Go Fishing in NJ!
Updated June 2013
Kids under 16 can always fish without a license, and although adults can't, it is a great opportunity for families to enjoy an inexpensive outdoor activity. It’s easier than you think to get started. Just ask Metuchen dad Matt Flood, a former NYC boy who wanted to get his 4- and 5-year-old outside and away from the TV. He bought two kids’ fishing rods and bait and took the kids to a nearby park with a pond. They caught lots of sunfish and a couple of trout and now look forward to the activity every spring. One of the best parts, Flood says, is seeing the kids’ pride when they make a catch.
New Jersey offers more than 400 publicly accessible lakes, ponds, and reservoirs where families can fish. How to choose a good one? Al Ivany, principal biologist at the NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife, suggests starting with a small pond or lake. We found fishy waters in each of eight counties of north and central New Jersey. They are also within walking distance to kid-friendly amenities like playgrounds, boat rentals, and (unless otherwise noted) the most important amenity of all: restrooms!
For instant access to more information about these parks, visit the Jersey Jaunts section of our website for website links.
• Saffin Pond, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, Jefferson Township (Note: restrooms not nearby)
Visit the NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife website for a full list of waterways and up-to-date fishing info.
Renée Sagiv Riebling is a freelance writer from central New Jersey. She and her husband and two children are always on the lookout for new adventures.