If you are a saltwater fishing enthusiast, you might be wondering what are the 2023 New Jersey saltwater fishing regulations that you need to follow.

Whether you are fishing from a boat, a pier, or the shore, you need to be aware of the size limits, possession limits, seasons, and other rules that apply to the marine species that you are targeting. 

In this blog post, we will give you an overview of the 2023 New Jersey saltwater fishing regulations and some tips on how to make the most of your fishing experience.

What are the 2023 NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations?

A man is fishing on rocks near the ocean.

The 2023 New Jersey saltwater fishing regulations are the rules that govern the recreational and commercial fishing activities in the marine waters of New Jersey. 

These regulations are set by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to ensure the conservation and management of fish and wildlife resources. 

The regulations may vary depending on the species, the location, and the season. Some of the common regulations that you need to know are:

Fish measurement

Fish are measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail (except Black Sea Bass and Sharks). Filleting of fish with a minimum size limit at sea is prohibited.

Saltwater registry

You need to register for free before fishing in New Jersey’s marine waters. You can register online at SaltwaterRegistry.nj.gov.

Striped bass circle hook requirement

You need to use a non-offset circle hook when fishing for striped bass with natural bait.

Crab pot excluder

You need to attach an excluder device to your crab pot to prevent diamondback terrapins from entering and drowning.

Prohibited species

You are not allowed to target or possess any prohibited species, such as river herring, sand tiger shark, Atlantic sturgeon, etc. You must release any prohibited species immediately without removing them from the water.

For a complete list of the 2023 NJ saltwater fishing regulations, you can refer to the 2023 New Jersey Marine Digest, which is available online or in print at most bait and tackle shops. 

You can also check the DEP website or call the listen-only line at 609-292-2083 for updates and changes.

What are Some of the Popular Saltwater Fish Species in New Jersey?

A clown fish is sitting on an anemone.

New Jersey has a rich and diverse marine ecosystem that offers a variety of fish species for anglers to enjoy. Some of the popular saltwater fish species in New Jersey are:

Black Sea Bass

A black fish on a black background.

A tasty and abundant bottom-dwelling fish that can be found near reefs, wrecks, rocks, and piers. The size limit is 12.5 inches and the possession limit varies depending on the season.


A fish drawing on a white background, perfect for boat lovers in New Jersey to enjoy.

A fast and aggressive fish that can be caught by trolling, casting, or jigging. The size limit is 3 fish for private/shore anglers and 5 fish for for-hire vessels.


A black fish in New Jersey waters.

A flatfish that can be found on sandy or muddy bottoms near inlets, bays, or ocean waters. There are two types of flounder in New Jersey: summer flounder (fluke) and winter flounder. The size and possession limits vary depending on the location and season.

Striped Bass

A striped bass caught during Saltwater Fishing in New Jersey.

A prized gamefish that can be found along the coast, in estuaries, or in rivers. The size limit is 1 fish at 28 – 31 inches. You can also apply for a striped bass bonus program tag that allows you to keep one additional fish at 24 inches or greater.


A new drawing of a fish on a white background.

A hard-fighting and delicious fish that can be found near structures such as jetties, bridges, or wrecks. The size limit is 15 inches and the possession limit varies depending on the season.


A white and gray fish on a white background caught during New Jersey saltwater fishing.

A beautiful and delicate fish that can be found in bays, rivers, or nearshore waters. The size limit is 13 inches and the possession limit is 1 fish.

These are just some of the saltwater fish species that you can find in New Jersey. 

There are many more species that you can explore and enjoy, such as cod, haddock, pollock, red drum, scup (porgy), Spanish mackerel, etc.

How to Make the Most of Your Saltwater Fishing Experience in New Jersey?

Saltwater fishing in New Jersey can be a fun and rewarding activity for anglers of all ages and skill levels. 

However, there are some things that you can do to make your saltwater fishing experience even better:

Plan ahead

Check the weather, tide, and moon phases before you go fishing. These factors can affect the fish’s behavior and activity. 

You can also check the fishing reports and forecasts from local sources or online forums to get an idea of what fish are biting and where.

Choose the right gear

Use the appropriate rod, reel, line, hook, bait, and lure for the fish species that you are targeting. 

You can also consult with experienced anglers or bait and tackle shop staff for advice and recommendations. 

Make sure that your gear is in good condition and that you have the necessary tools and accessories, such as a net, a cooler, a knife, a ruler, etc.

Follow the rules

Respect the 2023 NJ saltwater fishing regulations and other laws that apply to your fishing location. 

You can avoid fines and penalties by obtaining the required licenses and permits, following the size and possession limits, using the proper hooks and devices, releasing the prohibited species, etc. 

You can also help protect the fish and wildlife resources by practicing catch and release, handling the fish gently, and disposing of your trash properly.

Have fun

Enjoy the beauty and diversity of New Jersey’s marine waters and the thrill of catching your own fish. 

You can also share your saltwater fishing experience with your friends and family, or join a fishing club or tournament to meet other anglers and learn from them.


Saltwater fishing in New Jersey is a great way to spend your time outdoors and enjoy nature. 

By following the 2023 nj saltwater fishing regulations and some tips on how to make the most of your fishing experience, you can have a safe and successful saltwater fishing adventure in New Jersey. 

Happy fishing!