Fishing in NJ

By Owen Gallagher

If you can't imagine camping without the chance to drop your fishing line into the water, New Jersey may be just the spot you're looking for.

Bass, pickerel, perch, flounder, catfish and so many other species are out there waiting in small ponds, scenic rivers and in the salt waters along the shore. Some areas are limited to catch-and-release fishing to introduce children to the sport, while others will challenge even the most weathered angler. Many campgrounds feature their own fishing areas or offer easy access to where the best action can be found.

"Whether it's surf fishing from the beach, miles of native trout streams, lunker bass lakes or through the ice, New Jersey anglers have some of the widest varieties of fishing opportunities available anywhere," boasts the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife website. "Get out and see why the fishing in New Jersey has never been better!"

One of the most popular times for fishing in New Jersey is the opening weekend of the spring trout season, which normally starts on the second Saturday in April. Stocking also replenishes the cooling waters in the fall at selected streams in the north and lakes in South Jersey.

To go after freshwater fish in the state, you need a license, unless you are 16 and younger or 70 and older. You can find the costs for licenses and apply online at the Fish & Wildlife website,

New Jersey does not require a saltwater fishing license. response to federal requirements to create a registry of all current saltwater anglers in the country, the state Department of Environmental Protection implemented the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program in 2011. Registration is done online and there is no charge. All anglers and for-hire vessel owners and operators can register at

Once you're registered, you have many saltwater options including the popular summer flounder, bluefish, tautog and tuna. You'll need to do a little research on seasons and catch restrictions, and you may need a local permit for surf-fishing from beaches along the shore, so check with the local municipality before making those plans.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Bender

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New Jersey Campground Owners & Outdoor Lodging Association
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