Discover the Cost of a 2-Day NJ Fishing License

Fishing is a beloved pastime in the Garden State, attracting anglers from near and far to its diverse waters. However, before you can wet a line in New Jersey’s lakes, rivers, and streams, you’ll need to obtain the proper fishing license. Let’s dive into the licensing requirements for both residents and non-residents.

Who Needs a Fishing License?

Anyone aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license to fish in the fresh waters of New Jersey, including privately owned waters. This requirement applies whether you’re using a handline, rod and reel, or bow and arrow.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Resident anglers aged 70 and over are exempt from needing a fishing license or trout stamp. A valid ID with date of birth is sufficient.
  • Disabled veterans with a service-connected disability can obtain free licenses, stamps, and permits. See the “Special Licenses” section below.
  • Children under 16 can fish without a license until December 31 of the year they turn 16.

Resident vs Non-Resident

To qualify as a resident and purchase a resident fishing license, you must have lived in New Jersey for at least six consecutive months prior to applying.

Anyone who doesn’t meet the residency requirement is considered a non-resident and must purchase a non-resident fishing license.

Types of NJ Fishing Licenses

New Jersey offers a variety of fishing licenses to cater to different angler needs, whether you’re a resident or visitor. Let’s explore the options:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Freshwater Fishing License (ages 16-64): $22.50
  • Senior Resident Fishing License (ages 65-69): $12.50
  • All-Around Sportsman License: $72.25 – Includes resident fishing, firearm hunting, and bow/arrow hunting licenses.

Resident anglers aged 70 and over can fish for free without a license.

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual Non-Resident Fishing License (age 16+): $34
  • 2-Day Vacation Fishing License: $9
  • 7-Day Vacation Fishing License: $19.50

The 2-day and 7-day vacation licenses are perfect for non-resident anglers planning a short fishing getaway in New Jersey.

Additional Permits

Depending on your fishing plans, you may need to purchase additional permits:

  • Trout Stamp (Resident): $10.50 – Required for fishing for trout or salmon.
  • Trout Stamp (Non-Resident): $20
  • Buddy Fishing Licenses: Discounted rates for introducing a new angler or fishing with a friend. See the “Fishing Buddy Licenses” section below.

All annual licenses and permits are valid from the date of purchase until December 31 of that year.

Cost Breakdown

To make it easier to understand the costs, let’s break down the license fees:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Freshwater Fishing (ages 16-64): $22.50
  • Annual Freshwater Fishing (ages 65-69): $12.50
  • Free for ages 70+
  • Trout Stamp (ages 16-69): $10.50
  • All-Around Sportsman License: $72.25

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual Non-Resident Fishing (age 16+): $34
  • 2-Day Vacation Fishing License: $9
  • 7-Day Vacation Fishing License: $19.50
  • Trout Stamp: $20

As you can see, the 2-day vacation fishing license at $9 is an incredibly affordable option for non-residents looking to enjoy a short fishing trip in New Jersey.

Fishing Buddy Licenses

New Jersey offers discounted “Fishing Buddy” licenses to encourage introducing new anglers to the sport or fishing with friends. Here are the reduced rates:

  • Resident Fishing Buddy License: $11.75 (Regular: $22.50)
  • Non-Resident Fishing Buddy License: $17.50 (Regular: $34)
  • All-Around Sportsman Buddy License: $62.50 (Regular: $72.25)

To qualify, at least one of the two anglers must be new to freshwater fishing in New Jersey or haven’t purchased an annual license since 2010.

How to Purchase

With multiple convenient options available, obtaining your New Jersey fishing license is a breeze:


Visit the NJ Wildlife License System to purchase and print your license immediately. Online purchases incur a small service fee.

By Phone

Call the licensing hotline at (888) 773-8450 to buy your license over the phone.


Hundreds of licensed agents across New Jersey sell fishing licenses, including major retailers like Walmart and sporting goods stores. Use the License Agent Locator App to find an agent near you.

When purchasing, have the following documentation ready:

  • Proof of residency (for resident licenses)
  • Proof of age/date of birth
  • Proof of disability (for disabled veteran licenses)

Fishing Regulations

Along with obtaining the proper licenses and permits, anglers in New Jersey must also adhere to various fishing regulations to help conserve and protect the state’s aquatic resources.

General Freshwater Fishing Rules

  • Catch and size limits vary by species and water body. Consult the NJ Freshwater Fishing Digest for details.
  • Certain waters are designated as “Catch and Release Areas” or have specific seasonal closures.
  • Using proper bait and lures is crucial. Live fish cannot be used as bait in freshwater.

Trout Fishing Regulations

If you plan on targeting trout, be aware of these additional regulations:

  • trout stamp is required in addition to your fishing license.
  • Minimum size limits and daily creel limits apply in most trout waters.
  • Some waters are designated as “Seasonal Trout Conservation Areas” with strict catch-and-release policies.

The Trout Stocking Schedule on the NJ Fish & Wildlife website provides up-to-date information on stocked trout waters.

Special Licenses

New Jersey offers special licenses and exemptions for certain groups:

  • Servicemen and Servicewomen: Active-duty U.S. Armed Forces members can obtain a resident fishing license.
  • NJ National Guard: Personnel in good standing are entitled to free licenses, permits, and stamps through the NJ Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs.
  • Disabled Veterans: Resident veterans with a service-connected disability can receive free licenses, stamps, and permits.
  • Blind Residents: Those afflicted with total blindness may obtain a free permit by calling (609) 292-2965.

By understanding the licensing requirements, costs, and regulations, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on an enjoyable and responsible fishing adventure in the Garden State.

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