If you don’t know, let it go! So know before you go! Here’s a detailed 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: October 10, 2023
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!
2023 NJ Recreational Fishing Regulations, Seasons, Size & Bag Limit Laws
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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!