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Highlights and Photos of NJ State Record Freshwater Sport Fish

Highlights and Photos of NJ State Record Freshwater Sport Fish

Highlights and photos of some of the New Jersey Record Freshwater Fish are below. For more information see the Record Fish Program page.

Highlights of NJ State Record Freshwater Sport FishState Record Photo
State Record Largemouth Bass

Bob Eisele’s state record largemouth bass was taken from Menantico Sand Wash Pond in Cumberland County in 1980. The 10 pound, 14 ounce largemouth was taken on a homemade bucktail with a yellow Mr. Twister.  Bob was fishing in the early morning from shore with a Ryobi XS-1 reel rigged with 12-lb. test line – he’s sure this is the fish that had broken his line at least once before when it dove after being hooked so he switched to the heavy line. This time it didn’t get away!
State Record Bowfin

Pierce Dopkin of Clementon, NJ, reeled in the new state record Bowfin on July 28, 2017. The fish weighed in at 11 pounds, 8.5 ounces eclipsing the previous state record by 10.5 ounces. The fish measured 31.7″ in length and had a girth of 17.1″. Pierce was fishing from the shore of Matua Creek when the fish hit. Pierce was using a Shimano rod and reel with 20-pound braided line. A shiner served as the bait.
State Record Carp

Billy Friedman landed this giant carp while fishing the South Branch of the Raritan River in 1995. It scaled an impressive 47 pounds.
State Record Carp (archery)

Adam Faatz of Hawthorne, NJ, caught the state record carp while bowfishing.  Mr. Faatz was targeting carp from his boat at night on Greenwood Lake on May 19, 2014, when after about two hours of fishing, the fish started swimming towards the back of the boat. The carp fought for 10 minutes before being landed.  The 45 lb. 6 oz. carp, was 42″ long and had a girth of 32″. It broke the old record, taken in the Delaware River by Mark Kronyak in 2008, by 1 lb. 8 oz.  Mr. Faatz is a member of a bowfishing team called the Team Bloody Decks who are currently working with the Wounded Warriors and other local organizations to take severely wounded veterans out bowfishing as part of their rehabilitation process.
State Record Grass Carp

A Grass Carp caught by James Dempsey, Jr of Ewing New Jersey on May 12, 2011 is officially a new state record. The huge fish was taken from Curlis Lake in Mercer County and weighed an astounding 55 lbs. 8 oz., surpassing the previous record set in 2008 by Homer Tye by one pound, one ounce. That record fish was also from Curlis Lake.  James was casting from shore using a St. Croix Mojo Bass rod and Pflueger Bait Caster reel with 10-pound test line and corn as bait when he hooked the giant fish. It took him 2 hours before he could finally land his new state record.  The Grass Carp measured 47¾ inches in length and had a 30-inch girth.
Grass Carp (archery)

Daniel Sandorff of Port Murray, NJ, harvested the new state record Grass Carp (archery) on May 27, 2020. The fish weighed in at 76 lbs. 11 oz. It weighed 10 lbs. 13 oz. more than the previous record. The fish measured 52 inches in length and had a 32.5 inch girth. Daniel was bowfishing from a boat on the Delaware River when he harvested the fish. He was using an RPM Nitro bow with an RPM-MI reel and RPM red line. The tip was an RPM Turbo.
State Record White Catfish

The state record white catfish was caught from Dallenbach Pond in East Brunswick, Middlesex County on August 14, 2004.  Timothy Jasko of Monroe Township, New Jersey caught a 14 pound, 4 ounce white catfish that weighed 3 pounds 15 ounces more than the previous record taken from the Raritan River in 1976.  Jasko was fishing with a simple bobber, hook and nightcrawler when he landed the fish from his boat on 14-pound test line. The fish was weighed by Fish and Wildlife and measured 29 inches in length with a 19-inch girth. In addition to being positively identified by freshwater fisheries biologists, the fish was also verified by the curator of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (ANSP). The ANSP estimated the fish to be 18 to 25 years old and will keep the skeleton for display in its museum.
State Record Black Crappie

