2020 NJ Striped Bass & Bluefish Regulations

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.

Here's a beautiful striped bass that Chris Colesante caught fishing aboard Fish Head Charters in the late fall of 2018. This striped bass went for a 2oz bucktail. It was quickly photographed and carefully released to hopefully spawn and recruit more health striped bass.
Here’s a beautiful striped bass that Chris Colesante caught fishing aboard Fish Head Charters in the late fall of 2018. This striped bass went for a 2oz bucktail. It was quickly photographed and carefully released to hopefully spawn and recruit more health striped bass.

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.

Ron Archerr caught and released this linesider along with many other bass this fishing trip. He reported, "Got into nice fish every morning for three straight days. I lost a lot of sleep but was lucky enough to get in some good tides with friends and fish."
Ron Archerr caught and released this linesider along with many other bass this fishing trip. He reported, “Got into nice fish every morning for three straight days. I lost a lot of sleep but was lucky enough to get in some good tides with friends and fish.”

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).

This feisty bluefish crash a small topwater spook while fishing the flats of Barnegat Bay aboard Fish Head Charters. The yellow eye gave Brandon Carter an exciting surface feed and then an awesome fight on light tackle.
This feisty bluefish crash a small topwater spook while fishing the flats of Barnegat Bay aboard Fish Head Charters. The yellow eye gave Brandon Carter an exciting surface feed and then an awesome fight on light tackle.
Bluefish are one of the funnest fish to catch from the surf. These strong toothy tackle busters pull like mad dogs!
Bluefish are one of the funnest fish to catch from the surf. These strong toothy tackle busters pull like mad dogs!
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Author: FishHead.Greg

A Long Beach Island native with life long experience fishing and navigating the local waters, Greg is a distinguished Master Captain (the highest qualified operator license), holding a US Coast Guard Masters 50T Near Coastal License with Towing Endorsement. Raised in and now managing his family's bait and tackle business, Fishermans Headquarters (Since 1962, The Saltwater Fishing Bait & Tackle Experts) Greg is daily immersed in fishing. He is the Chief Contributor of FishingLBI.com (Long Beach Island's best fishing report blog) as well as the Admin for the shop's social media pages (on Instagram and Facebook). Be sure to follow!

4 thoughts on “2020 NJ Striped Bass & Bluefish Regulations”

  1. Al, I thought we going to the 35″ length for striped bass. What happened? In my opinion we shouldn’t kill the larger fish. There are better tasting fish out there anyway. I am surprised though that there are new regs for bluefish. It’s probably for the better too.

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