Axel Carlson Reef meaning anglers can bounce between the two reef sites to find where the fish are biting.

As of now there are only two major wrecks on the reef; the 87-foot trawler Mt. Sinai smack dab in the middle of the site, the 65-foot trawler Olsen resting on the southern reach and though not technically a part of the reef, the small wooden wreck of the Brunette lays just east of the site.

No doubt, this will be a special summertime spot as tidal influence flowing in and out of Manasquan Inlet will usher in all sorts of species such as bluefish, bass, bonito, albies and even Spanish mackerel.  Anyone who has fished the mile marker buoy knows the swirly currents always attract schools of disoriented baitfish that bring in fish to feed. Troll with small metals or feathers to hook into bones and albie speedsters, as they were all over the area this past summer.

Fluke fishing will be tops on the hit list here as well as summer months have the flatties exiting the inlet and setting up in those prime depths of 60 to 70 feet of water from June through August. Come fall, the site is well within the 3-mile legal distance to fish for striped bass and expect schools of stripers to hang around those trawler wrecks as bunker bait pods congregate over the protection of the wrecks.

Once there’s enough marine growth taking hold on the sunken trawlers, blackfish and sea bass will begin to colonize the area and call it home. Look about three to five years down the road for this reef to become a hot tautog spot during the spring and fall, and a solid sea bass haunt during the heat of the summer months.

The Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association which hosts Mako Mania helped provide funding for the new Manasquan Inlet Reef site, together with TheSportFishingFund.org and the Ocean Reef Foundation. Funds from both Mako Mania and Mako Fever events every June are donated to the non-profit Ocean Reef Foundation to help provide new materials for artificial reef projects like Manasquan Inlet Reef.

 

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