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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

2014 Seasons, Size & Creel Limits

Brought to you by:

Delaware’s Recreational Seasons, Size and Creel Limits


Largemouth bass

All year

12 inches; except 15 inches in Becks Pond

6; except 2 from Becks Pond


Smallmouth bass

All year

None between 12 – 17 inches

6 (no more than 1 > 17 inches)


Striped bass hybrid (Only occur in Lums Pond)

All year

15 inches


Black-crappie.psd Bluegill.psd

Panfish (white perch, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill & pumpkinseed)

All year


50 (no more than 25 of one species)


Trout (special rules apply, Freshwater Trout Fishing)

Streams open 1st Sat.
in April

Ponds open 1st Sat.
in March


6 (4 in fly-fishing only waters)


American eel

All year

6 inches


Amer-shad.psd hickory-shad.psd

American &
hickory shad

Closed Nanticoke R. & its tribs.; Open all year elsewhere


10 in any combination


Atlantic croaker

All year

8 inches



Atlantic sturgeon

Endangered – no harvest permitted (see Be On The Lookout)


Black drum

All year

16 inches



Black sea bass

May 19 – Oct. 14

12.5 inches
(excluding caudal filament)


Nov. 1 – Dec. 31




All year




Catfish (any species)

All year




Red drum

All year

20 – 27 inches may be retained



River herring
(alewife & blueback)

Closed – no harvest permitted



All year

8 inches



Spanish mackerel

All year

14 inches



Spotted seatrout

All year

12 inches



Striped bass

All year

28 inches, except only 20 – 26 inch fish may be retained from
July 1 – Aug. 31 in DE River, DE Bay & their tribs (DE waters only).

2, except catch & release only on spawning grounds April 1 – May 31


Summer flounder

All year

17 inches




Jan. 1 – Mar. 31

15 inches


April 1 – May 11


July 17 – Aug. 31


Sept. 29 – Dec. 31




All year

13 inches


White perch

All year

8 inches



Winter flounder

Feb. 11 – Apr. 10

12 inches


blue-crab.psdBlue crab See Blue Crabs for more details

Pots: Mar. 1 – Nov. 30; other gears year around

Peeler – 3 inches

1 bushel

Soft-shell – 3.5 inches

Hard-shell – 5 inches

hard-clam2.psdHard clams

All year

1.5 inches




All year

3 3/8 – 5 1/4 inches (slot)

2; V-notched prohibited


Knobbed whelk

All year

6 inches / 3.5 inch whorl

5 bushels

Channeled whelk

All year

6 inches / 3.125 inch whorl

5 bushels

Sharks and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) - Special permit may be required for federal waters


Spiny & smooth dogfish

All year




Blacktip shark, bull shark, great hammerhead, lemon shark, nurse shark, scalloped hammerhead, silky shark, smooth hammerhead, spinner shark, tiger shark

Jan. 1 -May 14

54 inches FORK LENGTH

Boat anglers- only 1 shark of any species per vessel, except 1 additional bonnethead and 1 additional Atlantic sharpnose per angler onboard vessel. Shore anglers – only 1 shark of any species per angler, except 1 additional bonnethead and one additional Atlantic sharpnose per shore angler.

July 16 – Dec. 31


Blue shark, oceanic white-tip shark, porbeagle, shortfin mako, thresher shark

All year

54 inches FORK LENGTH


Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark, bonnethead, finetooth shark

All year


Prohibited Species


Sandbar shark, sand tiger, Atlantic angel shark, basking shark, bigeye sand tiger, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, longfin mako, narrowtooth shark, night shark, sevengill shark, sixgill shark, smalltail shark, whale shark, white shark

The sandbar & sand tiger are toothed sharks commonly taken in the nearshore waters of the state and are prohibited species. Like all prohibited species, they must be immediately released to ensure the maximum probability of survival.

Special Restrictions for Shark

It is unlawful to fillet a shark prior to landing. A shark may be eviscerated prior to landing, but head, tail and fins must remain attached to the carcass.

It is unlawful to release a shark in a manner that will not ensure the sharks maximum probability of survival (i.e. no gaffs, no clubbing, careful hook removal, etc.).

It is unlawful to possess the fins from any shark prior to landing unless they are naturally attached to the body of the shark.

Tunas and HMS – Special permit required

Blue-marlin.psd Yellowfin-tuna.psd

Atlantic tunas, swordfish and billfish

*Special permit required – All private vessel owners/operators recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) for personal use in the Atlantic Ocean must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit. Further limits and restrictions apply. Consult or call toll free (888) 872-8862 for specific information and permits. 

2014 ‘Take a Kid Fishing’ Days!

TAKF-Girl.jpgDo you know a child or young teen who might enjoy learning about fishing and trying their hand at landing a fish? In the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Take a Kid Fishing! program, they can do just that! Sponsored by DNREC’s Aquatic Resource Education Center, Take a Kid Fishing! teaches young people fundamental fishing skills and conservation. This free event also features activity stations, prizes and of course, fishing. All equipment will be provided.

April 12th at Abbotts Mill Nature Center in Milford 10AM-1PM

April 19th at the Aquatic Resource Education Center in Smyrna 10AM-1PM

May 3rd at Killens Pond State Park in Felton 10AM-1PM

May 17th at Lums Pond State Park in Bear 10AM-1PM

June 21st at the Aquatic Resource Education Center in Smyrna 10AM-1PM

July 19th at Redden State Forest in Georgetown 10AM-1PM


Participation in the program is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Please register online at – To get more information on our Take a Kid Fishing! program, please contact Tess Belcher at or (302) 735-8656.

This program is part of Delaware’s Children in Nature Initiative, a statewide effort to improve environmental literacy in Delaware, create opportunities for children to participate in enriching outdoor experiences, combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Delaware’s multi-agency initiative, which partners state and federal agencies with community organizations, is in conjunction with the national No Child Left Inside program.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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JF Griffin Media
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