If you are like my husband, the perfect summer day is one spent on the open water fishing. This works out just fine when we are home — we have a boat. He can fish to his heart’s content, come home, and fillet his catch and cook it up. Easy peasy and delicious.
So, what is the avid angler to do when he or she goes on vacation and wants to savor the spoils of the day? Coastal marinas are chock full of charter fishing boats that will take you out to the local hot spot and let you fish away. Each captain sets his own terms; some are strictly catch-and-release, some charters retain the keepers, and others, if you are lucky, will scale, gut, and fillet your fish, and give it back to you. Now what? We found a number of restaurants that cook your catch. If you’re fishing in other destinations, ask the charter captain who can accommodate you. They are in-the-know locals who will not only put you on the best fishing locations offshore but will also steer you to the best kitchens, often a stone’s throw from the marina.
Bahr’s Landing, in Highlands, New Jersey, is a Jersey shore landmark. Run by the same family since 1917, Bahr’s has been a destination for generations of seafood lovers, including the likes of Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, Mel Torme, and even the cast and crew of HBO’s The Sopranos (Tony once suggested to a depressed Carmella, “Come on, we’ll go down to Bahr’s and get some lobsters.”). Known for the freshest clams, oysters, lobsters, finfish, and chowders, Bahr’s also operates a full-service marina. Eager anglers can jump on any of a number of six-passenger charters or board their own 40-passenger boat for a half day of fishing.
Catch a keeper striped bass, bluefish, fluke, sea bass, or cod, and the mates will fillet it and get it to the kitchen where the chef will prepare it to your liking. Owner Jay Cosgrove tells us that deep-fried fish-and-chips style is the most popular, served with “our famous coleslaw, fries, and cocktail sauce.” While you are waiting, he advises, “Grab a cup of our chowder and a cold beer.” With a per person price of $8.95 at their outdoor Moby’s Lobster Deck (a bit more in the restaurant), “Bahr’s is the best way to experience a day of fishing on the Jersey coast,” according to Cosgrove. I am almost tempted to test out my sea legs!Continue Reading