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Popular Fishing Lakes In New Jersey

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Guide to fishing in the Garden State

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

  • Greenwood Lake
  • Lake Hopatcong
  • Manasquan Reservoir
  • Merrill Creek Reservoir
  • Monksville Reservoir
  • Round Valley Reservoir
  • Spruce Run Reservoir
  • Union Lake

New Jersey offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, with a variety of species inhabiting its warm water fisheries, cold water fisheries, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Anglers can pursue a wide array of fish, making the state a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts of all levels. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, plus the species found in each lake.

In the warm water fisheries of New Jersey, anglers can target species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pickerel, catfish, panfish, and hybrid striped bass. Lakes like Lake Hopatcong, Union Lake, and Lake Assunpink are renowned for their warm water fishing opportunities. These lakes provide excellent habitat for bass, catfish, and panfish, allowing anglers to enjoy thrilling angling experiences throughout the year. Warmer months, particularly spring and summer, are especially productive for warm water species.

On the other hand, New Jersey's cold water fisheries offer exciting opportunities for trout fishing. Rivers like the Musconetcong River, Pequest River, and Flatbrook River, as well as reservoirs like Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run Reservoir, are prime destinations for trout anglers. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout can be found in these cold water environments, providing a challenge and rewarding catches for dedicated anglers. The colder months, including fall and winter, are often the best time to target trout in these fisheries.

Ponds, lakes, and rivers across New Jersey contribute to the state's diverse fishing scene. From small community ponds and local lakes to expansive rivers like the Delaware River and Raritan River, anglers have a wide range of options. These waterways are home to various species, including bass, trout, catfish, panfish, walleye, and more. Each fishing location presents its own unique challenges and opportunities, making for an exciting and varied fishing experience.

Whether you prefer the tranquility of a peaceful pond, the thrill of a bustling lake, or the adventure of fishing in a flowing river, New Jersey offers abundant opportunities to enjoy the sport. The state's diverse fisheries, coupled with its beautiful natural landscapes, make it a haven for anglers seeking a wide variety of fish species and fishing environments. Regardless of your fishing preferences, New Jersey's waters are sure to provide memorable experiences and the chance to reel in some impressive catches.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New Jersey

The state of New Jersey offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities. There are almost 400 fresh water lakes and ponds to fish in the state of New Jersey plus many streams and rivers. Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, white catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, white perch, yellow perch, Atlantic salmon, coho salmon, stripers, bowfin, chain pickerel, muskie, northern pike, sturgeon and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams. We concentrate here on the major fishing lakes and impoundments in New Jersey, some of which allow ice fishing in winter.

Major New Jersey Lakes & Species

New Jersey major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

Major fishing waters, cross referenced with fishing found in each lake. For a detailed list of primary fish species in NJ, plus state fish records, see the list below.

Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.

Assunpink Lake is a 225-acre lake in the central part of the state, at Roosevelt.

Clinton Reservoir is a 424-acre lake in the northern part of the state, 2 miles north of Newfoundland.

Farrington Lake is a 290-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Miltown.

Greenwood Lake is a 1,900-acre lake on the northern border of the state, at West Milford.

Lake Carnegie is a 237-acre lake in the central part of the state, at Princeton.

Lake Hopatcong is a 2,700-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Hopatcong.

Manasquan Reservoir is a 700-acre lake in the east-central part of the state, at Howell.

Mercer Lake is a 276-acre lake in central NJ, 5 miles northeast of Trenton.

Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Harmony.

Monksville Reservoir is a 500-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Hewitt.

Lake Musconetcong is a 329-acre lake in the northern part of the state, at Netcong.

Oak Ridge Reservoir is a 480-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Oak Ridge.

Round Valley Reservoir is a 2,300-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Lebanon.

Spruce Run Reservoir is a 1,300-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Clinton.

Swartswood Lake is a 500-acre lake in the north-central part of the state at Swartswood.

Union Lake is a 900-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Millville.

Wanaque Reservoir is a 2,300-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Wanaque.

Fish Species & State Records 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


Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 33 lbs 3 oz

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 14 lbs 4 oz


Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 8 oz

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 11 oz




World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 9 oz




World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 0 oz

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 8 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz

White Perch

White perch

World record: 4.6 lbs

State Record: 3 lbs 1 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 6 oz


Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 0 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 3 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 21 lbs 6 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 32 lbs 8 oz


Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon

World record: 79 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 8 lbs 5 oz

Striped bass

Striped Bass


Inland world record: 64 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 51 lbs 0 oz

Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid Striper

World record: 27 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 17 lbs 12 oz

Other species



World record: 21 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 11 lbs 8.5 oz

Chain Pickerel

Chain pickerel

World record: 9 lbs 6 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 3 oz


Muskie (Muskellunge)

World record: 69 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 42 lbs 13 oz

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

State Record: 30 lbs 8.5 oz

Tiger Muskie

Tiger muskie

World record: 51 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 29 lbs 0 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

One of Many New Jersey Fishing Ponds

Acquire a New Jersey fishing license.

State of NJ Fishing Information

New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife regulations and information about fishing in New Jersey.

Bass fishing book for sale


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