A valid fishing license is required for anyone age 16-69 to fish the fresh waters of New Jersey, including privately owned lakes and streams. The cost of an annual New Jersey fishing license in 2024 is:

Resident Fishing License Fees:

  • Annual (ages 16-64): $22.50
  • Senior Annual (ages 65-69): $12.50
  • Trout Stamp (in addition to license): $10.50

Non-Resident Fishing License Fees:

  • Annual (ages 16+): $34.00
  • Trout Stamp: $20.00
  • 7-Day Vacation: $19.50
  • 2-Day Vacation: $9.00

In addition, New Jersey offers a discounted “Fishing Buddy” license for $11.75 for residents or $17.50 for non-residents when purchasing with another new angler.

Children under 16, residents 70 and older, and anglers fishing on their own farm do not need a license. However, a trout stamp is still required for anyone harvesting trout or salmon other than NJ residents over 70.

Saltwater anglers do not need a general fishing license for recreational saltwater fishing in New Jersey. However, they must obtain a free annual registration through the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. Additional permits may be required for certain saltwater species like shellfish.

Fishing licenses can be purchased online through the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife website or from one of over 200 license agents statewide. The online system allows you to instantly print your license at home.

All annual freshwater fishing licenses and trout stamps are valid for the calendar year, from the date of purchase through December 31st. Licenses must be visibly displayed on your outer clothing while fishing.

For the most up-to-date fishing regulations, season dates, size/catch limits and more, be sure to check the NJ Freshwater Fishing Digest published annually by NJ Fish & Wildlife.

Tips for a Great New Jersey Fishing Experience

With over 400 miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay, plus thousands of lakes, rivers and streams, New Jersey offers some world-class fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels.

Some of the top species to target include:


  • Largemouth and smallmouth bass
  • Trout (rainbow, brown, brook)
  • Walleye
  • Musky
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Sunfish


  • Striped bass
  • Bluefish
  • Fluke/summer flounder
  • Tautog
  • Black seabass
  • Tuna (bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye)
  • Marlin

Popular fishing destinations include the Delaware River, Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook, Barnegat Bay, and the many reservoirs and wildlife management areas maintained by NJ Fish & Wildlife.

Be sure to get a copy of the NJ Recreational Fishing Guide for detailed maps, access points, and tips for the best places to fish across the state.

By obtaining the proper NJ fishing licenses and following all regulations, you’ll be well on your way to having a fun, successful, and sustainable fishing experience in the Garden State!

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