NJ Bass Fishing Featured on Backwoods Angler TV
Largemouth bass are the most sought after freshwater fish nationwide. Popularized
by numerous fishing shows and professional fishing organizations, the largemouth
has gained a loyal following from bass fishing enthusiasts and beginning anglers
alike. Historically, New Jersey does not have the reputation for producing world
class trophies. However, our overlooked fisheries are some of the best around.
The current New Jersey State Record
largemouth is 10 lb. 14 oz., caught in Menantico Sand Pond (pdf, 370kb) in 1980. Recent reports indicate that anglers have
come close to beating this long-standing record.
Jersey has a wide variety of excellent habitat for largemouth bass including deep
clear lakes, shallow stained lakes, lakes with aquatic vegetation, tidal freshwater
rivers, and small park ponds. Most likely there is a great bass lake very close
to you. Lakes with excellent largemouth bass populations include Union
Lake (pdf, 430kb), Assunpink Lake, Manasquan
Hopatcong, Greenwood Lake, Monksville
Lake (pdf, 500kb) and Splitrock
Reservoir (pdf, 300kb).
water temperatures in the early spring bring largemouth out of the deep wintering
areas and onto the shallow flats of bays in close proximity to deep water. The
metabolism of the fish is gradually increasing making them more likely to bite.
Largemouth will remain in these areas throughout the spring and through early
summer. Elevated surface water temperatures associated with mid-summer usually
move fish slightly deeper in the lakes seeking cooler water temperatures. Bass
will now be found relating to deeper aquatic vegetation, creek channels, and in
some lakes under boat docks.
water temperatures in late September and October create another fabulous time
of year. Bass begin to feed heavily in preparation for the upcoming winter. Fish
will school heavily in the open areas of the lake chasing forage fish. Additionally,
many fish will be found shallow actively feeding. Winter can be another great
time to catch bass, either ice fishing or even if no ice is present.
The great thing about largemouth bass is that they are willing to bite a variety
of baits and lures throughout the year. Early spring bass can be caught with reaction
type bait such as lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits. When water temperatures rise
to about 50 degrees, lures such as jigs and spinnerbaits are extremely effective.
Mid to late spring bass can be caught with plastic worms, jigs, spinnerbaits,
crankbaits, and topwater lures.
bass can't pass up a plastic worm or a topwater lure such as a chugger or a buzzbait.
Fall bass that are actively chasing forage fish will most likely hit a spinnerbait
or crankbait. Winter bass require patience, so a slow moving jig or suspending
jerkbait can be effective. Keep in mind that anglers do not have to limit themselves
to artificial lures.
times, especially during the cold winter months, live bait can be the difference
between a day of fishing and a day of catching. A small minnow fished on a leadhead
jig can produce great catches during the winter. Live shiners fished with a float
during the spring and summer can produce some giants.
Focus on Fishing: Largemouth Bass
Largemouth Bass Stocking Distribution Map
Largemouth Bass Stocking Summary, 2014 (pdf, 26kb)
Largemouth Bass Stocking Summary, 2013 (pdf, 17kb)
Largemouth Bass Stocking Summary, 2012 (pdf, 14kb)
Largemouth Bass Stocking Summary, 2011 (pdf, 14kb)
Largemouth Bass Stocking Summary, 2010 (pdf, 11kb)
Largemouth Bass Stocking Summary, 2009 (pdf, 10kb)
Summertime Largemouth Bass Fishing in New Jersey is Heating Up!
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