Boating & Fishing

Enjoying the Water

Boating has long been a pastime enjoyed by members of all ages. The Club supports active sailing fleets, while many individual members enjoy the use of kayaks, canoes, rowboats, paddle boats, pontoon boats, and small pleasure boats powered by electric motors only.

Freeways, Boat & Dock Locations

Freeways are lakefront locations that provide lake access, boat racks and limited dock space on each of the five lakes. Those racks and dock spaces are available to all members in good standing* on a first come/first serve basis.

The Club marina freeways on the Main Lake are: Club Park, Comet Row, Eckhart Sailing Center, Beach 3 and Beach 4.

​New in 2024, Boat Dock Lottery applies to all members wanting a dock in the following locations:

  • Club Park (North of the Clubhouse)
  • Beach 4
  • Comet Row (South of Beach 2 at the Clubhouse)
  • Black Bear Path Freeway
  • Beach 3

For all racks and docks:

You must put both your permit on the space and your watercraft in the space at the same time. Your watercraft must have a boat sticker on the bow.

How to Claim a Kayak/Canoe Rack SPACE

The Main Lake has kayak/canoe racks at 13 freeways and 2 of the beaches, all of which are available on a first-come/first-served basis.

Follow these courtesies to claim a rack:

  • If the rack does NOT have the previous year's member sticker, it can be claimed immediately.

  • If the rack HAS the previous year's sticker the community courtesy is that those racks are left alone until July 5. Should a rack still not have an updated sticker after July 5, then those racks are up for grabs.

  • Do not remove any stickers.

  • Do not chain boats or kayaks to a tree or leave them on the ground.

How to Claim a Boat Dock Space

  • In 2024, a Boat Dock Lottery was implemented and applies to all members wanting a dock in the following locations:

    • Club Park (North of the Clubhouse)
    • Beach 4
    • Comet Row (South of Beach 2 at the Clubhouse)
    • Black Bear Path Freeway
    • Beach 3
  • Each watercraft should ONLY take up one space. 

  • Pontoon boats have been assigned spots designated for pontoon boats. Pontoon boats are not allowed to  be docked at freeway docks.

  • Members who have been assigned a dock space per the lottery must ensure the conditions of the assignment are met.

  • All other boat dock spaces are first come/first serve. 

Fishing in the Lakes

One of the favorite activities enjoyed all year round is fishing in our 5 lakes. Anglers in Highland Lakes have always enjoyed a variety of both common fish as well as game fish. Currently, our five lakes hold Sunfish, Bluegills, Black and White Crappie, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Walleye, Chain Pickerel, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, and if you are a lucky main lake angler you may get to tangle with a trophy Muskellunge! In addition, one or more of our lakes host an abundance of Carp but they are generally not heavily fished and are classified more of a nuisance and a detriment to the health of our lakes. 

Fishing can be enjoyed both while in the water and from any of the beaches, docks, freeways and dams.

The Fish Committee sponsors several fishing events throughout the season.

Youth Fishing Derbys

The Fishing Committee hosts several Fishing Derbys every year.  The Catfish Derby is held on Family Day on the Main Lake, while the Fishing Derby is set up on Lake 4 along Cherry Ridge Road. Both Summer events provide excitement and memories for the younger anglers. Awards and trophies are given for the largest of their catch.  Check the CALENDAR for derby dates and other fishing events.

NJ State fishing rules apply.

Ice Fishing

Many of the avid fishermen in the community don’t take the winter months off, instead choosing to venture out onto our frozen lakes to try their luck at ice fishing. The Fishing Committee sponsors an annual Ice Fishing Derby each Winter.

If you’re considering joining the fun for the first time, here are a few tools you might want in your arsenal:

  • To drill your hole in the ice, you’ll either need an old-school ice “spud” or chisel, which can be used to slowly chop a hole, or take the efficient route with the ever-popular ice “auger.” Gasoline-powered augers are prohibited at all times.

  • Some fisherman jig a tiny metal fishing lure off the lake’s bottom in an attempt to resemble a small bait fish. Others use a device called a “tip-up” (aka a “fish trap”), which incorporates a spool of fishing line fixed to a spring-loaded flag that’s supported over the hole by a simple “X” of crossed sticks. When a game fish bites, the flag goes up.

  • NJ State laws permit no more than five fish-taking “devices” by any one person and require the owner’s name and address to be permanently affixed to those “devices.”

2001_Ice Derby Feb_HLCC