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Guide To The Best Fishing Spots For Catfish In New Jersey

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All about fishing for white and channel catfish in NJ.

New Jersey offers fantastic opportunities for catfish fishing, with two popular species being the channel catfish and the white catfish. Anglers across the state can enjoy targeting these bottom-dwelling and hard-fighting fish in various freshwater bodies, including rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

Channel catfish are highly sought after in New Jersey, known for their impressive size and delicious flesh. They can be found in abundance in rivers such as the Delaware River, Raritan River, and Passaic River, as well as in lakes and reservoirs like Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run Reservoir. Channel catfish prefer areas with deeper water, such as holes, channels, and deep pools, where they scavenge for food. Anglers often use a variety of baits such as cut bait, chicken liver, or stink baits to entice these voracious feeders.

White catfish, also known as white bullhead catfish, are another popular species for anglers in New Jersey. They can be found in similar habitats to channel catfish, including rivers, lakes, and ponds. Popular fishing locations for white catfish include the Delaware River, Rancocas Creek, and Union Lake. White catfish are known for their adaptability and willingness to bite on a wide range of baits, including worms, nightcrawlers, and prepared baits.

Both channel catfish and white catfish provide excellent sport and table fare for anglers. They can be targeted year-round, but summer and early fall tend to be particularly productive, as catfish become more active in warmer water temperatures.

Anglers pursuing catfish in New Jersey often employ bottom-fishing techniques using a variety of rigs, such as slip sinker rigs or Carolina rigs, to present their bait near the bottom where catfish are commonly found. Patience is key when catfish fishing, as they are known for their cautious feeding habits and can sometimes require a bit of finesse to hook.

It's important to familiarize yourself with the specific fishing regulations and size limits for catfish in New Jersey, as they may vary depending on the location and species. Practicing catch-and-release for larger catfish is encouraged to preserve the fishery and ensure sustainable populations for future generations of anglers.

Whether you're targeting channel catfish or white catfish, New Jersey provides ample opportunities for catfish anglers to enjoy thrilling fishing experiences and potentially reel in some impressive catches. With its diverse freshwater habitats and favorable fishing seasons, New Jersey is a catfish angler's paradise.

Catfish fishing in New Jersey

Channel catfish and white catfish are found in many New Jersey waters. Major lakes with catfish include Clinton Reservoir, Greenwood Lake, Lake Hopatcong, Lake Musconetcong, Manasquan Reservoir, Mercer Lake, Monksville Reservoir, Merrill Creek Reservoir, Round Valley Reservoir, Spruce Run Reservoir, Swartswood Lake, Union Lake and Wanaque Reservoir. Rivers, small lakes and ponds are likely to contain catfish as well.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New Jersey

Catfish in New Jersey

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 33 lbs 3 oz

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 14 lbs 4 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

What's the best bait for catfish in New Jersey?

Choose from the top 5 all-time catfish baits and try them on local waters. Appealing to the keen sense of smell and taste could turn a so-so day into a memorable event.

New Jersey State Record Catfish

The state record channel catfish was caught from Lake Hopatcong.

The state record white catfish came out of Dallenbach Pond.

Catfish Fishing Video

There are many species of catfish and even more ways to catch them. Adults range in size from less than a pound to hundreds of pounds. Catfish are found in all types of water including ponds, streams, lakes and rivers throughout New Jersey. There are even species which spend a limited amount of time on dry land. Big giant catfish put up a very noble fight once hooked.

Additional catfishing information resources.

Catfish Conservation Group

U.S. Catfish Anglers Tournaments

Planet Catfish

Most catfish are considered bottom feeders to one extent or another. They will generally eat anything that can get in their mouth. Their strongest sense is smell which they use to locate potential food sources. Capitalizing on this sense is the primary weapon in your search for these creatures. Aggressive catfish have been caught on most types of fast moving bass lures so don't under estimate their ability to catch live bait.


Information for states with catfish.

AL Catfish Fishing AR Catfish Fishing AZ Catfish Fishing CA Catfish Fishing CO Catfish Fishing CT Catfish Fishing DE Catfish Fishing FL Catfish Fishing GA Catfish Fishing HI Catfish Fishing IA Catfish Fishing ID Catfish Fishing IL Catfish Fishing
IN Catfish Fishing KS Catfish Fishing KY Catfish Fishing LA Catfish Fishing MA Catfish Fishing MD Catfish Fishing ME Catfish Fishing MI Catfish Fishing MN Catfish Fishing MO Catfish Fishing MS Catfish Fishing MT Catfish Fishing
NC Catfish Fishing ND Catfish Fishing NE Catfish Fishing NH Catfish Fishing NJ Catfish Fishing NM Catfish Fishing NV Catfish Fishing NY Catfish Fishing OH Catfish Fishing OK Catfish Fishing OR Catfish Fishing PA Catfish Fishing
RI Catfish Fishing SC Catfish Fishing SD Catfish Fishing TN Catfish Fishing TX Catfish Fishing UT Catfish Fishing VA Catfish Fishing VT Catfish Fishing WA Catfish Fishing WI Catfish Fishing WV Catfish Fishing WY Catfish Fishing