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State Size & Possession Limits

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations New Jersey Saltwater Fishing

2018 New Jersey Recreational Fishing Seasons, Minimum Size and Possession Limits

Regulations remain in effect until changed. For the most current regulations, go to NJFishandWildlife.com or call the marine fish “listen-only” information line at (609) 292-2083. Regulations in red are new this year. See Finfish Regulations for how to measure fish.
Species Open Season Minimum Length Harvest & Possession Limit (per person unless noted)
American Eela

No Closed Season

9″

25

Black Drum

No Closed Season

16″

3

Black Sea Bass

Season closed until 2018 regulations are finalized, anticipated May–June. See Finfish Regulations.

Bluefish (Snapper)

No Closed Season

None

15

Cobia

June 1–Sept. 30

40″

1 fish per person; no more than 3 fish per vessel

Cod

No Closed Season

21″

No Limit

Haddock

No Closed Season

18″

No Limit

Pollock

No Closed Season

19″

No Limit

Red Drum

No Closed Season

18″

1 not greater than 27″

River Herring

No Open Season

None

0

Scup (Porgy)

No Closed Season

9″

50

Shad
Delaware River & tributaries

No Closed Season

None

6 (maximum of 3 American shad)

All Other Marine Waters

No Closed Season

None

6 (no American shad may be harvested or possessed)

Sharkb, c,
Aggregate large coastal group

Jan. 1–May 14 and
July 16–Dec. 31

54″ fork length

One Shark (of any species, except prohibited species) per vessel per trip; plus one Atlantic sharpnose shark per person per trip (no minimum size); plus one bonnethead shark per person per trip (no minimum size).

Hammerhead group

78″ fork length

Non-blacknose small coastal group
Blacknose group

No Closed Season

None

Pelagic group

No Closed Season

54″ fork length

Shortfin Mako

No Closed Season

83″ fork length

Smooth Dogfish

No Closed Season

None

No Limit

Spanish Mackerel

No Closed Season

14″

10

Striped Bass or Hybrid Striped Bass
Delaware River & tributaries**
(Calhoun St. bridge to Salem River & tributaries)

March 1–March 31
and June 1–Dec. 31

one @ 28″ to < 43″ and one ≥ 43″

2

Delaware River & tributaries**
(upstream of Calhoun St. bridge)

March 1–Dec. 31

Atlantic Oceand (0–3 nautical miles from shore­)

No Closed Season

Rivers, bay and estuaries

March 1–Dec. 31

3–200 nautical miles (federal waters)

Prohibited

­–

0

Summer Flounder (Fluke)
Delaware Bay and tributariesf

May 25–Sept. 22

17″

3

Island Beach State Park, shore fishing

May 25–Sept. 22

16″

2

All water except as above

May 25–Sept. 22

18″

3

Tautog (Blackfish)

Jan. 1–Feb. 28

15″

4

April 1–April 30

15″

4

Aug. 1–Nov. 15

15″

1

Nov. 16–Dec. 31

15″

5

Weakfish

No Closed Season

13″

1

Winter Flounder

March 1–Dec. 31

12″

2

Note: No species of fish with a minimum size limit listed above may be filleted or cleaned at sea. Party boats licensed to carry 15 or more passengers may apply for a permit to fillet the above species. See Summer FlounderFinfish Regulations.
Blue Crab
peeler or shedder

No Closed Seasone

3″

1 bushel

soft

No Closed Seasone

3½”

hard

No Closed Seasone

4½”

Lobster (carapace length)

See closed seasons on

Mollusks & Crustaceans

33⁄8″

6

Hard Clam (license required)

No Closed Season

1½”

150 clams

Operation Game Thief

Report Abuse of our Outdoor Heritage!

1-855-OGT-TIPS

24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week

The person who poaches, pollutes habitat and abuses public land tarnishes the image of sportsmen and robs us of our fish and wildlife
as well as tax and license dollars. You can make a difference.

Call OGT to report:

  • Negligent use of firearms
  • Over the limits for game and fish
  • Commercial exploitation of fish and wildlife
  • Pollution of habitat, dumping on state land
  • Destruction of signs and state property
  • Illegal killing, taking or possession of any wildlife

It’s Free. It’s Confidential.

You May Be Eligible for a Reward.

Funded by the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.

Designed to encourage sportsmen to report poaching and wildlife crimes.