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New Hampshire

Saltwater Fishing


Welcome to 2022-23 New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing

New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing Digest Cover

New Rules for 2022

  • Lobster and Crab Gear Requirements - Weak Rope/Inserts and Vertical Line (see Lobster & Crab).
  • Black Sea Bass - Commercial - 11 inches minimum size; if harvest with traps/pots contact NHFG Marine Division for gear specifications (see Commercial Saltwater Fishing — Finfish).
  • Retail Lobster and Crab License - Required if retail business:
    • Is not a food service embellishment licensed under RSA 143-A;
    • Deals with live lobsters or crab or takes live lobster and crab and processes the lobster/crab for retail sale of any kind;
    • Purchases lobster or crab or lobster and crab meat for retail sale from any source other than a licensed wholesaler or processor.

A Small Coast with Big Opportunity

Executive Director Portrait

Though New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any state that borders an ocean, it offers great sport fishing opportunities. Our recreational and commercial fisheries are a time-honored tradition and a significant contributor to the state’s economy offering a chance to target striped bass, mackerel, flounder, tuna, or haddock. Whether you just want to drop a line off a pier, get out on a boat, or schedule a charter, adventure awaits saltwater anglers in the Granite State. Check out the rest of this new Saltwater Digest for rules, seasons, and fishing locations.

New Hampshire’s estuarine and saltwater species, including fish, lobsters, clams, and oysters, are managed by Fish and Game’s Marine Fisheries Division, based in Durham. Biologists work closely with other state and federal agencies to protect and maintain marine resources and habitats for both recreational anglers and commercial harvesters. These efforts are essential to rebuilding stocks, enhancing related habitat, and maintaining healthy populations of species such as Atlantic herring, striped bass, and lobsters in the New England region.

Our staff are busy monitoring and you can help. If you encounter Fish and Game’s trained survey staff at one of the many saltwater fishing access sites along New Hampshire’s seacoast, I encourage you to take a few minutes to speak with them and participate in the Access Point Angler Intercept Survey or the Winter Smelt Survey. Fish and Game also invites striped bass anglers to report catch and effort online. Find out about these and other survey efforts involving the public at wildnh.com/marine.

Whether you are new to the sport or a longtime angler, consider taking a friend or relative, especially kids. It is easy to get started fishing and it’s something everyone can enjoy at any age. See you on the water!

Scott R. Mason

Executive Director