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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Bag and Length Limits

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Statewide bag and length limits

Special bag and length limits apply to some lakes, rivers (see below) and Fish Management Areas. Other fishes considered to be nongame fishes have no bag or possession limits, except as noted in individual Fish Management Area regulations.

Possession limit is two days’ bag limit. It is illegal to transport or possess more than two days’ bag limit of fish per licensed angler without a commercial license. Exceptions are fish legally acquired from aquaculturists (fish farmers) for use in aquaria, for brood stock, pond stocking or properly marked for the market. No native freshwater fish or their eggs may be taken or possessed except as permitted by these rules nor shall anyone wantonly or willfully waste the same.

  • 5 Black bass (largemouth, Suwannee, spotted, and shoal bass, individually or in total), only one of which may be 22 inches or longer in total length.

– In south Florida (see Black Bass Fishing Zones): only one bass may be 14 inches in total length or longer.

– South and east of the Suwannee River (see Black Bass Fishing Zones): black bass less than 14 inches in total length must be released immediately.

– In the Suwannee River (see Black Bass Fishing Zones), areas north and west of the Suwannee River, and in any tributary river, creek or stream of the Suwannee River: black bass less than 12 inches in total length must be released immediately.

  • 50 Panfish including bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), flier, longear sunfish, mud sunfish, shadow bass, spotted sunfish (stumpknocker), warmouth and redbreast sunfish, individually or in total.
  • 25 Crappie (speckled perch).
  • 20 Striped bass, white bass, and sunshine bass (individually or in total), of which only 6 may be 24 inches or longer in total length.

– In the Suwannee River, areas north and west of the Suwannee River, and in any tributary, creek or stream of the Suwannee River: the bag limit for striped bass is 3, each of which must be at least 18 inches in total length (20 fish combined bag limit).

  • 2 Butterfly peacock bass, only one of which may be 17 inches or longer in total length.
  • NOTES: It is illegal to possess grass carp or alligator gar without a permit; these fish must be released immediately (see Methods of Taking Fish). Black bass, striped bass and white bass or their hybrids, peacock bass, or crappie and panfish (for crappie and panfish, only in waters where minimum-length or slot-size limits for these fish apply) may not be filleted, nor their head or tail fin removed, until you are done fishing for the day.

Special bag and length limits

See Fish Management Area regulations for bag and length limits for lakes in the Fish Management Area system.

  • Jim Woodruff Reservoir, Lake Seminole: 10 black bass, each must be at least 12 inches or greater in total length; 15 striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass (individually or in total), of which no more than two may be 22 inches or longer in total length; 30 crappie (speckled perch), in total; 50 panfish (does not include crappie); 15 pickerel (chain, grass and redfin). Possession limit is 50 fish total, regardless of species.
  • St. Marys River and it tributaries: 10 black bass, all of which must be at least 12 inches in total length; two striped bass, sunshine bass or white bass, both of which must be at least 22 inches in total length; 30 crappie (speckled perch); 50 total panfish (does not include crappie); 15 pickerel (chain, grass and redfin).
  • Lake Talquin, Leon and Gadsden counties: Black bass bag limit is five, only one of which may be 22 inches in total length or longer. Black bass less than 18 inches in total length and crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.
  • Lake Jackson, Leon County: Black bass bag limit is five, only one of which may be 22 inches in total length or longer. Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately.
  • Lake Kerr, including Little Lake Kerr: Black bass caught from 15 to 24 inches in total length must be released immediately. Black bass bag limit is three, of which only one may be 24 inches or longer in total length.
  • Wildcat Lake, Marion County (Ocala National Forest): Black bass must be released immediately.
  • Edward Medard Reservoir, Hillsborough County: Until December 31, 2012 all game fish caught must be immediately released unharmed. Cast nets, bush hooks, and trot lines are prohibited. New rules may be in effect commencing January 1, 2013 – See FLrules.org (Chapter 68) for updates.
  • St. Johns River Water Management Area (Farm 13, including the Stick Marsh), Indian River and Brevard counties: Black bass must be released immediately.
  • S.N. Knight Tract, Indian River County (locally known as Kenansville Lake): Black bass must be released immediately.
  • Lake Weohyakapka (Walk-in-Water), Polk County: Black bass from 15 to 24 inches in total length must be released immediately. Black bass bag limit is three, only one of which may be 24 inches in total length or longer.
  • Lake Okeechobee: Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately. Black bass bag limit is five, only one of which may be 22 inches in total length or longer. Crappie (speckled perch) less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. Lake Okeechobee, for purposes of these rules, is defined as any point lakeward of a boundary line delineated by the following points:
    • Intersection of St. Rd. 78 and U.S. 441
    • U.S. 441 SE to St. Rd. 5 (“80”)
    • St. Rd. 5 (“80”) to St. Rd. 25 (U.S. 27)
    • St. Rd. 25 (U.S. 27) to St. Rd. 78
    • St. Rd. 78 to U.S. 441

Including:

  • Harney Pond Canal (C-41) north of St. Rd. 78 to South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) structure S-71.
  • C-41-A Canal, southeast of the SFWMD S-84 structure
  • Indian Prairie Canal (C-40) north of St. Rd. 78 to SFWMD structure S-72
  • All of Taylor Creek and Nubbin Slough in Okeechobee County
  • C-38/Kissimmee River south of SFWMD structure S-65E to St. Rd. 78
  • Lake Trafford (Collier County): Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately. Black bass bag limit is five, only one of which may be 22 inches in total length or longer.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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