New Jersey Fishing Regulations

Last Updated: 20.05.19

According to the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, you have to purchase a fishing license if you are aged between 16 and 64 and would like to do some angling in this state. Residents over the age of 70 and younger than 16 do not get a fishing permit. People aged 65 to 69 have to pay a fee of about a half of the value of a license.

Nonresidents aged 16 or older have to pay around thirty-four dollars for a valid fishing permit. These prices were applicable at the time this piece was written. There are also 7-day vacation fishing and 2-day permits available for non-residents, both of which are cheaper compared to a yearly one designed for the all-around sportsman. While a resident trout stamp cost in 2019 about eleven dollars, a non-resident one cost twenty.


Before moving on the daily bag limits and other such information, we feel compelled to point out several unlawful actions that could get you into trouble.

  • With the exception of Delaware River, you are not to spear fish in fresh waters
  • You should not use cast nets in freshwater lakes or those where trout can be found, nor are you allowed to utilize set lines
  • You cannot utilize a device with more than 9 hooks
  • You are not allowed to sell any freshwater fish if you do not hold a commercial permit
  • It is illegal to tag or mark the fish and then release it in the water
  • In addition to all of this, you need to be aware of the species that are considered dangerous as you are not allowed to release them back in the water. These are bighead, grass and silver carp, Asian swamp eel, green sunfish, brook stickleback, catfish, snakehead, oriental weatherfish, as well as warmouth. Should you see or catch one of these, you are instructed to report to the Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries.



The limits for freshwater fishing are as follows:


  • 5 12-inches largemouth bass and 3 largemouth and smallmouth bass with a length of at least 15 inches
  • 2 northern pike and 1 Muskellunge with a minimum length of 24 and 36 to 40 inches, respectively
  • 5 chain pickerel and redfin with a length of at least 15 inches pickerel
  • 3 walleye of at least 18 inches per day
  • 1 striped bass with a length ranging from 28 to 43 inches and 1 striped bass with a length greater than 43 inches
  • 5 channel catfish longer than 12 inches
  • 10 crappies longer than 8 inches
  • 25 sunfish and any other species with no specified creel limits with no minimum size
  • No banded, blackbanded, bluespotted, or mud sunfish
  • Up to 35 minnows, killifish, shiner, madtom, and a variety of others



For saltwater fishing, the following daily bag limits apply as follows:


  • 1 shark with a length of 54 inches per boat
  • 2 Winter Flounder at 12 inches
  • 10 Black Sea Bass at 12.5 inches from May 26 to June 18
  • 15 Bluefish with no minimum size
  • 3 Summer Flounder at 17 inches
  • 25 American EEl at 9 inches
  • 3 Black Drum at 16 inches
  • 1 red drum no greater than 27 inches
  • 50 porgies at 9 inches
  • There is no limit for cod, haddock, and pollock
  • You are not allowed to be in possession of river herring




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