Fishing in New Jersey
After a hectic holiday season, enjoy a bit of peace and quiet by spending some time fishing on a serene, frozen lake. While ice fishing season can vary by season, many ponds and lakes are ready by early January, offering the recommended minimum thickness of four inches. Two of the most readily caught species are chain pickerel and yellow perch, but crappie, bass and sunfish also can be found in these chilly waters. Do a little ice fishing yourself at one of New Jersey’s popular fishing spots: Hopatcong State Park in Landing, Monksville Reservoir in at Long Pond Ironworks State Park in Ringwood, Lake Assunpink near Millstone in Monmouth County and Spruce Run Recreation Area in Clinton. If you're looking to get a little competitive, join one of the local ice fishing competitions, which happen throughout the state from January through early March.
Deep Sea Fishing
For the ultimate New Jersey fishing experience, get out on the open water, and catch something big, exciting and picture worthy with a day of sport fishing. Choose from an array of deep sea charters, many of which offer daytime and overnight trips, as well as the chance to reel in saltwater fish that you’ve only ordered at restaurants — everything from tuna and sea bass to Pollock and blackfish. Looking for some saltwater fishing with a more laid back vibe? Cast a line off one of the nearby fishing piers, such as Ventor City Fishing Pier or the new fishing pier at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor.
Lakes, Ponds & Reservoirs
With more than 400 publicly accessible lakes, ponds and reservoirs, as well as miles of public streams and rivers, you’ll find plenty of places to fish in New Jersey. Enjoy a peaceful day of fishing at a state park such as Allamuchy Mountain State Park (Allamuchy) or Stephens State Park (Hackettstown), where the Musconetcong River, known for its exceptional trout fishing, winds through the wooded countrywide. Find a quiet spot in the 4,000-acre Ramapo Valley County Reservation (Mahwah) or within the 3,366 acres of undeveloped wilderness in Penn State Forest (Jenkins Neck).
Know Before You Go: New Jersey Fishing License
Before fishing in New Jersey, you must obtain a fishing license. Visit the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife for more information and to apply for a fishing license. Fishing licenses purchased online are issued as a PDF document and can be printed on your own computer system, so there’s no need to wait for a license to be mailed.