First Things First: Fishing Regulations in NJ
Depending on where you’re going, New Jersey fishing trips may require a valid license or other type of permit. For example, anyone 16 or older must have a license if they plan to fish in fresh waters in New Jersey with a rod and line. If you are going to the ocean, you don’t need a general saltwater fishing license but there are some saltwater licenses and permits required. Also, those going saltwater fishing most likely need to register with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. However, if your fishing trip to the ocean is aboard a charter or party boat, passengers are not required to have fishing licenses.
Planning Your Trip
New Jersey Fishing Charters
One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to enjoy New Jersey fishing is to hire a charter boat. Unlike party boats, charters usually limit the number of passengers to groups of six or less, making it a great choice for a family outing. The experienced captains on these boats know exactly the right destinations to target in both saltwater and freshwater environments for the best fishing trips in NJ to help guide your trip planning.
When you’re investigating charters for your group trips or family fishing trips in NJ, there are many resources available. A great place to start is online. Search for the type of fish you want to catch and the areas to find a list of charters in the nearby waters that will suit your needs. Travel review sites also offer insight into area charters. And don’t forget to consider discount apps like Groupon that often have specials with steep savings on charters.
NJ Party Boats
Depending on the type of adventure you’re seeking, NJ fishing party boats may be the answer. With a party boat trip, you’ll be able to experience the excitement of fishing at a more economical price than a charter. That’s because you will be sharing the experience with as many as 50 people on board.
When checking out party boat options, ask where they go since, unlike a charter, the choice is up to the captain. Many times, a party boat will stop at more than one fishing spot. Also, find out how long you’ll be out. For many people, the longer the better since traveling to the ideal fishing grounds can take time. However, if you get seasick, then it’s best to start with a shorter trip. And check if they have rods, tackle, and bait or whether you’re required to bring your own.
Going on Your Own: Where to Fish in New Jersey
If charter and party boats aren’t your idea of New Jersey fishing fun, you can always get your license and head out on your own. With literally hundreds of options in the state, planning the best fishing trip in NJ is as easy as picking a spot. Some of the more popular destinations include:
- Stocked Rivers: The state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife stocks many of the rivers with trout annually, making them popular fishing holes. The Raritan, Musconetcong and Pequest Rivers are just a few of the best-stocked in the Garden State each year.
- Public Lakes and Ponds: According to the Division of Fish and Wildlife, there are more than 400 publicly accessible lakes, ponds, and reservoirs for anglers to try their hand at landing everything from small to trophy-sized game fish.
- Local Fishing Sites: Bait and tackle shops, area anglers, and fishing agents can point you in the right direction for popular local fishing spots that may not be on record.
- Beaches: With 130 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, the state boasts great saltwater spots for the best fishing trips in NJ. Whether you’re planning to fish from the shore or by boat, some of the most sought-after locations include Island Beach State Park, Belmar, Barnegat Light, and Cape May.
Use these New Jersey fishing trip and getaway ideas to inspire your next adventure. Remember to get your NJ fishing licenses and check the state fishing regulations as part of the family vacation planning process.