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New Jersey

Fishing in New JerseyFishing in New Jersey

Though the Garden state is small and densely populated, fishing in New Jersey is as exciting as ever, as there are wide opportunities of freshwater and saltwater fishing. May it be the Delaware River or the bay shores and Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey has something or the other for every angler.

fishingFreshwater Fishing

New Jersey offers more than 400 public lakes, ponds, and reservoirs which give wide fishing opportunities from panfish to trophy-sized game fish. So also nearly 8,600 miles of freshwater streams and rivers which though are owned by various government bodies, ensure public access to give you unhindered and hassle-free fishing time. Some major lakes and reservoirs are lakes of Greenwood, Hopatcong, Swartswood, and Union, and reservoirs of Manasquan, Merrill Creek, Monksville, Round Valley, Oak Ridge, Spruce Run, and Wanaque.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes

Greenwood, Hopatcong, Budd, Manasquan, and Union are the top 5 bass fishing lakes in New Jersey. Plus Round Valley Reservoir, Swartswood Lake, Lake Assunpink, the twin sisters of Lake Assunpink, the Rising Sun and the Stone Tavern Lakes, Merrill Creek Reservoir, are some other best spots for bass fishing in New Jersey.

Top Trout Streams and Other Waters

The legendary Flatbrook drainage, the stretch of the South Branch of the Raritan River, the stretch of the Pequest River running through the Pequest Wildlife Management Area in Warren County, the Paulinskill River, Musconetcong River, and the Black River, and their numerous tributaries, in the north and in the central and southern part of the state, waterways such as Manasquan, Metedeconk, Delaware and Raritan Canal, Toms River, Cohansey and Maurice River are best trout fisheries of the state.

Shad Fisheries

In April and May, more than 300,000 furious shad fill the entire length of the Delaware River offering wonderful thrilling fishing experience to the anglers coming from all the states. Another upcoming shad fishery is the Raritan River.

Residents of Delaware

Apart from the anadromous fishes, Delaware has got variety of resident fishes like, largemouth bass, stripers, channel catfish, muskellunge, walleye, and brown bullheads, offering year-round fun of fishing.

Tiger Musky

Tiger musky is a hybrid of muskellunge and northern pike, and is abundant in the Delaware River. They are also stocked thrice a year in the Budd Lake and Spruce Run Reservoir and 19 other water bodies providing thrilling fishing experience.

New Jersey Fishing

fishingSaltwater Fishing

For the saltwater fishing in New Jersey license is not required.

Delaware Bay Area

Delaware Bay has a specialty of variety of fishes.

Black Drum is a large, bottom fish and is usually caught with clams for bait near shellfish beds.

Black Sea Bass is taken with clam, squid and fish strips near oceans and reef sites.

Blowfish of Puffer is nowadays in good demand in the market and is taken with squid, clams, shedder crab, and blood worms with small, long-shanked hooks.

False Albacore or Tunny is caught with fast moving lures.

Adult Bluefish can be taken by trolling with several lures, chumming from a boat or surf casting with either lures or cut baits. Young bluefish, or snappers, are normally caught in the bays with bobbers and small hooks with baits like spearing, still casting small lures, like bucktails, and spoons work well.

Blue Crab is an exceptionally tasty crustacean, and is best caught in tidal creeks, rivers and shallow bays, with handlines, and folding traps, with baits like chunks of fish.for soft or shedder crabs, another effective technique is to wade the shallows with a scoop net. You are supposed to release all the females with egg mass or ‘sponge’.

Hard Clam or Quahogs can be harvested from boats with tongs or a bull rake, using a scratch rake or by ‘treading’ with your feet. A clamming license is required.

Bonito are taken by chumming or trolling feathers and spoons.

Fluke or Summer Flounder is perhaps the most sought after recreational fish in New Jersey. They are caught with moving baits with boat drifting with tide and wind, while when fishing from bank, by casting up and across the current. Killies, spearing, squid strips and othe small bait fish are favorite.

Cod are usually taken on clams or cut bait on or near the bottom, but many times they are attracted by jigs.

Kingfish are caught with bloodworms, shrimp, squid and shedder crabs and they should be fished on the bottom.

Croaker is favored by shedder crab, shrimp and squid.

Ling or Red Hake has a white, delicate and tasty meat and is usually caught on clams.

Dolphin or Mahi Mahi is a spectacular migrant and is usually taken by trolling or casting near flotsam.

Mackerel has two species, common mackerel, which is the largest and the small chub mackerel, also called tinker mackerel or thimble eye. They are usually taken by charter or party boats by jigging with small lures. They are often caught for bait than tablefare.


These species are accompanied by number of other species offering all time fun. So also there are lots of accesses for saltwater fishing. So when will you be going to enjoy the fishing in New Jersey?