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The Striped Bass Bonus Program

 
The 2021 Striped Bass Bonus Program will reopen on May 15, 2021.
Please use the new application link below to apply.

Permits issued for 2020 are not valid in 2021.

Applications for the 2021 SBBP are currently being accepted.
A new application must be submitted via the link below for 2021.

Updated information about the SBBP is posted on this webpage and sent to Marine Fisheries e-mail list subscribers and media outlets when available.

Reporting of all harvested bonus fish is mandatory.

Effective May 15, 2021, the SBBP regulations are as follows:

  • One fish per permit at 24" to less than 28"
  • May 15, 2021 - December 31, 2021
Please note that the order of fish harvested does not matter.

Bonus harvest reporting is mandatory and must be reported within 24 hours of harvest online or by calling 609-748-2074.

PROGRAM BACKGROUND

New Jersey is allocated a commercial harvest quota of striped bass under the Striped Bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan as administered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Since New Jersey does not allow netting or sale of striped bass, this quota was transferred to the recreational fishing sector resulting in the origin of the SBBP.

The current allocation from ASMFC is 215,912 pounds to be distributed between individual anglers and party/charter boats. Should NJ overshoot this quota in 2021, any overage would be subtracted from the 2022 quota. Although this program does allow for the harvest of an additional striped bass for New Jersey anglers, the Division encourages catch and release whenever possible so this species can prosper for future generations.

The Division initiated the program in 1990 to allow the harvest of an additional striped bass for New Jersey recreational anglers. Although the program has been modified throughout the years, the main goal of the SBBP is to allow anglers to participate in the management process while enjoying their favorite recreational pastime. It is a popular program and provides valuable data for assessing stock status and fishing trends, making it an integral part of New Jersey's striped bass management.

Angler with legal size bonus striped bass
Deckhand Erik Olsen fillets Bonus fish on the F/V Queen Mary
Click to enlarge

REGULATIONS

New Jersey's 2021 recreational striped bass regulations in all state waters are as follows:

  • One fish 28" to less than 38"

With a bonus permit, anglers are able keep one fish at 24 inches to less than 28 inches from May 15 through December 31, 2021. Reporting bonus harvest within 24 hours is mandatory. Please note the order of fish harvested does not matter (Bonus fish can be the 1st or 2nd fish). Visit the Marine section of the Regulations page to check current Federal and State possession and season regulations for striped bass fishing in your area.

The ASMFC Interstate Fishery Management Plan for striped bass now requires using inline (non-offset) circle hooks when fishing for striped bass with bait. More Information.

SBBP participants can receive immediate notification of regulation updates, emergency closures, special notices, etc., by subscribing to the free NJ Marine Fishing E-mail List. For details and to subscribe, visit the E-mail List Subscription page.

APPLICATION AND MANDATORY REPORTING INFORMATION

New Application Instructions for 2021: Please complete and submit the SBBP Application and Child Support Form through the online link below. E-mail and mail-in applications will not be accepted in 2021. All applications will be processed in order of receipt. Processing times may take several weeks during peak periods.

APPLY HERE

If you require additional information concerning this program or any other striped bass issue, please contact the Division's Nacote Creek office at 609-748-2020 or sbbp@dep.nj.gov.

TWO MANDATORY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUAL ANGLERS

Please watch the instructional video for additional information on the 2021 SBBP.
SBBP Reporting Instructions Video

1) Individual Angler Harvest Reporting

If a Bonus fish is harvested, the SBBP Permit must be securely attached to fish through the mouth and gill immediately upon capture and prior to transportation. Harvest reporting is mandatory within 24 hours of harvest and must be reported online or by leaving a message at 609-748-2074. Required reporting information includes name, permit #, phone number, date of harvest, and fish length.

After the Division receives an initial harvest report, each participant may be issued an additional permit up to the discretion of the Division. Individuals may be eligible for multiple permits throughout the season, upon availability.

Detailed information on procedures for reporting are below and will be provided with each Bonus Permit issued.

Submit a Harvest Report
SBBP Angler Reporting Instructions (pdf, 145kb)

2) Individual Angler Striped Bass Fishing Log

Complete the daily log included in the envelope with the permit and submit via mail or online by January 15, 2021 even if you did not fish or did not catch any striped bass..

Detailed information on procedures for completing and submitting fishing logs will be provided with each Bonus Permit issued.

SBBP Reporting Instructions (pdf, 145kb)
SBBP Fishing Log (pdf, 65kb)
NOTE: PDF can be completed (and saved on some browsers and Acrobat Reader) before printing. Log can be printed on both sides and mailed.

If you require additional information concerning this program or any other striped bass issue, please contact the Division's Nacote Creek office at 609-748-2020 or sbbp@dep.nj.gov.

PARTY/CHARTER BOATS

Applications are now being accepted for 2021.

The Party/Charter Boat (PCBT) facet of the SBBP will reopen on May 15, 2021. Data collected from this program has proved invaluable for managing striped bass. Qualified PCBTs will be issued a limited number of permits allowing customers to keep one Bonus Fish from 24" to less than 28". Only one permit may be issued to a customer per day.

To apply, complete, save and download the Party/Charter Boat Bonus Program Application and Child Support Certification Form (pdf, 200kb) and submit via e-mail to sbbp@dep.nj.gov with a copy of a valid Captain's license and a valid 2021 For-Hire Saltwater Angler Registration by October 31, 2021. All applications will be processed in order of receipt and applications submitted after the deadline will not be processed.

New Party/Charter Boat Reporting Requirements for 2021

PCBTs will no longer be required to submit both weekly harvest reports and daily trip logbooks. These two forms have been combined to one form now called a Trip Report. PCBTs will be required to submit mandatory Trip Reports of each trip's striped bass catch and bonus harvest every Monday to ensure the quota is not exceeded. Complete instructions are below and will be provided with permits.
SBBP Party/Charter Boat Reporting Instructions (pdf, 175kb)

Please view the instructional video for more information on the 2021 program.
SBBP Party/Charter Reporting Instructions Video

If you require additional information concerning this program or any other striped bass issue, please contact the Division's Nacote Creek office at 609-748-2020 or sbbp@dep.nj.gov.

DOCKSIDE INTERVIEWS

Division of Fish and Wildlife staff are now responsible for conducting field interviews for the Access-Point Angler Intercept Survey (pdf, 600kb). As a participant of the Striped Bass Bonus Program, your cooperation with Division staff is expected and appreciated. Please be aware that Division staff may request a short interview upon arrival at the dock, ramp, or marina.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

arrow Striped Bass New Circle Hook Requirement
arrow Striped Bass Party Boat and Tournament Sampling Summary
arrow Striped Bass Sampling on the F/V Queen Mary
arrow Striped Bass Tagging Program/Reporting (Am. Littoral Society)
arrow Rewards for Striped Bass Tags
arrow Striped Bass Temperature Study Tagging Project Information (pdf, 12kb)
arrow Saltwater Fishing Information
arrow Saltwater Fishing Regulations

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: April 1, 2021