Learn about common fish in New Jersey that you can target. Do you want to try fishing for northern pike on the Passaic River or maybe take a boat out of Barnegat Bay in search of flounder? These examples of the types of fish in New Jersey will help you get acquainted with the freshwater and saltwater species you might catch.
Common New Jersey Fish Species
One of the benefits of fishing in New Jersey is the variety of freshwater and saltwater species you can pursue. Knowing how to identify fish species and learning about the habitats in which they live are two important parts of becoming a successful angler.
Proper identification is required in order to follow the fishing laws and regulations for each New Jersey fish species. Most states include a fish identification guide along with the fishing regulations, but you can also check the explore fish species section.
New Jersey Common Freshwater Species
If you want to fish for freshwater species, you can find plenty of ponds, lakes, and reservoirs to explore either by boat or from the shoreline.
Here is a list of common fish in New Jersey and examples of waterways where you can find them.
- Largemouth bass: Places such as Lake Hopatcong, Monksville Reservoir, Carnegie Lake, and Union Lake are spots you can try.
- Smallmouth bass: Waterways such as the Delaware River, Round Valley Reservoir, and South Branch of the Raritan River are known for being prime smallmouth bass fishing spots.
- Northern pike: Farrington Lake, Cranberry Lake, Pompton Lake, and the Passaic River are often cited as prime pike fisheries.
- Muskellunge: Some of the most productive waterways for muskellunge include Delaware River, Greenwood Lake, Monksville Reservoir and Echo Lake Reservoir.
- Channel catfish: Try places such as Spruce Run Reservoir, Swartswood Lake, Union Lake and Wanaque Reservoir.
- Black crappie: While there are both black and white crappie in New Jersey, the black crappie is more widespread. Assunpink Lake, Swartswood Lake, Lake Lenape are known for good populations of black crappie.
- Redbreast sunfish: You can take the family to the Delaware River, Ryker Lake, and Rainbow Lake to fish for redbreast sunfish.
- Yellow perch: Greenwood Lake, Lake Hopatcong, Cranberry Lake, Swartswood Lake, Lake Lenape and Malaga Lake are known as top New Jersey yellow perch spots.
- Brook Trout: Wild brook trout populations Wild brook trout populations exist in streams located in the northern New Jersey counties of Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Hunterdon, and Somerset.
New Jersey Common Saltwater Species
Ready to plan a saltwater fishing adventure to Sandy Hook, or Ocean City? If you are wondering which types of fish in New Jersey you can catch by boat or on a surf fishing trip, this section will be helpful.
Here is a list of common fish in New Jersey and examples of the types of saltwater spots where you can find them.
Striped bass: To target striped bass during the spring or fall run, try Barnegat and Absecon inlets.
Bluefish: Bluefish can be found along the entire coast of New Jersey, including along the beaches, out in the open ocean and in the bays.
Flounder: Oyster Creek Channel, Ludlams Bay, and Ambrose Channel are a few of the top NJ flounder spots.
Tautog: Tautog will be found around wrecks and rocks. Try Barnegat Light Reef, Cape May Reef, and 17 Fathom Bank.
Black sea bass: Wrecks, jetties, and piers are great places to find black sea bass during the spring and summer months. Try spots in Delaware Bay and Cape May.
Northern kingfish: You may want to consider a surf fishing trip to Ocean City or Whale Beach during the fall.
Spanish Mackerel: Cape May, Sea Isle Ridge, and Barnegat Ridges can be good spots to try during the summer months.
Bluefin Tuna: If you want to try your luck fishing for big bluefin, consider the waters off of Manasquan Inlet or Chicken Canyon.
If you want to learn more about how to catch fish in New Jersey, get tips on the best fishing gear and tackle to use before you go.