2020 NJ Striped Bass & Bluefish Regulations for recreational anglers has changed from past years. Here’s what you need to know!
The 2020 Striped Bass & Bluefish regulations for recreational anglers fishing New Jersey take effect on April 1, 2020.
NJ Striped Bass Fishing Regs
1 Fish 28″ to less than 38″
Yes, All fish smaller than 28″ must be released and all fish 38″ or larger must be released.
NJ Striped Bass Bonus Program
The 2020 Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) runs from May 15 to December 31st. With the SBBP, an angler is allowed one fish at 24″ to less than 28″ per permit. SBBP Applications will be accepted April 1st. SBBP harvest reporting is mandatory within 24 hours.
Striped bass have a special gamefish status in New Jersey. Meaning there is no striped bass commercial fishing season. In 1990, the commercial quota was transferred to the recreational anglers and NJ’s Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) was started. The quota is distributed between individual anglers and party/charter boats. The program has successfully allowed anglers to participate in providing valuable data on striped bass to the state’s fisheries management.
2021 Striped Bass Circle Hook Mandate
Coming down the pike next year in 2021, there will be a Striped Bass Circle Hook Mandate. The use of circle hooks will be mandatory when using natural bait. This means all anglers fishing baits (live or dead) from the beach or boat must use circle hooks. The traditional “J-Hook” style fishing hooks such as the Octopus, O’Shaughnessy, Bait Holder, Siwash, Wide Gap, Live Bait as well as weighed trebles hook snags will be prohibited.
NJ Bluefish Fishing Regs
New Jersey’s new 2020 Bluefish Regulations divided the recreational sector into two categories; Private and For-Hire. Private includes all land based recreational anglers as well as all anglers who fish from private boats. All anglers fishing aboard a For-Hire vessel with a licensed captain such as charter boats and party boats fall under the For-Hire category.
Private – 3 Fish Bag Limit
For-Hire – 5 Fish Bag Limit
With no closed season anglers are allowed to fish and harvest bluefish all year.
There is NO minimum size limit on bluefish. Therefore snapper blues, cocktails and tailor blues all have the same bag limit based on the category (private or for-hire).
Winter for the most part was mild. It’s not by any means over, but it’s close! Spring is 23 Days Away! Better than that, March first is this Sunday and that means the backwaters will be fair game!
With the unseasonably mild weather, there’s anglers getting out and enjoying the outdoors. We’ve got a couple reports from anglers catching perch in the rivers and creeks. Some anglers fishing the state’s fresh waters are having a blast. Some good fun clamming going down too. No positive reports from the surf, but there is guys trying. There’s a bunch of catch and release guys who just couldn’t wait for March 1st on the back waters. Can you blame them?
We were going to report it previously but thought it was a bit too early. Now that “Opening Day” is technically less than a week away… Let’s let the cat out of the bag. The bass are snapping! The reports are too good to actually believe so we’ll just say the back water fishing is very good. Sorry no spot burns here. Look towards the early season spots which produce year in and year out. You’ll find them!
Yes, 38″ and larger must be released. Please respect the fish and get them back in the water fast. Try to hold your breath *Note: Not Yet Set In Stone… however will be anyday.
Winter Fishing Shows
Surf Day was awesome! Thanks to all who came out and stopped by the booth last weekend. Hope you all enjoyed the show just as much as we did. We are already looking forward to next year!
So what’s on the Fish Head’s schedule the next couple weeks? There’s alot going on at the shop with rod and reel repair. We already have our spring orders arriving so we’ll be stocked up!
Berkeley Striper Club’s 25th Fishermen’s Market
This Sunday March 1st is the Berkeley Striper Club’s 25th Annual Fishermen’s Flea Market. We’ll be there with a couple tables of essentials offering some steals and deals. This is one of the can’t miss shows packed with some of the North East’s best plug builders. It’s at the Toms River Intermediate North School, 150 Intermediate North Way, Toms River, NJ 08753. Be there when the doors open 9am.
The Saltwater Expo – Booth 445
Then March 13-15 we’ll be at the Saltwater Expo. Check us out at Booth 445. Be sure to attend this great three day show that is jam packed with a long list of seminars each and every day. You don’t want to miss out on the info that will be shared! The Saltwater Expo is at the NJ Convention & Expo Center, 97 Sunfield Ave Edison, NJ 08837. The show hours are Friday 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Surf Day 2020 is this Saturday. Save the date! You don’t miss out on the year’s best fishing show.
