New Jersey Salt Water Fishing Regulations

New Jersey Salt Water Fishing Regulations
Fishing is a great activity to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. While it is one of the most densely populated states in the nation, New Jersey offers a variety of opportunities for fishermen at any level. Those choosing to saltwater fish in New Jersey should keep some basic rules, regulations and closure areas in mind.


In an effort to preserve natural habitat, sea life populations and manage the high demand for fishing its coastal waters, New Jersey's Division of Fish & Wildlife enforces a strict code of conduct, safe fishing habits and rules on recreational fishermen.


New Jersey boasts 83 miles of bay shores and 127 miles of Atlantic coastline stretching from Raritan Bay and Sandy Hook to Cape May and Delaware Bay.


New Jersey's Division of Fish and Wildlife has a number of strict regulations surrounding the minimum size, possession limits and seasons for a number of species of fish. New Jersey does not require a general saltwater fishing license for recreational surfcasting, bay or deep-sea fishing. However, recreational fishermen wanting to do any crabbing or clamming, harvesting shellfish or fishing for striped bass must get a specific marine license for each species. Licenses also need to be obtained for the use of fishnets and pounds and pots in marine and estuarine waters with 3 miles of the shore.

Prohibited Species

In New Jersey coastal waters, it is illegal to possess, take or land Bigeye Sand Tiger Shark, Shortnose Sturgeon, Atlantic Sturgeon, Sand Tiger Shark, Basking Shark, Whale Shark and White Shark.


New Jersey's Division of Fish & Wildlife requires any recreational fisherman in search of tuna to be issued a permit by the National Marine Fisheries Service.


According to NOAA, effective Jan. 1, 2010, all recreational anglers and spearfishers who fish in federal oceanic waters will be required to be included in the National Saltwater Angler Registry Program.

Article Written By A.C. Bauer

A.C. Bauer is a seasoned adventurist with explorations spanning four continents, including hiking Machu Picchu, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, running the Ice Age Trail and road biking out of her front door. She has written marketing materials for eight years and worked for Red Bull, Disney and Dick's Sporting Goods, and received a master's in recreation and sport science from Ohio University.

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