2020 New Jersey Marine Fishing Limits

The following chart provides the seasonal minimum size and possession limitations for marine fishing in New Jersey waters and in the Atlantic Ocean off the New Jersey shoreline.

Fish SpeciesOpen SeasonMinimum LengthPossession Limit
American EelYear Round9"25 per person
Black DrumYear Round16"3 per person
Black Sea BassMay 15 - June 2212.5"10 per person
Black Sea BassJuly 1 - Aug 3112.5"2 per person
Black Sea BassOct 8 - Oct 3112.5"10 per person
Black Sea BassNov 1 - Dec 3113"15 per person
Blackfish (Tautog)Jan 1 - Feb 2815"4 per person
Blackfish (Tautog)Apr 1 - Apr 3015"4 per person
Blackfish (Tautog)Aug 1 - Nov 1515"1 per person
Blackfish (Tautog)Nov 16 - Dec 3115"5 per person
Bluefish (Snapper)Year RoundNone3 per person
5 per person from charter vessel
CobiaJune 1 - Sept 3040"1 per person, maximum 3 per vessel
CodYear Round21"10 per person
Flounder, Summer (Fluke)
Delaware Bay and tributaries
May 22 - Sept 1917"3 per person
Flounder, Summer (Fluke)
Island Beach State Park (shore fishing)
May 22 - Sept 1916"2 per person
Flounder, Summer (Fluke)
Other waters
May 22 - Sept 1918"3 per person
Flounder, WinterMar 1 - Dec 3112"2 per person
HaddockYear Round18"No limit
Mahi MahiYear RoundNone10 per person, not to exceed 60 per vessel
Marlin, BlueYear Round99" lower jaw-forkNo limit *
Marlin, WhiteYear Round66" lower jaw-forkNo limit *
PollockYear Round19"No limit
Red DrumYear Round18" - 27"1 per person, not greater than 27"
River HerringNo Open SeasonN/A0
SailfishYear Round63" lower jaw-forkNo limit *
Scup (Porgy)Year Round9"50 per person
ShadYear RoundNoneDelaware River & Tributaries: 6 per person (maximum 3 American Shad)
All Other Waters: 6 per person (0 American Shad)
Shark, Aggregate large coastalJan 1 - May 14 and
July 16 - Dec 31
Male: 71" fork length
Female: 83" fork length
1 shark per vessel (any species)
Shark, Blacknose groupYear Round54" fork length1 shark per vessel (any species)
Shark, Hammerhead groupJan 1 - May 14 and
July 16 - Dec 31
78" fork length1 shark per vessel (any species)
Shark, Non-blacknose small coastalYear Round54" fork length1 shark per vessel (any species)
Shark, Pelagic groupYear RoundMale: 71" fork length
Female: 83" fork length
1 shark per vessel (any species)
Spanish MackerelYear Round14"10 per person
Spearfish, LongbillNo Open SeasonN/A0
Spearfish, RoundscaleYear Round66" lower jaw-forkNo limit *
Striped Bass (incl. Hybrid)
Atlantic Ocean (0-3 nautical miles)
Year Round28" - 38"1 per person, not greater than 38"
Striped Bass (incl. Hybrid)
Atlantic Ocean (Federal Waters: 3-200 nautical miles)
ProhibitedN/A0
Striped Bass (incl. Hybrid)
Delaware River & Tributaries (Calhoun St bridge to Salem River & tributaries)
March 1 - March 31
and June 1 - Dec 31
28" - 38"1 per person, not greater than 38"
Striped Bass (incl. Hybrid)
Delaware River & Tributaries (upstream of Calhoun St bridge)
March 1 - Dec 3128" - 38"1 per person, not greater than 38"
Striped Bass (incl. Hybrid)
Rivers, bay and estuaries
March 1 - Dec 3128" - 38"1 per person, not greater than 38"
Tilefish, BluelineMay 1 - Oct 31NonePrivate boat: 3 per person
USCG uninspected charter: 5 per person
USCG inspected charter: 7 per person
Tilefish, GoldenYear RoundNone8 per person
SwordfishYear Round47" lower jaw-forkPrivate boat: 1 per person, maximum 4 per vessel **
Charter boat: 1 per person, maximum 6 per vessel **
Tuna, Albacore (Longfin)Year RoundNoneNo limit **
Tuna, BigeyeYear Round27" curved fork lengthNo limit **
Tuna, BluefinJan 1 - Dec 31 or
until season closes
27" to less than 73" curved forkVaries through season **
Greater than 73" (One per year)
Tuna, SkipjackYear RoundNoneNo limit **
Tuna, YellowfinYear Round27" curved fork length3 per person **
WahooYear RoundNone2 per person
WeakfishYear Round13"1 per person
WreckfishJuly 1 - Aug 31None1 per vessel
Fish SpeciesOpen SeasonMinimum LengthPossession Limit

For sizes and limits on Mollusks and Crustaceans, visit the New Jersey Marine Digest website.
Downloadable PDF of New Jersey Limits.

* All non-tournament billfish, bluefin tuna, and swordfish landings must be reported to NMFS within 24 hours.
** Swordfish, tuna and shark fishing require an HMS permit when fishing in federal waters (3-200 nautical miles).

Prohibited Species

It is illegal to land, possess, sell or purchase the following:

Shark SpeciesFish SpeciesOther Species
Atlantic AngelAlewife HerringDiamondback Terrapin
Basking SharkAtlantic SturgeonFemale Crab with eggs
Big Eye SixgillBlueback HerringFemale Lobster with eggs
Big Eye ThresherLongbill SpearfishFemale Lobster with "V" notched tail
Big Eye Sand Tiger SharkShortnose SturgeonHorseshoe Crabs
Big Eye Tiger SharkStriped Bass (Federal Waters)Sea Turtles
Bignose Shark
Caribbean Reef Shark
Caribbean Sharpnose
Dusky Shark
Galapagos Shark
Longfin Mako
Narrowtooth Shark
Night Shark
Sand Tiger Shark
Sandbar Shark
Sevengill Shark
Silky Shark
Sixgill Shark
Smalltail Shark
Whale Shark
White Shark

This page is based on the regulations as posted by New Jersey Fish and Wildlife and Federal Recreational Fishing Regulations.
Last updated October 30, 2019.