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Bass Fishing In New Jersey

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Guide to fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass in NJ.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

New Jersey Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in New Jersey is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In New Jersey

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in New Jersey. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in New Jersey. The state record largemouth bass is over 10 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

Some of the notable bass fishing locations include Lake Hopatcong, Greenwood Lake, and Merrill Creek Reservoir. These waterways offer a combination of structure, vegetation, and ample forage, creating ideal conditions for largemouth bass to thrive. Spring and early summer are prime times to target largemouth bass, as they become more active and move into shallow areas to spawn.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In New Jersey

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 7 pounds.

New Jersey also boasts some excellent smallmouth bass fisheries. The Delaware River, particularly the stretch between the Delaware Water Gap and Trenton, is known for its thriving smallmouth bass population. Other rivers like the Raritan River and the Paulins Kill River also provide opportunities for anglers to target smallmouth bass. Smallmouth bass prefer rocky areas, deeper pools, and swift currents, and are known for their fighting spirit and acrobatic jumps when hooked.

Anglers targeting both largemouth and smallmouth bass in New Jersey often use a variety of techniques, including casting with plastic worms, crankbaits, topwater lures, and jigs. Fishing around structure such as fallen trees, submerged vegetation, and rocky areas can increase the chances of landing a trophy bass.

It's worth noting that New Jersey has specific fishing regulations and size limits for bass, so anglers should familiarize themselves with the rules before heading out. Catch-and-release practices are encouraged to help preserve and sustain the bass populations in the state's waters.

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Garden State. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for additional, valuable information about bass and bass fishing.

Bass fishing basics video.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In New Jersey

Major lakes in New Jersey, including Clinton Reservoir, Farrington Lake, Greenwood Lake, Lake Hopatcong, Lake Musconetcong, Manasquan Reservoir, Merrill Creek Reservoir, Monksville Reservoir, Oak Ridge Reservoir, Round Valley Reservoir, Spruce Run Reservoir, Swartswood Lake, Union Lake and Wanaque Reservoir, all have healthy populations of bass. Many smaller lakes, ponds and some rivers also contain bass.

Overall, New Jersey provides bass anglers with diverse and rewarding fishing opportunities, whether they're targeting largemouth bass in freshwater lakes or pursuing the feisty smallmouth bass in rivers. With its abundance of bass fisheries and favorable fishing seasons, New Jersey offers something for every bass angler, from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New Jersey

Fishing for bass In New Jersey

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 10 lbs 14 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 2 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for New Jersey this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

New Jersey State Record Bass

The state record largemouth bass was caught from Menantico Sand Wash Pond.

The state record smallmouth bass came from Round Valley Reservoir.

Enjoy this article about catching Big Bass In New Jersey.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!


Bass fishing information by state.

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