This Saturday, October 23rd. No need for a license. No need for a trout stamp either if fishing in waters that have been stocked with trout.
In an effort to promote the outstanding freshwater fishing opportunities throughout the Garden State, the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, years ago, instituted a free fishing weekend that ran the third weekend in June. It was very well received and introduced thousands to the fun of freshwater fishing.
Tweaking the program, it’s now split between a Saturday in June (June 5 this year) and one in October, as noted this Saturday, October 23.
From this corner, one of the main reasons for going with an October Saturday, right on the heels of the wildly popular autumn statewide trout stocking program that wrapped up yesterday, in South Jersey, is to make anglers who never fished, never went fishing in freshwater, or who did but never fished for trout, just how exciting catching feisty rainbows ranging from 14- to 23-plus inches and weighing up to six pounds can be.
What’s more, the feedbags are on across the board, especially in lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks throughout the southern tier counties. Largemouth bass (and smallmouth bass in Cumberland County’s Union Lake and Delaware River around Philadelphia), pickerel, channel catfish, crappies, sunfish, yellow and white perch, and yes, in the Cooper River Park Lake (Collingswood/Camden County) and the DOD Lakes (Penns Grove/Salem County), pure strain and possibly tiger muskies.
A comprehensive list of statewide waters open to public fishing can be found on pages 6-9 in the 2021 Freshwater Fishing Digest. Species, boat launching, and power information, water acreage size...it’s all there.
Go freshwater fishing this Saturday. No charge...