Where to go fishing in New Jersey

Trout season started a few weeks ago here in New Jersey. Most of the lakes, ponds, and streams, except for the northwest corner of the state, have stocked trout.

As the water warms up, you’ll see a lot more fish like largemouth and smallmouth bass, along with pickerel, catfish and carp starting to bite.

If you’re between 16 and 64 years old, you’ll need a freshwater fishing license in New Jersey. The cost for a New Jersey resident is $22.50 for the year, unless you’re a farmer fishing on your own farm. You can purchase a license online.

Dennis Malloy photo

Dennis Malloy photo

There is no requirement in general for saltwater fishing, but you must register with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. You may need a permit for certain fish like tuna.

With over 120 miles of coastline and numerous bays and inlets, the choices for saltwater fishing are almost endless. This time of year people are fishing for stripers, or striped bass on beaches, small rental or private boats, charter boats and party boats.

It’s early for fluke fishing, which is very popular in Jersey and probably the easiest way to catch fish. Gone are many of the boat rental places that used to allow the low to moderate-income person to get out on the water, but there are a few left.

Some places let you rent a pretty pricey boat, but the hourly rate is pricey, too.

Dennis Malloy photo

Dennis Malloy photo

Fortunately, there are still some small mom-and-pop places that will rent you a small boat alone with the bait and tackle and usually some decent tips.

If you really want to catch fish and don’t mind being elbow-to-elbow with your fellow anglers, party boats are an affordable way to catch what’s running. The captains have all the latest intel and want you to catch.

The best way to catch big stripers, tuna or shark or any other big game fish off the Jersey Coast: Charter a fishing boat from one of the many local captains and guides.

Dennis Malloy photo

Dennis Malloy photo

They’ll usually take up to four people and the price can range from $500 in the southern half of the state to $1,000 or more the further north you go. If you split it four ways and really want to have the best chance at catching bigger fish, this is the way to go, if you can afford it.

The best fishing is for stripers right now and the hot spot is the Raritan and Sandy Hook Bay. There are so many great resources and great anglers in the state to help you pick the right type of fishing for you.

If you have kids, it can be a great day out and long-lasting bonding experience. Make sure to follow the rules and respect nature and you’ll ensure the next several generations will be able to enjoy the amazing fresh and saltwater fishery we are blessed with in New Jersey.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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