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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.

Master Angler Awards

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The Master Angler Patch is awarded to all entries meeting the established minimum weight for Catch-and-Keep or minimum length for Catch-and-Immediate-Release entries. No more than 1 patch per species will be awarded to each angler per year.
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  • The Master Angler Certificate is awarded to anglers who catch one of the top 5 fish of each species in both the Catch-and-Keep and the Catch-and-Immediate-Release categories. Anglers catching a State Record fish also receive this award.
  • State Record fish are recognized by weight only. To qualify, your fish must exceed the current listed State Record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.
  • Weighing your fish: all fish (except Catch-and-Immediate-Release) must be weighed on a commercial scale (grocery store, meat market, etc.). Record the name and location of the business where the fish was weighed, and, if possible, obtain a weight slip.
  • Measuring the length of your fish: Measure your fish from the tip of the nose (or lower jaw) to tip of the tail in a straight line. Do NOT measure in a curve around the body from nose to tail. Measure to the closest 1/8″. Tail and jaw should be pinched together.
  • Applications are available at all Customer Service Centers and at michigan.gov/masterangler. The deadline for submitting an entry is Jan. 10, 2015. Be sure to include a color photo of your fish if it has not already been identified by a DNR fisheries biologist. Send completed forms to: Fisheries Division, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 30446, Lansing, MI 48909.
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Releasing a Fish

When practicing catch-and-release, please follow these suggestions to reduce the risk of injury to the fish:

  • Land your catch carefully and quickly. Avoid handling the fish at all and remove the hook gently with pliers.
  • Use a landing net made of soft or knotless mesh and always try to net your fish head first.
  • Try to keep the fish in the water and gently cradle it while carefully removing the hook.
  • Leave your fish in the water until you are ready to take a photo.
  • Do not squeeze the fish and keep your fingers out of the fish’s gills since a torn gill could cause the fish to bleed to death.
  • Touch your fish as little as possible. Always wet your hands when touching your fish.
  • Cut the line near the hook if a fish is deeply hooked. A steel hook will rust away leaving the fish unharmed.
  • Release your fish, pointing it into a slow current or gently moving it back and forth until its gills are working properly and the fish regains its balance. Once fully recovered, allow the fish to swim from your hands (big fish may take longer to recover).

Minimum Entry Lengths/Weights and Current State Records

Catch-and-Immediate-Release Entries must meet minimum length

Catch and Keep Entries must meet minimum weight

Species

Minimum Entry

Length (inches)

Minimum Entry

Weight (lbs. -oz.)

Current State

Record (lbs.-oz.)

Bass, Largemouth

22″

6-0

11-15

Bass, Rock

11.5″

1-0

3-10

Bass, Smallmouth

21″

5-4

9-4

Bass, White

16″

2-0

6-7

Bluegill

10″

1-0

2-12

Buffalo, Bigmouth

32″

20-0

24-12

Buffalo, Black

26″

10-0

37-1

Bullhead, Black

14″

1-8

3-7

Bullhead, Brown

14″

1-8

3-10

Bullhead, Yellow

14″

1-8

3-9.6

Bowfin

27″

7-0

14-0

Burbot

26″

5-0

18-4

Carp (Note 1)

30″

20-0

61-8* / 45-0**

Carpsucker, Quillback

19″

3-0

8-2

Catfish, Channel

29″

8-0

40-0

Catfish, Flathead

29″

10-0

52-0

Cisco (Lake Herring)

16″

2-8

5-6

Crappie, Black

14″

1-12

4-2

Crappie, White

14″

1-12

3-6

Freshwater Drum

25″

7-0

26-0

Gizzard Shad

16″

1-8

4-2

Lake Sturgeon

50″

70-0

193-0

Longnose Gar

32″

5-0

18-0

Muskellunge, Great Lks.

42″

20-0

58-0

Muskellunge, Northern

42″

20-0

49-12

Muskellunge, Tiger

42″

20-0

51-3

Northern Pike

40″

18-0

39-0

Perch, White

10″

0-8

1-14.9

Perch, Yellow

14″

1-13

3-12

Salmon, Atlantic

32″

12-0

32-10

Salmon, Chinook

39″

27-0

46-1

Salmon, Coho

31″

12-0

30-9

Salmon, Pink

21″

3-0

8-9

Smelt

10″

None

12″

Splake

25″

6-0

17-8

Sucker, Longnose

17″

2-0

6-14

Sucker, N. Hog

13″

1-8

2-8

Sucker, Redhorse

22″

4-0

12-14.2

Sucker, White

20″

3-0

7-3

Sunfish, Green

9″

0-12

1-8

Sunfish, Hybrid

10″

0-12

1-7

Sunfish, Pumpkinseed

9″

0-12

2-2.4

Sunfish, Redear

10″

1-0

2-5.8

Sunfish, Warmouth

9″

1-0

1-6

Trout, Brook

15″

2-0

9-8

Trout, Brown

32″

16-0

41-7.2

Trout, Lake

34″

18-0

61-8

Trout, Rainbow (Steelhead)

32″

14-0

26-8

Walleye

29″

11-0

17-3

Whitefish, Lake

23″

6-0

14-4.5

Menominee

15″

1-0

4-0

Note 1: *State record Carp; **Largest hook & line Carp

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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