Beginning in 2015, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife has offered spring and fall Free Fishing Days. In 2022, the fall date is October 22.
The October date allows the public to take advantage of the fall trout stocking. Remember: on free fishing days residents may fish on the Garden State’s public waters without a license or trout stamp. All other regulations, including size and daily catch limits, remain in effect.
New Jersey’s two Free Fishing Days are a no-risk investment for an introduction to freshwater fishing in the Garden State and the perfect time for families to enjoy two days of outdoor fun for free. Though youngsters under the age of 16 don’t need a license, these days provide a special benefit to adults who can join in the fun without having to purchase a license. That is, until they get hooked on a sport that just might become a lifetime of fun for the whole family.
For those who may not be aware, freshwater fishing in New Jersey has never been better. There are more kinds of fish and more places for people to catch them than ever before. Thanks to the Hackettstown and Pequest State Fish Hatcheries, anglers can try their luck for stocked muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, striped bass hybrids, channel catfish and lake trout in New Jersey’s larger lakes as well as rainbow trout released into the state’s smaller streams and waterways. Wild populations of fish (not hatchery raised) can also be found in abundance and anglers should pay close attention to regulations affecting them as these conservation measures are frequently more strict than for their stocked brethren. Either way, there is excellent fishing to be found statewide.