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New Jersey

Saltwater Fishing

State Size & Possession Limits

A printable PDF for the 2021 New Jersey Recreational Minimum Size, Possession Limits, and Seasons summary is available here.

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. Note: No species of fish with a minimum size limit listed below may be filleted or cleaned at sea. Party boats licensed to carry 15 or more passengers may apply for a permit to fillet these species. See also Summer Flounder, Finfish Regulations.

2022 New Jersey Recreational Fishing Seasons, Minimum Size and Possession Limits

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length
(total length except sharks)

Harvest & Possession Limit
(per person unless noted)

American Eela

No Closed Season

9"

25

Black Drum

No Closed Season

16"

3

Black Sea Bass
(Min. length excludes tail filament;
see Finfish Regulations)

May 17–June 19

13"

10

July 1–Aug. 31

13"

2

Oct. 7–Oct. 26

13"

10

Nov. 1–Dec. 31

13"

15

Bluefish (Snapper)

No Closed Season

None

5 fish per person while fishing from a party/charter vesself
3 fish per person for all other anglers

Cobia

No Closed Season

37"

1 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"–27"

1

River Herring

No Open Season

None

0

Scup (Porgy)

No Closed Season

10"

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,

Aggregated large coastal group

Jan. 1–May 14 and
July 16–Dec. 31

Aggregated Large Coastal and Pelagic: Shortfin Mako:
Male: 71" fork length
Female: 83" fork length
All others 54" fork length

Hammerheads: 78" fork length

Other listed sharks: None

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

Non-blacknose small coastal group
Blacknose group

No Closed Season

Pelagic group

No Closed Season

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 less than 38"

1

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

March 1–Dec. 31

Atlantic Ocean (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 tributariese

May 2–Sept. 27

17"

3

Island Beach State Park, shore fishing

May 2–Sept. 27

16"

2

All water except as above

May 2–Sept. 27

two @ 17" to less than 18" and one @ 18" or greater

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

Blue Crab

peeler or shedder

No Closed Seasond

3"

1 bushel

soft

No Closed Seasond

3½"

hard

No Closed Seasond

4½"

Lobster (carapace length)

See closed seasons on Mollusks & Crustaceans

33⁄8"

6

Hard Clam (license required)

No Closed Season

1½"

150 clams