The Best Bass Fishing Lakes In New Jersey
Guide to fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass in NJ.
By Rick Seaman
New Jersey is known for its excellent bass fishing opportunities, both for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Anglers throughout the state have access to numerous lakes, rivers, and reservoirs that provide prime habitat for these popular game fish. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about bass fishing and bass lakes in the state.
Largemouth bass can be found in abundance in New Jersey's freshwater bodies, including lakes and ponds. Some of the notable bass fishing locations include Lake Hopatcong, Greenwood Lake, and Merrill Creek Reservoir. These waterways offer a combination of structure, vegetation, and ample forage, creating ideal conditions for largemouth bass to thrive. Spring and early summer are prime times to target largemouth bass, as they become more active and move into shallow areas to spawn.
Bass fishing basics video.
New Jersey also boasts some excellent smallmouth bass fisheries. The Delaware River, particularly the stretch between the Delaware Water Gap and Trenton, is known for its thriving smallmouth bass population. Other rivers like the Raritan River and the Paulins Kill River also provide opportunities for anglers to target smallmouth bass. Smallmouth bass prefer rocky areas, deeper pools, and swift currents, and are known for their fighting spirit and acrobatic jumps when hooked.
Anglers targeting both largemouth and smallmouth bass in New Jersey often use a variety of techniques, including casting with plastic worms, crankbaits, topwater lures, and jigs. Fishing around structure such as fallen trees, submerged vegetation, and rocky areas can increase the chances of landing a trophy bass.
It's worth noting that New Jersey has specific fishing regulations and size limits for bass, so anglers should familiarize themselves with the rules before heading out. Catch-and-release practices are encouraged to help preserve and sustain the bass populations in the state's waters.
Overall, New Jersey provides bass anglers with diverse and rewarding fishing opportunities, whether they're targeting largemouth bass in freshwater lakes or pursuing the feisty smallmouth bass in rivers. With its abundance of bass fisheries and favorable fishing seasons, New Jersey offers something for every bass angler, from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts.
Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Garden State. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for valuable information about bass and bass fishing.
Major lakes in New Jersey, including Clinton Reservoir, Farrington Lake, Greenwood Lake, Lake Hopatcong, Lake Musconetcong, Manasquan Reservoir, Merrill Creek Reservoir, Monksville Reservoir, Oak Ridge Reservoir, Round Valley Reservoir, Spruce Run Reservoir, Swartswood Lake, Union Lake and Wanaque Reservoir, all have healthy populations of bass. Many smaller lakes, ponds and some rivers also contain bass.
World record: 22 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 10 lbs 14 oz
World record: 11 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 7 lbs 2 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Top 5 Bass Fishing Lures For New Jersey
New Jersey State Record Bass
The state record largemouth bass was caught from Menantico Sand Wash Pond.
The state record smallmouth bass came from Round Valley Reservoir.
Enjoy this article about catching Big Bass In New Jersey.
Catch big bass!
Bass fishing information by state.
The lifecycle of bass
The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit New Jersey bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.