Historically, bass fishing in New Jersey does not yield world class trophies. However, its overlooked warmwater fisheries are some of the best in the East. The current New Jersey state-record largemouth is 10 pounds, 14 ounces, caught in Menantico Sand Pond in 1980. Recent reports indicate that anglers have come close to beating this long-standing record.
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In Salem and Cumberland counties, Union Lake is rated as one of Delaware’s top bass lakes for year-round fishing. This 5,000-acre warmwater lake is in South Jersey and also contains good numbers of perch and a remnant population of land-locked striped bass.
Nine miles in length covering 2,686 acres of freshwater, Lake Hopatcong is the largest lake in New Jersey and the focal point of Hopatcong State Park. Excellent fishing may be had along shore and in the lake’s many coves, bays, drop-offs and points. Fish early and late in the day to avoid recreational users of the lake.
Delaware Lake covers 1,098 acres in Warren County. The lake has a good mix of forage and predator species including perch, bluegills, largemouth bass and muskies. Elevated surface water temperatures associated with mid-summer usually move fish slightly deeper in the lake seeking cooler water temperatures. Bass will now be found near aquatic vegetation, creek channels, and in some cases under boat docks and floats.
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