New Jersey's waters provide a fantastic variety of fishing options with 400 publicly accessible lakes, ponds, and reservoirs as well as 18,000 miles of public streams and rivers. Although lakes tend to be smaller, there are still many of locations to go fishing.
Almost every freshwater lake, river, and pond in New Jersey is home to largemouth bass. Because of this, fishing in the Garden State can be fantastic whether you're seeking for bass or a variety of other species.
Smallmouth bass and hybrid bass are also present in some locations, however they are less typical than largemouth bass. Additionally, you might have a chance to catch striped bass if you're fishing off the coast.
1. Lake Hopatcong - New Jersey Fishing
Credit: Lake Hopatcong History
The best and most well-known bass fishing lake in the entire state is here. It has grass and several docks because it is 2,500 acres. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found here, but largemouth receive more attention and can frequently be found in bass tournament bags weighing seven pounds or more.
The lake is known for populations of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, perch, bluegill, crappie, chain pickerel, walleye, sunfish, and channel catfish. Lake Hopatcong is great for both boaters and shoreline anglers. Public access to the lake is provided by Hopatcong State Park, which is located in Roxbury Township.
2. Monksville Reservoir - New Jersey Fishing
Credit: NJ Hiking
The Wanaque River was dammed in 1987 to construct this reservoir near West Milford, New Jersey. The 505-acre lake is surrounded by the Long Pond Ironworks State Park, a well-liked tourist site.
Bass anglers hunt for bass in the channels between the wood and also along the weed lines because the lake is largely grass, but there is also a lot of standing timber. Fishing for smallmouth bass is successful offshore, near grassy edgings, and in areas with hard bottom.
Anglers can catch a variety of fish including Channel Catfish, Lake Trout, Largemouth Bass, Muskie, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and Yellow Perch. in 1997, the state record muskellunge was caught here, weighing in at 42 pounds, 13-ounce.
3. Greenwood Lake - New Jersey Fishing
Credit: Hiking Project
On the state's northern boundary sits the 1,900-acre lake known as Greenwood Lake. The lake is split equally between NY and NJ. For fishermen, there are approximately 70 miles of shoreline to explore and fish from.
The waters of Greenwood Lake, one of the best lakes in New Jersey for bass fishing, are alive with yellow perch, chain pickerel, and catfish in addition to largemouth and smallmouth bass. Due to the remains of an old dam built in 1765, the lake depths on Lake Greenwood's southern (New Jersey) shore can vary dramatically. While the rest of the lake has a soft bottom made of rocks or gravel, the south side of the lake has an original bottom made primarily of silt.
4. Waywayanda Lake - New Jersey Fishing
Waywayanda is a small lake that only allows boats that are powered by electricity, and it is situated in Vernon Township in the state's northern region. It's a lake where the majority of the bass fishing is done by targeting grass.
Here, anglers can catch fish by focusing on the grass, pitching to the margins that extend into fifteen feet of water, or fishing the crevices in the surrounding vegetation. Here, topwater lures excel, and in the bays near shallow grass, there may be a great frog bite.
5. Manasquan Reservoir - New Jersey Fishing
Credit: NJ Spots
In the Monmouth County sits the Manasquan Reservoir. This body of water was formed in 1990 and has a surface size of just over 1,200 acres. On and near this water, you can go boating, kayaking, camping, and fishing.
The many game fish and baitfish in this man-made lake provide a wide range of fishing opportunities. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, hybrid striped bass, muskie, bullhead catfish, sunfish, bluegill, and black crappie are a few of the common species found in Manasquan Reservoir.
The abundance and size of the largemouth fish in Manasquan Reservoir are impressive. Largemouth bass are found close to weed beds, drop-offs, submerged lumber, and other detritus, much like they are in other bodies of water.
6. Swartswood Lake - New Jersey Fishing
Credit: NJ Skylands
Swartswood is a naturally formed lake in a state park that was created by glaciers. Despite being modest, with 520 acres, it is the third-largest in the state and is in Sussex County. Anglers primarily fish for bass along the coastline, focusing on vegetation, drop-offs, and shallow docks.
Both largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found in the lake, but there are also a lot of walleye present. It's an excellent fishery with a healthy population of bass, and Swartswood is a popular location for bass contests, which are typically won with five fish bags weighing roughly fifteen pounds.