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Welcome to 2023 Delaware Fishing

2023 Delaware Fishing Regulations Cover

What's New

  • New state records for Chain Pickerel, Blue Catfish, False Albacore, Cobia, Tautog and Blueline Tilefish were established in 2022. See State Record Holders for details.
  • In 2022, one individual met the qualifications for “Elite” angler and is named on Sport Fishing Tournament Updates. For more information on how to qualify, see Sport Fishing Tournament. Give it a shot in 2023!
  • A new regulation adds a youth trout fishing day for the trout streams and ponds in 2023. Youth days provide a great introduction to trout fishing, providing Delaware’s youth opportunities to become lifelong anglers, see Freshwater Trout Fishing.
  • A new fly fishing only section of trout stream has been established on Red Clay Creek from Yorklyn Road approximately 0.4 miles downstream to the Auburn Valley State Park boundary, see Freshwater Trout Fishing.
  • New Sport Fishing Tournament and State Record categories have been established for Flathead Catfish. See Sport Fishing Tournament for details.
  • New Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, American Shad, and Shortfin Mako Shark season, size and daily limit regulations are in effect in 2023, see Tidal Seasons, Size & Creel Limits.
  • A new regulation requiring the use of non-offset circle hooks when fishing recreationally with bait for Striped Bass, and a new definition of “bait” are in effect in 2023. Bait is defined as any marine or aquatic organism, live or dead, whole or parts thereof.
  • New regulations will likely be necessary for tidal waters species in 2023. The electronic version of Delaware’s fishing guide, available at, will be updated to reflect such regulatory changes as they occur.
  • Anglers and boaters should be aware that shellfish aquaculture leasing is underway in Delaware’s Inland Bays. For more information on lease marking, see Invasive Species.

2023 Free fishing Days!

In celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 3-11, 2023, the Division has designated June 3 and 4 as free fishing days when anyone may fish in Delaware’s waters without a fishing license. Anglers age 16 and older must still obtain a free FIN number to participate in the free fishing days.