New Jersey's Trophy Trout Lakes are Merrill Creek and Round Valley reservoirs. These waters have a 15" minimum all year (as well as catch-and-release only periods on both waters and slot restrictions for Round Valley).
Trout in these large, cold, and deep waters survive for many years and have the habitat, water quality, and food supply to grow to truly monstrous proportions, while their stream-dwelling counterparts rarely exceed 18 inches.
In the summer you'll need to fish deep, from a boat, as the warm surface waters force the big trout down to the cooler waters below.
Round Valley Reservoir in particular consistently produces big rainbows and browns - in fact, the current state record brown trout was caught there in 1995. The reservoir has also produced the state record lake trout, a a 32 pound, 8 ounce beauty that measured more than 41 inches.
But larger laker trout prowl the deep waters of Round Valley.
On November 18, 2009, Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries biologists netted the largest lake trout ever captured in the state (seen here). Weighing in at 32 pounds, 11 ounces, this female laker surpassed the current state record by 3 ounces and was taken during their annual gillnetting surveys, used to monitor the lake trout population.
The massive lake trout was returned to the reservoir alive and well and is still eluding anglers.
More about Round Valley Reservoir:
Spotlight on Round Valley Reservoir
Lunker Lakers Lurk Below
Round Valley Rainbows Get Anglers Off To An Early Start
Also visit the Round Valley Trout Association website: