Bait and Bait Shops

Bait Shops near Round Valley Reservoir

Round Valley Bait & Tackle Located at 1271 Rt 22 East Lebanon, New Jersey 08833 in the Lebanon Plaza.

  • Summer Hours:
    • Monday – 6:00 – 6:00
    • Tuesday – closed
    • Wednesday – 6:00 – 6:00
    • Thursday – 6:00 – 6:00
    • Friday – 6:00 – 6:00
    • Saturday – 5:30 – 6:00
    • Sunday – 5:30 – 5:00
  • Phone: TBD
  • Live shiners, worms and herring in season.
  • Zach Merchant, owner and RVTA Member
  • Visit their Facebook page for the latest.

The Sporting Life – 653 US Hwy 22 East Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889 Phone: (908) 923-4331. Shop carries Live Shiners, Worms, and tons of tackle and gear.

Sportsman’s Rendezvous Located about 2 miles south of Round Valley Reservoir, 174 State Route 31 in Flemington NJ.

  • Hours: M-F 10 am to 7 pm. Sat. 10 am to 5 pm. Sun. Closed
  • Large variety of hunting & fishing supplies, live bait, firearms, ammunition.

Kolmer Equipment Company – 901 County Road 579, Flemington, NJ 08822 Phone: (908) 237-5600. They have Live Bait. Call for your needs.

Dick Dows – Fishing and Boat Rental– 145 Nolans Point Road, Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849 Phone: (973) 663 3826. Call and ask if they have live Herring in stock – the herring are caught right in Lake Hopatcong so there is a good chance they do. Call for winter hours. If Lake Hopatcong is frozen solid, they are open regularly in the winter.

  • Business Hours:
    • May-Sept. Mon – Sun: 5:00am – 7:00pm
    • April & Oct. 6:30am – 6:00pm
    • Winter if there is ice Mon. -Sunday 6:00am – 2:00pm
  • View Google Maps Directions
  • They have an amazing assortment of Ice Fishing jigs and lures as well as wooden slip bobbers.
  • If they don’t have live herring, no one has live herring.

Fishing Baits used at Round Valley

Blueback Herring

Blueback Herring
Alosa aestivalis” by Ellen Edmonson and Hugh Chrisp – Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
  • All the bait shops in the area get their herring from Dow’s, where they catch them at night on Lake Hopatcong.
  • Round Valley Trout Association and Division of Fish & Wildlife have stocked the lake with these fish in the past, but no longer.
  • Average length 3 to 5 inches, but can get much larger.
  • Herring will out-fish Shiners in my experience.
  • Keep in an aerated livewell or insulated cooler adding ice every 1/2 hour or so in the summer. Also throw a tablespoon of salt in the water to improve their mortality rate.

Golden Shiner

Golden Shiner
Notemigonus crysoleucas-1“. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
  • Golden Shiner, commonly referred to as just Shiners.
  • Most commonly used baitfish because they are hardy and less expensive than herring.
  • Round Valley Trout Association is stocking shiners
  • Shiners are a Cyprinid like Minnows and Carp.
  • Average length 3 to 5 inches, but can grow up to 12 inches.

Fathead Minnow

Fathead Minnow
Fathead Minnow” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Not as popular as Shiners for some reason.
  • Will catch almost everything in the lake.

Gammarus (Scud)

Gammarus roeselii” by Michal Maňas (User:snek01) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.
  • Little fresh water shrimp, normally 1/4 inch in length or smaller and flat.  If you bring up a snagged branch while fishing deep, take a close look at it, these things will be all over it. It’s also common to find these in the bellies of Rainbow, Brown and Lake trout you’ve taken home and cleaned.
  • As far as I know, these are naturally occurring in the lake.
  • Too small to use as bait.
  • Fisherman do use cut-up cooked cocktail shrimp (grocery store freezer aisle) as bait but not because they resemble these, but because they stay on your hook and stink good.


  • Are most effective when fished with an egg sinker and marshmallow to keep it off the bottom.
  • Effective when used after stocking in the Spring.

Garden Worm

Night Crawler – Worm

  • You can catch anything in the lake with night crawlers, however I’ve found that trout prefer the smaller garden worms.


  • Smallmouth Bass go nuts over crayfish
  • More than one state record bass has been caught on crayfish
  • Lebanon Bait and Sport occasionally stocks live crayfish
  • Hook the crawdad through the tail, from the underside up and out. Drift or anchor, but beware of the crawdad diving into a rock and hanging you up.

Chicken Livers

  • Ok, this isn’t a live bait, but it was alive at some point.
  • Supposedly you will catch catfish on this stuff when fishing at night.
  • I have never had any success with Chicken Livers.
  • Buy from the grocery store, stick them in an old stocking, insert hook.

NJ's Best Fishing Blog