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New Jersey Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

New Jersey Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

Interested anglers are required to obtain an NJ fishing license through the state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). Applicants planning to fish in the state’s inland waters must obtain a freshwater fishing license. Conversely, fishermen planning to fish in marine waters are required to obtain a saltwater fishing license. The division offers various fishing education opportunities to both amateur and experienced fishermen. Furthermore, the DFW provides free-of-charge fishing licenses to certain groups of NJ residents. Learn more about New Jersey fishing permits and other fishing-related topics in the below sections:

Types of New Jersey Fishing Licenses

Before organizing a fishing vacation in New Jersey, you must get a fishing license. The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers both residents and state visitors a variety of licenses to fish to choose from. Based on factors such as the angler’s age, the license’s longevity and its purpose (sport or business), interested applicants may purchase one or more of the following types of NJ fishing permits:

  • Freshwater fishing licenses in New Jersey
  • Saltwater fishing licenses in New Jersey

Freshwater Fishing Licenses in New Jersey

To fish in New Jersey’s fresh waters, anglers must buy a fishing permit and present it, on request, to law enforcement personnel. After reviewing the fishing regulations and eligibility criteria, residents and nonresidents alike can obtain one or more of the following NJ freshwater fishing licenses:

  • General resident fishing license (16 to 64 years of age)
  • Resident senior fishing license ( 65 to 69 years of age)
  • Resident trout stamp
  • All around sportsman resident fishing and hunting license
  • General non-resident fishing license (16 years of age and older)
  • Two-day non-resident vacation fishing license
  • Seven-day non-resident vacation fishing license
  • Non-resident trout stamp

Additionally, the following groups of New Jersey residents are eligible for free fishing permits:

  • Active members of the military
  • New Jersey national guard members
  • Disabled veterans
  • Blind individuals

Note: License exceptions apply to anglers younger than 16 years of age or older than 69 years of age.

Anglers can purchase fishing licenses in person from licensed agents or via the Internet. To buy a New Jersey fishing license online, access the license sales system of the DFW website and provide the following:

  • Social Security Number
  • Conservation ID Number (assigned during your first purchase)
  • Choice of fishing license
  • Credit card number

Saltwater Fishing Licenses in New Jersey

New Jersey residents and visitors can fish in the state’s coastal waters without a general New Jersey saltwater fishing license. All of the following types of recreational saltwater fishing are permissible without a license:

  • Bay fishing
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Recreational surf fishing

Interested deep sea anglers must register with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program before organizing a marine NJ fishing trip. Nevertheless, if an angler fishes for shellfish (with or without the intent to sell the catch), he or she is required to obtain a specific saltwater fishing license for the following activities:

  • Crabbing
  • Clamming
  • Commercial saltwater fishing

New Jersey Fishing Education

Both novice and professional anglers in New Jersey may improve their fishing knowledge by enrolling in one of the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s educational programs. Available to applicants of any age, fishing educational opportunities are available through the following programs:

  • The Pequest Trout Hatchery
  • The Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs program

As the only state-owned trout hatchery, the Pequest facility offers environmental education through its Natural Resource Education Center. Interested anglers can visit the site to learn about trout and their habitats, or they can fish in the nearby Pequest River accompanied by the program’s experienced staff.

Focusing on New Jersey’s youth, the national Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs program features workshops that introduce kids to the joys of fishing while developing their necessary life skills. Utilizing the state’s fishing resources, the program collaborates with state schools and youth organizations to provide hands-on educational activities regarding:

  • Outdoor ethics and environment stewardship.
  • Saltwater and freshwater ecosystems.
  • Fishing techniques and preparing catches.

New Jersey Fishing Organizations

Anglers can join various fishing clubs and organizations based in New Jersey. Providing a fishing forum and courses or striving to conserve the state’s fisheries, these associations are open to fishermen of any age and level of expertise:

  • South Jersey Bass Club Association
  • Strathmere Fishing and Environmental Club

South Jersey Bass Club Association

The South Jersey Bass Club Association’s main goals include promoting the sport of bass fishing, maintaining a well-organized tournament schedule and mediating between the fishing community and government agencies. Comprised of smaller fishing clubs and organizations across the state, the association strives to achieve its objectives by the following means:

  • Raising funds to support community fishing events
  • Granting annual college scholarships
  • Organizing fishing tournaments for its member clubs
  • Hosting youth fishing activities

Strathmere Fishing and Environmental Club

The Strathmere Fishing and Environmental Club’s main focus is environmental education on issues such as clean beaches and oceans and conservation of the state fisheries. Founded by anglers of similar interests, the SFEC organizes the following:

  • Fishing tournaments
  • Social gatherings
  • Youth fishing events