New Jersey fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in New Jersey. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in New Jersey

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26 waterbodies
318 cities
75 fishes

Licenses for fishing in New Jersey

Licenses can be purchased online at NJ Fish and Wildlife's internet license sales site or at various license agents. For those on active duty in the United States armed services, regardless of their current residency, a New Jersey resident fishing license can be bought. Additionally, resident veterans with a service-connected disability can avail free hunting and fishing licenses, stamps, and permits.

Category License Type Resident Price Non-Resident Price
Freshwater Fishing Ages 16–64 yrs. $22.50 $34.00
Senior Resident Fishing Ages 65–69 yrs. $12.50 -
  70 & over Free -
Resident Trout Stamp Ages 16–69 yrs. $10.50 -
Non-resident Trout Stamp - - $20.00
Non-resident Vacation Fishing 2-Day - $9.00
  7-Day - $19.50
All-Around Sportsman (Includes resident fishing, firearm hunting and bow/arrow hunting licenses) $72.25 -
WMA Boat Ramp Permit - $15.00 $15.00
Water Lowering, Fish Stocking, Baitfish Collecting, Fish Tagging Permits - $2.00 $2.00
Scientific Collecting Permits - $22.00 $22.00

*Please note that all licenses and permits are valid from the date of purchase to December 31st of each year

Fishing Regulations in New Jersey

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices for fishing is prohibited.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is allowed only with specific permits and in designated areas.
  • Use of live fish as bait is restricted in certain waters to prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Snagging fish is not allowed except in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Spearing and bowfishing are permitted for certain species in specific waters.
Catch Limits
  • Trout: Daily limit varies by water body, typically 4 fish with size restrictions.
  • Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth): Daily limit of 5, with a minimum length of 12 inches.
  • Crappie: Daily limit of 25, no size limit.
  • Catfish: Daily limit varies, generally no more than 5 fish.
  • Walleye: Daily limit of 3, with size restrictions in some waters.
  • Striped Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass: Limits and size restrictions vary, especially in marine waters.
  • Panfish (Bluegill, Sunfish): Daily limit generally 25-50, depending on the species and location.
  • Flounder: Daily limit and size restrictions vary, especially in coastal waters.
  • Pike and Muskellunge: Specific limits and size restrictions apply.
  • Shad and River Herring: Regulations vary, with some waters closed to fishing for these species.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to some waters may be restricted for environmental conservation or public safety reasons.
  • Fishing on private property requires explicit permission from the landowner.
  • Special regulations for fishing in state parks and wildlife refuges.
  • No fishing zones enforced around certain infrastructures like dams and fish hatcheries.
  • Seasonal access restrictions in certain areas for fish spawning and habitat management.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch-and-release areas for certain species, especially trout and salmon.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only or fly fishing zones.
  • Slot limits for bass and other species in certain lakes and rivers.
  • Special regulations in waters with high fishing pressure or ecological sensitivity.
  • Trophy fisheries with enhanced size and bag limits in selected areas.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is strictly prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare or sensitive aquatic species.
  • Research fishing for rare species requires special permits.
  • Reporting accidental catches of rare species is essential for conservation efforts.
  • Areas with significant ecological value may have additional fishing restrictions.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species during spawning or migration periods.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including shelter and gear restrictions, during winter months.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive ecological areas for species protection and habitat restoration.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events or for population studies.
  • Special regulations for early and late fishing seasons in certain areas.
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