Who: The Jersey Shore Surfcasters
What: Surf Day 2020
When: Saturday Feb 22, 2020 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Brookdale Community College at 765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, NJ 07738
This pure surf fishing show run by JSS (the Jersey Shore Surfcasters) is well known as the best surf fishing show of the year. Many have tried to copy the format and ideas; however none come close. This long standing show is a must attend show for surfcasters of all ages and abilities.
The seminar schedule looks great this year with top speakers lined up. Dr. Doug Zemeckis from Rutgers will share “What We Know About Striped Bass” discussing striped bass biology, migrations patterns and status of population. Tom Kosinski will details information on “Fly Fishing The Spring Estuaries” and DJ Muller with “Four Keys To Surfcasting Kick Butt”.
Two that no one should miss are Bill Wetzel’s “Plug Selection” and Alberto Knie’s “Connection Trophy Catches” with hints about big fish habits. These are just some of the top seminars. There will be others too.
While the seminars are the backbone of the show, the special part is seeing the surf fishing community all under one roof. The networking and knowledge shared is second to none. Whether a rookie, novice or veteran Surf Day is for you.
The crew here at Fisherman’s Headquarters is looking forward to the show. We’ll have a full spread of surf fishing tackle, equipment and supplies from A to Z… all at Show Special Pricing. For those that have attended in the past, we will be at our same location. Upon entering walk through the cafeteria and into the main room. As you enter we are on the left side. Stop by and say hello!
Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association Mid-Winter Happenings
by Jim Hutchinson Sr.
Contrary to what many might imagine, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have not gone into hibernation. Rather they are up and about spreading the word about Beach Haven fishing at area fishing flea markets and fishing shows.
This Saturday, there will be BHCFA captains and junior mates at the Southern Regional High School Fishing Club’s annual fishing flea market. This very popular event is considered one of the best of its kind with many great bargains, and proceeds benefit the high school anglers. The event is at the Southern Regional Middle School in Manahawkin on Cedar Bridge Road and runs from 8am to 2pm.
The following week is the Philadelphia Fishing Show that runs for three days, Friday, February 21-23. It is held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at 100 Station Avenue in Oaks, Pennsylvania. In addition to manning the BHCFA’s booth, captains will also be attending some of the fishing seminars to hone their skills.
The following week BHCFA captains and junior mates will be on hand at the nationally famous Atlantic City Boat Show. This event runs from Wednesday, February 26 and ends on Sunday, March 1. It takes place at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City.
The captains of the BHCFA urging anglers to shake the effects of cabin fever and come out to any or all of these events and check out what the captains and young mates have to say. Additional information on the BHCFA and its many activities can be obtained at www.BHCFA.net.
It’s been an extremely mild winter, but I still can’t wait for Spring. I did have the opportunity to use the kayak and hit some of our southern backwaters for White Perch. Grass Shrimp has been the key for strictly White Perch – Bloodworms producing less Perch, but more Striped Bass. Areas in Beach Haven West might start producing with warmer winter waters.
WINTER Maintenance: For most anglers, this is the time of the year to do REEL MAINTENANCE and I have personally used FHQ for some of my reels as they offer great workmanship and ultra-fast turnarounds for reel servicing.
WINTER HAPPENINGS – Fishing Shows and Scheduling 2020 trips.
There are some potential new happenings for 2020: We are about to pull the trigger on a 19ft Flats/Skiff boat as part of our shallow water fishing fleet and mobile charters; AND we are in the process of adding another USCG licensed captain with a center console, among other things.
If our new skinny water boat is ready, we can hit the shallows for fly-fishing and light-tackle action on Striped Bass as we will be able to run in little as 7 inches of water
2020 SPLASH DATE
Our tentative splash date will be April 1st and we will be targeting Striped Bass, Winter Flounder, Bluefish, and Blackfish (State & Federel regulations dependent).
Booking note – Early July may be a little challenging as my son has a 5-day baseball tournament, but we will roll with the tide for that. Other than that – we are running 7 days a week from June through September.
If interested in booking a charter, book through our site (reelreactioncharters.com) or call/text 609-290-7709. As always, we use the highest quality gear and everything is included: gear, bait, tackle, fish-cleaning, and ICE! It’s “no worries” fishing. Just come aboard and FISH.