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New Jersey’s Free Fishing Days
Recreation - News Center
June 9 & 10, 2007

June 05, 2007 (rt23 news) - Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, are New Jersey’s Free Fishing Days in 2007. Free Fishing Days are held annually in conjunction with National Fishing and Boating Week, and on these days anyone may fish the Garden Stateís public waters without a license or trout stamp. All other regulations, including size and daily catch limits, remain in effect. Anglers should also note that any smallmouth or largemouth bass caught during this time must be released.
New Jerseyís 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 donít 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. Free Fishing Days also provide a great opportunity for out-of-state visitors to sample some of the finest freshwater fishing opportunities in the Northeast.

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 Jerseyís larger lakes as well as brook, brown and rainbow trout released into the stateís 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.

For those just starting out, the Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many programs and classes to advance from beginner to expert. The Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County offers free programs throughout the year and hosts classes on both Free Fishing Days. Fishing classes at Pequest are by registration only, so please call two weeks in advance (908-637-4125) to register. Pequest also offers a Natural Resource Education Center with a variety of exhibits and displays on wildlife, a butterfly garden, picnic areas and hiking trails. There is also a handicapped-accessible fishing site along the Pequest River.

For those who enjoy group fishing, the Divisionís Hackettstown Hatchery usually stocks a number of derbies throughout Free Fishing Days weekend. Derbies are organized by townships, service clubs and sportsmenís groups, and are open to kids up to age 16. "Take Me Fishing" clinics are offered in several locations as well. These informal fishing education programs are sponsored by DEPís Division of Parks and Forestry, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and sportsmenís groups.

For those in search of the perfect fishing hole, the Division offers a publication entitled Places to Fish, available at select Division offices and on line. This handy booklet lists only those waters with ample populations of desirable species in worthwhile sizes as well as areas that guarantee public access. In addition, the State of New Jersey has stepped up efforts to acquire public fishing access sites, so a new area could be opening up near you in the very near future.

Free Fishing Days in New Jersey offer something for everyone. Beginners, experts, residents, non-residents, those who may have gotten away from fishing and those who have never tried should not miss this great opportunity to "get hooked" on a great sport!

Posted by: Staff at
June 05, 2007

New Jersey’s Free Fishing Days

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