When Does Bass Fishing Start in NJ?

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Bass is a popular game fish on the Atlantic coastline. New Jersey and many other states have largemouth bass lakes. When does bass fishing start in NJ? Knowing the right time will ensure that you return with a full creel every time. However, if you want to catch and release, there will be many bass fish waiting!

When Does Bass Fishing Start in NJ?

Bass fishing in New Jersey starts in early spring in April after a slowdown in winter. This is generally a year-round sport; however, it reduces significantly in winters in NJ. In the springtime, the catch and release season for bass opens back up, which is why this is commonly considered the start of the season.

Bass is cold-blooded and therefore thrives in moderate water temperatures between 55°F and 68°F. The metabolism rate of bass fish increases as the water temperature rises after winters. Bass fish bite improves as the spring season begins, and you can catch much fish in NJ.

An image of fishing in a lake

When is Bass Fishing Season in NJ?

Fishing for bass in NJ is most fruitful before and after the spawning period, which is from mid-April until June when the water reaches temperatures higher than 68°F. Spring and fall seasons are most favorable because the water temperatures are not too cold or too hot.

Largemouth bass lakes are common in New Jersey. You can find deep clear lakes, stained lakes, or even park ponds where largemouth bass are stocked in abundance. You can make the most of your trip if you plan to go during the fishing season.

Where to Find Bass When Fishing Starts in NJ

You can find bass in shadowy spots where vegetation is more, or rocks and plantations cast a dark shadow. Bass swims deeper in the lakes due to the warm surface temperature during the summers. This is why they seek shaded areas when they swim close to the surface.

You can take the boat up to spots where there is more vegetation, and rocks and lower the lure. Bass will be swimming under the shade of your boat as well, and that means you can benefit from the close proximity!

How to Fish for Bass in NJ

Since bass fish is a predator and feeds on baitfish like shad and worms, using a lure that can imitate bait will be beneficial to maximize success. When the bass season starts in NJ, the fish is actively looking for food. You can attract the fish to a natural-looking lure like jerk baits or spinnerbaits.

At the start of fishing time in NJ, the winter season comes to an end and the fish prepares to feed more to prepare for spawning. In the fall, bass prepares for winters and feed more. Anglers can benefit during these two peak bass fishing times by understanding the bait they go after.

Anglers can use live bait as well, although the correct selection of lures will not disappoint! During the fall season, when the bass is preparing for the cold winters ahead, you can select a crankbait that bass can mistake for forage fish.

Bass Fishing in NJ Lakes

New Jersey has hundreds of lakes where largemouth bass thrives. These lakes are constantly improved and managed as trophy bass lakes. However, the bass in NJ is not very large and the maximum size can be around 10 pounds.

A man fishing in a lake

Some of the popular lakes for bass are:

  • Union Lake
  • Manasquan Reservoir
  • Assunpink Lake

Related Questions

Many entry-level anglers and enthusiasts ask questions about when bass fishing starts in NJ. However, apart from the time and place to fish bass in the state, there are many other queries regarding largemouth bass and fishing in NJ.

When Should I Start Fishing for Bass in NJ?

You can start fishing for bass in NJ in spring before the fish spawns. The spawning period is from late spring until early summer. Before this season, the bass becomes active and starts feeding more. You can catch the biggest bass during the pre-spawning period.

Which Months Are Best for Bass Fishing in NJ?

The best months for bass fishing in NJ are March, April, and October. The spring and fall seasons show the best bass action as they feed more before spawning, and then again, before winters approach. Moreover, the temperature of the water is most favorable during these months.


Fishing for bass starts in NJ in early spring. However, you must know where and how to fish for bass to ensure that you catch a big one. The right months, and the best lakes and ponds in NJ make the Garden State an excellent place for bass anglers and enthusiasts.