2024 NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations, Seasons, Size & Bag Limit Laws

If you don’t know, let it go! So know before you go! Here’s an overview of the New Jersey Recreational Fishing Regulations, Season, Size & Bag Limit Laws for recreational anglers listed by species with the open seasons, minimum size limits and bag limits. This way you know!

Updated: March 22, 2024

2024 NJ Recreational Fishing Regulations, Seasons, Size & Bag Limit Laws

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All attempts made to ensure accuracy; however, fishery rules are subject to change. The data conveniently complied above was derived from the NJ Fish & Wildlife and NOAA Fisheries.

Saltwater Fishing in New Jersey does not require a fishing license however all anglers must participate in the Free NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program – Join &/or Renew Now!

How To Properly Measure a Fish

To obey fisheries laws it is very important that anglers know how to properly measure a fish. A fish is always (unless the state or federal law states otherwise) measured flat in a straight line, using a bump board under the fish with the mouth closed measuring the overall length to the end of the tail. When measuring Black Sea Bass always exclude the tail filament. Pursing (lightly squeezing) the tail is acceptable and proper. It is especially important with Striped Bass!

With the current slot limits with summer flounder and striped bass it is very important that anglers carry a bump board because a tape measure doesn’t always allow for the easiest measuring. Best The Gator Grip Aluminum Bump Boards are awesome!

There are situations/species that call for different measurements.

  • In the case of tuna, Curved Fork Length which is measured over the top of the fish by following the curve of the fish’s body from the tip of the ja to the inside fork of the tail.
  • In the case of billfish, Lower-Jaw Fork Length which is measured in a straight line from the tip of the lower jaw to the inside fork of the tail.
  • In the case of sharks, Fork Length which is measured in a straight line from the snout to the inside fork of the tail.

Proper Handling & Releasing Of Fish

Responsible fishing practices are very important as recreational anglers we all must fish with respect and respect the resource. Land fish as quickly as possible to prevent exhaustion. When applicable use a rubber mesh net to land. Handle with care and never touch gills. Be prepared with de-hooking device for quick hook removal. Always work with care to minimize injury. For best chance of survival, deep hook situations may require cutting the leader close to the hook. When releasing, be sure to revive the fish first. Always use circle hooks (non offset, non stainless) when using live or dead baits. Consider pinching hook barbs and replacing treble hooks with inline hooks on lures. It is the angler’s responsibility to reduce mortality!

Need Help Identifying Species?

Shark Identification Chart

Identification of Atlantic Tunas

Commonly Confused Mackerel & Tuna Species

Herring & Shad Identification Tips

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!

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