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Marine Recreational Fishing Regulations

Fishing Regulations Icon Connecticut Fishing

NEW for 2021

No person shall engage in angling for striped bass with whole, cut or live natural bait unless such person uses an inline circle hook. For purposes of this subsection, “inline circle hook” means a fishing hook on which the point and barb are not offset from the plane of the shank and bend of such hook and such point is perpendicular to such shank. Visit https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/Saltwater/Striped-Bass-and-Circle-Hooks for more information.

 

Species, Minimum Sizes, Daily Limits, & Fishing Seasons

Effective 2021: Species regulations are subject to change. For legal purposes, the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies must be consulted. Visit www.ct.gov/deep/laws-regs or contact Marine Fisheries (860-434-6043) for current regulations.

Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing Program: This Marine Fisheries Program is part of a broader Department effort to improve the quality of access and fishing to our Public Trust marine fisheries resources in CT, especially in urban areas. This unique program relies on reduced size limit regulations to allow angler’s young and old alike the opportunity to experience the joy and relaxation of outdoor recreation and the satisfaction of catching their own dinner. At the same time, the design of this program assures that marine fish conservation objectives continue to be met.

Red type signifies regulations change in 2021.

See www.ct.gov/deep/saltwaterfishing for updated recreational fishing regulations.

Species

Notes

Minimum Length

Daily Creel Limit
(fish per angler)

Open Season

Alewife/
Blueback Herring

The taking of Alewife and Blueback Herring is prohibited.

American Eel

Eel Pots limited to 2 pots per person, personal use only.
Legal Methods: Angling, Snagging, Spearing, Eel Pot
Silver eel harvest is prohibited.

9″

25

Year Round

American Shad

All state waters closed except the Connecticut River.

None

6
(American and Hickory Shad in aggregate)

Year Round

Atlantic Cod

Visit https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/recfishing/regs/index.html for updated federal regulations.

21″

10

Year Round

Black Sea Bass

Length excludes the tendril (tail filament). See www.ct.gov/deep/saltwaterfishing for Party/Charter fishing regulations.

15″

5

May 19 – December 31

Bluefish

See www.ct.gov/deep/saltwaterfishing for Party/Charter fishing regulations.

None

3
(including snapper bluefish)

Year Round

Haddock

Visit https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/recfishing/regs/index.html for updated federal regulations.

18″

None

Year Round

Hickory Shad

None

6
(American and Hickory Shad in aggregate)

Year Round

Menhaden

None

50 fish or 5 gallons (whichever is the greater amount)

Year Round

Pollock

Visit https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/recfishing/regs/index.html for updated federal regulations.

19″

None

Year Round

Red Drum

No person shall possess any red drum greater than 27 inches measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. Any red drum greater than 27″ shall, without avoidable injury, be returned immediately to the water from which taken.

None

None

None

Scup (Porgy)

See www.ct.gov/deep/saltwaterfishing for Party/Charter fishing regulations.

9″

30

Year Round

At Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing Access Sites (see Appendix A)

8″

30

Sea-Run Trout
(Brown, Brook, Rainbow)

15″

2
(all species in aggregate)

Year Round

Striped Bass
(see callout above)

No person shall possess any striped bass less than 28 inches. No person shall possess any striped bass greater than or equal to 35 inches measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. Any striped bass less than 28” or greater than or equal to 35” shall, without avoidable injury, be returned immediately to the water from which taken. No spearing or gaffing

28” – 35”

1

Year Round

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

On the water, fillets must meet minimum length or be accompanied by a legal sized rack (carcass) See portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/Saltwater/Saltwater-Fishing for updated regulations

19″

4

May 4 – September 30

At Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing Access Sites (see Appendix A)

17″

4

May 4 – September 30

Tautog (Blackfish)

16″

2

April 1 – April 30
and July 1 – August 31

16″

3

October 10 – November 28

Weakfish

16″

1

Year Round

White Perch

7″

30

Year Round

Winter Flounder

12″

2

April 1 – December 31

Sharks/Tuna*

Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit is required to take, possess, or land any shark species, other than smooth or spiny dogfish. To obtain an HMS permit see www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/aps/permits or call NMFS Customer Service at 888-872-8862

 

Minimum length is measured from the tip of the snout (head) to the end of the tail.

 

Attention!

Effective Dec. 1, 2020: anyone fishing with natural baits (live, dead, or cut) with the intent to catch striped bass MUST be using an inline circle hook. This includes when adding bait to an artificial lure. https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/Saltwater/Striped-Bass-and-Circle-Hooks