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Welcome Letter

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Welcome to the Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishing experience!

Mike-Armstrong.psdThis Recreational Fishing Guide is provided by the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries). The Guide provides information to help you enjoy the Commonwealth’s saltwater fishing experience to the fullest.

You will find information and regulations for the recreational harvest of marine finfish, lobsters, and crabs. We provide lists of where to launch your boat, where to buy angling supplies, and should you decide to spend a day on a charter boat or headboat, we supply a list of permitted for-hire operations along the Massachusetts coast. We also include articles on some of the work we’re doing to sustain our recreational fisheries and we provide helpful hints to help conserve natural resources.

Because Cape Cod is the geographic break between the warmer Mid-Atlantic waters and the cold northern waters of the Gulf of Maine, Massachusetts offers a diversity of fishing experiences that’s hard to match. On the south side of the Cape, you can pursue species such as scup, black sea bass, summer flounder, false albacore, bluefish, and tautog, while in the Gulf of Maine you can target cod, haddock, mackerel, winter flounder, and pollock. Access to bigger game, such as bluefin tuna, is also plentiful from many of our ports. And of course, don’t forget the king of our fishery, the striped bass, which is abundant throughout our state waters.

Members of our staff are highly trained fishery professionals dedicated to the sustainability of our marine resources and this goes hand in hand with providing recreational anglers a rich and enjoyable fishing experience year after year. We conduct cutting-edge research on many of our key recreationally-caught species including striped bass, summer flounder, cod, and tautog in order to enhance our ability to manage these species effectively. Please feel free to take advantage of our expertise by calling or emailing us with your inquiries. Proper contact information is provided under General Information of this guide.

We trust that you will enjoy your time spent saltwater fishing in Massachusetts. Surveys show that a major goal of anglers is not simply to catch fish, but to share the experience. So don’t forget to enrich the occasion – bring friends and family!

See you on the water!

Dr. Michael P. Armstrong,
Assistant Director for Recreational Fisheries

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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