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What’s New for 2017

Fishing Regulations Icon Delaware Fishing

  • Starting in January of 2017, the Division is adding Cobia and Snakehead to the Delaware Sportfishing Tournament. The tournament recognizes anglers for outstanding catches. Those lucky anglers will receive a Delaware Sportfishing Tournament recognition award and a beautiful citation worthy of framing.
  • The Division is very pleased to announce that Delaware’s Sport Fishing Tournament will now include an award for “Delaware Elite Anglers”.
  • Two new State Records were landed in 2016 — False Albacore and Largemouth Bass.
  • All limits and seasons are subject to change at anytime. Anglers can expect regulation changes for Tautog, Blueline Tilefish and Summer Flounder in 2017. These changes were not available at the time of printing; however, the online version of the fishing guide is updated regularly. Know before you go by visiting www.fw.delaware.gov.
  • Anglers are reminded that federal rules now specify all Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) not retained must be immediately released to ensure the maximum probability of survival, by cutting the line near the hook or by using a dehooking device, in either case without removing the fish from the water.

Before you Fish

Before you go fishing, crabbing, or clamming in Delaware you must:

  • Purchase a 2017 Delaware fishing license and keep it with you while fishing.
  • Get a free 2017 FIN number (automatically generated with the purchase of an individual license) and keep it with you while fishing.
  • If fishing for freshwater trout get a 2017 trout stamp and affix it to your license.

While fishing, crabbing, or clamming in Delaware, you must:

  • Abide by size and possession limits.
  • Be aware of area and seasonal closures.

Please be aware that:

  • Delaware does not have fishing license reciprocity with other states. You must have a Delaware fishing license to fish, crab or clam in Delaware.
  • Delaware does not recognize Federal FIN numbers or FIN numbers from other states. You must have a free Delaware FIN.
  • You must have a New Jersey FIN number if you fish in New Jersey waters of Delaware Bay.

2017 Free fishing Days!

In celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 3–11, the Division has designated June 3 and 4 as free fishing days when anyone may fish in Delaware’s waters without a fishing license.

Public Ponds

A guide to public ponds, available online, is updated annually with the latest fisheries data. Each pond’s information includes: fish populations, vegetation conditions, special regulations and facilities, and a contour map of the pond.

This information is available at: http://de.gov/pondbook.