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⚠ Before you head to the water check the latest COVID-19 updates. We encourage you to follow CDC recommendations.

Lake Hopatcong Fishing

As the largest lake in the state of New Jersey, Lake Hopatcong covers 2,500 acres and provides freshwater habitat for a variety of game fish species. Learn more about fishing Lake Hopatcong in this section.

Fishing Lake Hopatcong

If you are wondering where to fish in New Jersey for a number of different freshwater fish species, you may want to consider a trip to Lake Hopatcong. The lake is known for populations of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, perch, bluegill, crappie, chain pickerel, walleye, sunfish, and channel catfish.

In addition to the warmwater species, the lake is occasionally stocked with coldwater species. This means that Lake Hopatcong fishing opportunities can also include rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout if you visit during the cooler months of the year.

Lake Hopatcong Fishing Trip Planning

You might be surprised to find out that there are freshwater New Jersey fishing spots for both boaters and shoreline anglers within a short drive from New York City. Public access to Lake Hopatcong is provided at Hopatcong State Park, which is located near the southwest end of the lake in Roxbury Township.

Now that you know where you can go freshwater fishing, as well as what you can catch, your next steps should include checking the New Jersey freshwater regulations and making sure you have the right tackle.

Lake Hopatcong Fishing Tips

When preparing to go freshwater fishing in New Jersey on Lake Hopatcong, be sure your tackle box is stocked with the best baits and lures for each species. These tips can help you determine what you need to bring along, and where you may have a good chance of finding fish.

  • Cast small bucktail jigs (#8 or #10 hooks) rigged on 4 to 6-pound test fishing line along the shorelines for crappie, bluegill, and perch.
  • When targeting largemouth bass in the late spring, try fishing near weed beds using jigs or soft plastic worms and 10 pound test fishing line.
  • Focus on submerged islands and rock piles using minnow or crayfish imitating lures for smallmouth bass. Increase the strength of your leader material if necessary around rocks, docks, or other submerged structure.
  • Target channel catfish on Lake Hopatcong from early spring to early fall using night crawlers and cut baits on a bottom-fishing rig, such as a fish finder rig.
  • Fall is a good time of year to fish for muskellunge using perch-imitating crankbaits or bucktail spinners along the top of submerged vegetation. Be sure to use minimum 20-pound test monofilament mainline with a 12-inch wire leader.
  • You can check into hiring a Lake Hopatcong fishing guide who can help you learn more about the lake and the best techniques to use.

Enjoy your Lake Hopatcong fishing trip with friends or family, and then find a few other places to fish and boat in New Jersey for future adventures.