Fish Free In New Jersey On October 22 - The Fisherman

Fish Free In New Jersey On October 22

No freshwater license in New Jersey?  No problem on Saturday, October 22 when the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and its Division of Fish & Wildlife (Division) offers the second Free Fishing Day (the first was June 4).  The June Free Fishing Day in New Jersey is held in conjunction with National Fishing and Boating Week; the October 22 date allows the public to take advantage of the fall trout stocking.

“Remember: on these days residents may fish on the Garden State’s public waters without a license or trout stamp,” the Division explains at, adding “All other regulations, including size and daily catch limits, remain in effect.”

The NJDEP describes New Jersey’s two Free Fishing Days as 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 don’t need a license, these days provide a special benefit to adults who can join in the fun without having to purchase a license.

Want to continue fishing with a new angler? “Buddy Up and Save” with the Buddy License Program.  And for those just starting out the Division offers many programs and classes to advance from beginner to expert. The Pequest Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County offers free fishing programs along with a complete 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.  Learn more by contacting the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center at 908-637-4125 ext. 0.

For those who enjoy group fishing, there are usually children’s fishing derbies held on Free Fishing Days weekend. Derbies are organized by townships, service clubs and sportsmen’s groups, and are typically open to kids up to age 16.  To find a few freshwater locations to fish, check out Places to Fish available at select Division offices as well as online; the handy booklet lists only those waters with ample populations of desirable species in worthwhile sizes as well as areas that guarantee public access.

For more information on fishing in New Jersey including, places to fish, fishing classes, regulations, feature articles and species fact sheets, see the Freshwater Fishing page.