Andy Tintle caught his 4 lb. 8 oz. record black crappie on 8 lb. test line using a 4″ Berkley Power Worm casting from his boat on Pompton Lake on May 16, 1996.
State Record White Crappie
William “Bumbo” Lewis of Jackson, NJ, made his way onto the State Record Fish list by landing a new state record white crappie on May 2. Lewis was fishing in Mercer Lake, Mercer County, when he reeled in the 3 lbs. 11 oz. fish, unmistakably beating the previous record, caught in 2005, by 13 ounces. To put that in perspective, this new state record is a whopping 23% heavier than the previous record! The new record measured 18 inches and had a 14¾ inch girth.  The record fish was caught on a white Mister Twister grub on a small jig head. Four-pound Trilene XL line was used with a St. Croix rod and a Shimano reel.
<a name="eel" State Record American Eel

The freshwater state record American eel was caught from Round Valley Reservoir on June 4. David J. Payne of Plainfield caught a 6 pound, 13 ounce American eel that weighed 11 ounces more than the previous record taken from Round Valley in 1994.  Payne was on shore casting for trout when he hooked the eel on a live shiner. Payne claims he saw trout all around and was convinced he had one until his catch came closer to the surface. His “surprise” measured 41¾ inches in length.  Fish and Wildlife has categories for American eel caught in both freshwater and saltwater. The current saltwater state record is 9 pounds, 13 ounces caught in 1988 off Atlantic City.
State Record Muskellunge

Bob Neals had quite a surprise when this monster musky took his bait beneath the ice at Monksville Reservoir in January, 1997. With the help of fellow anglers he was able to squeeze his 42 lb. 13 oz. state record fish up through his hole onto the ice.
State Record Northern Pike

John Viglione of Ringwood made his way onto the state record fish list by landing the state record Northern Pike. John was fishing in Pompton Lake, Passaic County when he reeled in the 30 pound, 8.5 ounce fish, eclipsing the old record caught 32 years ago in Spruce Run Reservoir by 6.5 ounces.  John was using a Daiwa spinning reel spooled with 8-lb. test Ande line and a Shakespeare 6′ 6″ pole. For bait he had on a swivel and a Blue Fox Vibrax spinner.  The new record pike measured 46 inches in length and had a girth of 22.25 inches.
State Record Landlocked Salmon

On September 30, 2021, Joe Satkowski of Hampton broke the previous Landlocked Salmon record when fishing from his boat on Merrill Creek Reservoir.  Using a Temple Forks Outfitter spinning rod and a Shimano Stradic spinning reel, he landed the fish. A homemade jig served as the lure. The new record landlocked salmon weighed in at 8 lbs., 10 ounces. eclipsing the previous 2018 record by 5 ounces. The fish measured 26 inches in length and a 16.25 inch girth.
State Record Freshwater Striped Bass

John Christian was fishing from the shore of the Great Egg Harbor River in Mays Landing on April 26, 2002, when he caught the record bass on 25-pound test using live herring for bait. The fish weighed 51 pounds, surpassing the previous record taken from the Delaware River in 2001 by 14 pounds, 8 ounces. The fish measured 48 inches in length with a 28½-inch girth.
State Record Hybrid Striped Bass

NJ Fish and Wildlife has announced that a new record hybrid striped bass was caught in October. The new record fish, caught by angler, John Vayda, broke the previous record for hybrid striped bass caught in 1999 by 6 ounces. John was trolling in Monksville Reservoir when he landed the fish, using a St. Croix rod and Daiwa reel. The new record hybrid Striped Bass measured 31 inches in length and had a girth of 23 inches.
State Record Brook Trout

Andrew Du-Jack landed the current state record brook trout on May 1, 1995, in the Rockaway River. The trout weighed 7 lb.3 oz. and was 23 inches in length with a girth of 17 inches.
State Record Brown Trout

Lenny Saccente holds the state record brown trout he took out of Round Valley Reservoir in 1995. The trout weighed in at 21 lbs. 6 oz.
State Record Lake Trout

The state record lake trout was taken from Round Valley Reservoir in Hunterdon County on May 4, 2002. Gregory Young of Whitehouse Station caught a 32 pound, 8 ounce lake trout that weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces more than the previous record taken from Round Valley in 2001.  Young was trolling from his boat when he landed the trout on 17-pound test line with a 10-pound leader. The fish, which took an hour to bring in, measured 41½ inches in length with a 25½-inch girth.

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Last Update: October 17th, 2022