10 Best Fish to Catch in New Jersey

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New Jersey is known for various reasons. This small state is one of the closest to the amazing New York City; it is also considered one of the tourists’ favorite spots. However, that’s not the only specialty of this state. People also love it for its numerous fishing opportunities. This state is home to some of a large variety of fishes.

In this article, we have listed down the 10 best fishes to catch in New Jersey. Let’s discuss all of these fish species.

1. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass

You can find both types of bass in the waters here. Every year, thousands of anglers visit the waters, including locals and visitors, to catch some of the trophy-winning smallmouth and largemouth bass. Some famous waters for catching bass are the southern park of Raritan River, Delaware River, Lake Hopatcong, Round Valley Reservoir, Union Lake, Carnegie Lake, etc.

2. Northern Pike

Northern Pike is one of the prize-winning catches throughout the country. However, you can find a good amount of these species in New Jersey. Some famous fisheries for targeting northern pike here include Passaic River, Pompton Lake, Farrington Lake, Cranberry Lake, etc. If you are a local angler here, this is a bonus for you.

3. Muskellunge

Another favorite catch of the anglers, Muskellunge, is considered one of the great fishes found in New Jersey. Some major waterways offer a good amount of this fish species to the anglers. These waterways include Greenwood Lake, Delaware River, Echo Lake Reservoir, and Monksville Reservoir. These water bodies are always filled with Muskellunge, so you will never leave without catching one.

4. Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish are one of those species which are found in abundance throughout the state. You can try some suitable techniques to catch channel catfish. The popular spots known for a larger amount of channel catfish include Union lake, Spruce Run Reservoir, Wanaque Reservoir, Swartswood Lake, and much more. Fish in any of these places, and I bet you will always end up catching at least one channel catfish.

5. Brook Trout

Among all types of trout, the brook trout is the only one with the most quantity here. These fish species have a great population throughout New Jersey, especially the wild brook trout. These are often found in the streams in the northern region of New Jersey in Somerset County, Warren Morris, Bergen County, Sussex County, Passaic County, and Hunterdon county.

6. Crappie

New Jersey is home to both the white and black crappie. However, black crappie has a larger population than the white one. There are numerous waters where you can target crappies. These locations include Swartswood Lake, Assunpink Lake, Lake Lenape, and much more. You will also find a small portion of these waters filled with white crappie. However, the black crappie makes the major part.

7. Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch is considered another treasure for the anglers in New Jersey. These fish species are also found in great quantity in the waters here. Some popular waters with the highest amount of yellow perch are Lake Hopatcong, Malaga Lake, Swartswood Lake, Cranberry Lake, Greenwood Lake, Lake Lenape, and much more.

8. Redbreast Sunfish

Redbreast Sunfish is one of the favorite fishes of the anglers who often fish with their kids and family. It is a good fish to start with. People often visit the waters like Rainbow Lake, Ryker Lake, and Delaware Lake with their families and teach their kids some fishing techniques while targeting redbreast sunfish. That’s why it is considered a great fish for the amateurs.

9. Flathead Catfish

Flathead Catfish is a freshwater species; that’s why you will find plenty of them in the freshwaters around the state. They are also referred to as the Mississippi cat in the local language. The younger flathead catfish has a dark color, almost near to black. They are often found in freshwater reservoirs, canals, lakes, streams, and rivers.

10. Redfin Pickerel

Redfin Pickerel is also one of the freshwater fish species. These are also known as the bulldog pickerel. Most people use that name to recognize it. Only a few waters in New Jersey are home to these species. You have to search for them hard to catch.


So, next time when you visit New Jersey or even New York, don’t forget to plan a fishing trip to catch some of the most amazing fish species discussed above.


Common Fishes in New Jersey.

Fish Species in New Jersey.

Fish Identification, New Jersey.