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Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations

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Regulations listed below are subject to change during the 2012 season.

Species

Note

Min. Size

Open Periods

Possession Limits

American Eel

(1)

6"

All Year

50 fish

Black Sea Bass

(2)

14"

May 11 – June 24

10 fish

June 25 – Oct. 31

20 fish

Bluefish

None

All Year

10 fish

Cod

(North of Cape Cod)

(7)

Spring Cod
Conservation Zone

Apr. 16 – July 21

Closed

Winter Cod
Conservation Zone

Nov. 15 – Jan. 31

Closed

All Other Areas
in State Waters

Private and
For-Hire

19"

Apr. 16 – Oct. 31

9 fish

For-Hire

Nov. 1 – Apr. 15

Closed

Private

24"

Nov. 1 – Apr. 15

2 fish / person

(75 lbs. / boat)

Cod

(South & East of Cape Cod)

22"

All Year

10 fish

Dab (Plaice)

14"

All Year

None

Fluke

16.5”

May 22 – Sept. 30

5 fish

Gray Sol (Witch)

14”

All Year

None

Haddock

(7)

18"

All Year

None

Halibut

(7)

41"

All Year

1 fish

Monkfish

17"

All Year

None

Pollock

None

All Year

None

Redfish

9"

All Year

None

River Herring

(5)

Harvest, possession, sale and use are prohibited.

Sailfish

(6)

Federal rules apply. Consult NOAA Fisheries.

Scup

(3)

Private

10.5"

May 1 – Dec. 31

20 fish / angler

(see note 3)

For-Hire
(Regular Season)

11"

May 1 – May 10

20 fish

June 25 – Dec. 31

For-Hire (Bonus)

11"

May 11 – June 24

45 fish

Shad

None

All Year

6 fish

Sharks

(excludes spiny dogfish)

Refer to shark section.

Smelt

None

June 16 – March 14

50 fish

Spiny Dogfish

28"

All year

None

Striped Bass

(4)

28"

All year

2 fish

Tautog

16"

All year

3 fish

Tunas

Federal rules apply. Consult NOAA Fisheries.

Weakfish

16"

All year

1 fish

White Marlin

(6)

Federal rules apply. Consult NOAA Fisheries.

White Perch

8"

All year

25 fish

Windowpane Flounder

12"

All year

None

Winter Flounder

(North of Cape Cod)

12"

Nov. 1 – Aug. 31

8 fish

Winter Flounder

(South & East of Cape Cod)

12”

Apr. 28 – May 27

2 fish

Sep. 22 – Oct. 21

Yellowtail Flounder

13"

All year

None

Wolffish

Prohibited

Notes:

1) Subject to regulation by the Division and local community. Consult local regulations.

2) Black sea bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail, not including the tail filament.

3) Maximum 100 scup per private vessel with 6 or more passengers.

4) Striped bass must be kept whole, with head, tail and body intact – no mutilation permitted (other than evisceration). The discard of dead, legal size striped bass is prohibited. To prohibit the practice of high-grading, recreational fishermen may not retain legal-sized striped bass and release said fish in favor of another larger legal-sized striped bass captured subsequently. It shall be unlawful to keep striped bass alive in the water by attaching a line or chain to the fish or placing the fish in a live well or holding car. Striped bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail. Note: Permitted party/charter vessel operators may fillet striped bass for their customers. See 322 CMR 6.07 (4)(g) for details.

5) It is unlawful for any person to harvest, possess or sell river herring in the Commonwealth or in the waters under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth.

6) Billfish are measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the tail fork.

7) Federal rules apply beyond state waters. Consult NOAA Fisheries.

Regulations listed below are subject to change during the 2012 season.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Division of Marine Fishieries allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Division of Marine Fishieries Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Division of Marine Fishieries neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult the Division of Marine Fishieries for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com