2019 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
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
BluefishYear RoundNone15 per person
CobiaJune 1 - Sept 3040"1 per person, maximum 3 per vessel
Cod
Rivers, bay and estuaries
Atlantic Ocean (0-3 nautical miles)
Year Round21"No limit
Cod
Atlantic Ocean (Federal Waters: 3-200 nautical miles)
Year Round23"10 per person
Fluke (Summer Flounder)
Delaware Bay and tributaries
May 24 - Sept 2117"3 per person
Fluke (Summer Flounder)
Island Beach State Park (shore fishing)
May 24 - Sept 2116"2 per person
Fluke (Summer Flounder)
Other waters
May 24 - Sept 2118"3 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"1 per person, not greater than 27"
River HerringNo Open SeasonN/A0
SailfishYear Round63" lower jaw-forkNo limit *
ScupYear 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 coastal
Jan 1 - May 14 and
July 16 - Dec 31
Male: 71" fork length
Female: 83" fork length
1 shark per vessel (any species)
Shark
Blacknose group
Year Round54" fork length1 shark per vessel (any species)
Shark
Hammerhead group
Jan 1 - May 14 and
July 16 - Dec 31
78" fork length1 shark per vessel (any species)
Shark
Non-blacknose small coastal
Year Round54" fork length1 shark per vessel (any species)
Shark
Pelagic group
Year 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 Round1 at 28-42.99"
1 at 43" or larger
2 total per person
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
1 at 28-42.99"
1 at 43" or larger
2 total per person
Striped Bass (incl. Hybrid)
Delaware River & Tributaries (upstream of Calhoun St bridge)
March 1 - Dec 311 at 28-42.99"
1 at 43" or larger
2 total per person
Striped Bass (incl. Hybrid)
Rivers, bay and estuaries
March 1 - Dec 311 at 28-42.99"
1 at 43" or larger
2 total per person
Tilefish, BluelineMay 1 - Oct 31NonePrivate boat: 3 per person
Charter boat: 5 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

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.