Fall Trout Fishing in New Jersey
A growing number of New Jersey trout anglers now eagerly await the fall trout season. One reason is that since 2006, all of the trout stocked in the fall measure 14 inches to 22 inches and weigh one and a half pounds to eight pounds. The big fish, cool water, great weather and spectacular scenery combine to make the fall season what many consider to be New Jersey’s premium trout fishing season. And it doesn’t end with fall; hot trout fishing action extends through the winter months until the spring season begins again in April.
This year fall stocking begins Tuesday, October 9 and continues through October 17. Over this period approximately 20,000 trout averaging 14 to 16 inches, and weighing 1˝ - 2 pounds and 1,000 exceptionally large broodstock trout, measuring 18-22 inches, and weighing 3 - 8 pounds, will be distributed in 17 streams and 15 lakes and ponds statewide. All trout are raised at the division's Pequest Trout Hatchery.
Cadillac Rock in Musconetcong Gorge
Click to enlarge
Photo by Brian Cowden, TU
stocked during the first week of fall stocking are the 17 large
streams and rivers in northern and coastal areas, such as the
Big Flatbook, Pequest River, South Branch Raritan River, Musconetcong
River, and the Manasquan and Tom's Rivers. All fall-stocked waters
may be fished as soon as they are stocked (no "closed waters"
during fall stocking).
Other waters offer fine trout fishing opportunities even though they
are not stocked in the fall. The Holdover Trout Lakes, like Lake
Aeroflex and Lake
Wawayanda, provide year round trout fishing opportunities. The
landlocked salmon stocking
program at these two lakes, now in its 7th year, is
yielding harvestable size salmon (12 inches). Our two Trophy Trout
Valley and Merrill
Creek Reservoirs, are also great trout fishing destinations. Shoreline
fishing on Round Valley is particularly popular in the fall, as big
rainbows cruise the shallows (See the current Freshwater
Digest for special area regulations.) Also, sea
run brown trout begin returning to freshwater in the Manasquan
River during the fall and early winter.
Fall stocking = Large trout
the second week, 15 ponds and lakes in the central and southern
portions of the state were stocked. Some of the more popular
waters are Farrington Lake, Oak Pond, Greenwich
Lake, and Mary Elmer Lake.
The complete list of fall-stocked
waters and the stocking schedule is available at www.njfishandwildlife.com/flstk.htm
or through the Trout Stocking Hotline 609-633-6765. If
you need help finding one of these trout-stocked waters, refer
to the list of fishing access locations linked
below for driving directions.
distinctly different trout-fishing experience awaits anglers
who fish the wild trout streams scattered across north Jersey.
These small streams are not stocked with trout and anglers can
expect to catch small, colorful trout, with most measuring less
than ten inches.
streams are managed under special regulations to provide anglers
with opportunities to catch stunning, stream-bred trout (see
the current Freshwater
Digest for information). All trout captured from designated
Wild Trout Streams, from September 16, 2012 to April
6, 2013 at 8 a.m. must be released, and be sure to leave the
bait buckets home - these streams are artificials only.
Trout fishing will really heat up once fall stocking gets underway.
The line-busting, bragging-size trout being stocked in October will
test the skills of anglers fishing with lightweight tackle, leaving
some anglers with fond memories, to last a lifetime, about the big
one that got away. Whether you chose to fish for stocked or wild trout,
there are plenty of trout-fishing opportunities in the Garden State.
So take the time from your busy schedules to enjoy trout fishing during
the splendor of fall.