Re: Bay vs ocean
There are the big migrating fish to consider, too.
They might take a turn into someplace like the Raritan Bay / New York Harbor complex, but I don't think you will see as many 20 lb and larger fish in the Barnegat Bay as you will in the ocean..
Now another question entirely is where the fish will be. Last year you had to be in just the right place to encounter the biggies within casting distance of the sand. I was consistently not in the right place... Other years I hit it much more successfully.
There were, however, tons of schoolies and rats in the wash until way late in the season last year, even as late as New Years, which I don't think can be said for any of the bays.