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Recreational Fishing for Bait Species, Blue Crab & Lobster

2007guidefemalekillifish_opt.jpgTaking of BAIT SPECIES

For personal use/not for sale: Recreational License required in marine district.


Fishing gear which may be used to catch bait species

  • Cast Nets.
  • Minnow Traps: no larger than 20″ long by 15″ in diameter.
  • Umbrella Nets: not more than 4 ft. in length by 4 ft. in width.
  • Scoop or Scap Nets: no larger than 36″ in diameter.
  • Seines: no longer than 30 feet in length.
  • Up to two eel pots.
  • Hook & Line.
  • By hand.

Legal Bait Species

  • 2009HERMITCRAB.tifMenhaden (license required for gillnetting, see below)
  • Striped Killifish and Banded Killifish
  • Atlantic Silverside
  • Tidewater Silverside
  • Mummichogs
  • Sea Herring (Atlantic Herring)
  • Sand Lances (Sand Eels)
  • American Eel
  • Sea Lamprey
  • Bay Anchovy
  • Mullet Species
  • Sheepshead Minnow
  • Shrimp Species
  • Green, Fiddler, Asian Shore and Hermit Crabs
  • Other fish of legal length may be used, if taken by Hook & Line only!

2006menhaden_opt.jpgGILLNETTING MENHADEN

Personal Use Gillnet License Required ($100.00)


Baitfish1_opt.jpgLegal Menhaden Capture Methods

Use of a single gillnet, not more than 60 feet in length.


The taking of any species other than menhaden.


  • Annual Report of Catch
  • See Personal Use Gillnet License Guidelines for a complete list of requirements.


  • Call 860-434-6043, ask for the Personal Use Menhaden Gillnet License Guidelines.
  • Or go to and search for Open Access Fishing License.


For personal use/not for sale:Town Shellfishing License required.

Species Includeoystertrans.tif

  • Musselsbay-scallop-for-2011-guide-p52.tif
  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Scallops

Contact the town where you plan to harvest shellfish for permit information, or the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture Division at 203-874-0696. email:


Personal Use Lobster License Required ($120.00)

Legal Lobster Capture Methods:

  • Ten pots or less (pot tags required)
  • Skin Diving
  • SCUBA Diving
  • Hand Capturing


  • Annual Report of Catch
  • See Guidelines for Personal Use Lobster Fishing for a list of requirements.


  • Call 860-434-6043, ask for the Guidelines for Personal Use Lobster Fishing in Connecticut.
  • Lobster Gauges can be purchased ($4) at the Marine Fisheries office in Old Lyme or from DEEP Licensing at:
    79 Elm Street, 1st Floor,
    Hartford, CT 06106-5127
  • Or go to and search for Open Access Fishing License.

BLUE CRABBlue-Crab.tif

For personal use/not for sale:No license required.

Legal Blue Crab Capture Methods:

  • Scoop Net, Hand Line, Dip Net, Trot Line
  • Star Crab Trap (or similar device)
  • Circular Topless Trap (not exceeding 26″ in diameter)
  • Semi-Circular Cylindrical Trap (12″ or less in diameter)

Open Season

May 1–November 30.

Minimum Shell Width: (Spike Tip to Spike Tip)

  • 5″ hard shell crabs
  • 3½” soft shell crabs


  • Possession of uncooked blue crab meat without the body shell attached.
  • Possession of more than 2 claws per body.
  • Possession of egg bearing females.


All devices must be attended at all times.

For additional information, refer to the Marine Fisheries Information Circular by visiting the or call the Marine Fisheries Division at: 860-434-6043.

Marine Fishing Tournament/Derby Registration

DEEP’s Marine Fisheries Division administers a number of permits including the following:

A permit is required to conduct a marine fishing tournament or derby in Connecticut that is open to persons 16 years of age and older as described under section 26-159a-26 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (see back of application). There is no charge for the permit.


 Joe DeRose holding his tournament winning summer flounder.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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