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Spearfishing Category Added to Record Fish Program

July 30, 2014

Recognizing that spearfishing is growing in popularity, and that "spear gun hunters" routinely harvest exceptional fish that equal or exceed current marine state records for rod and reel, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has created a new Spearfishing category in the State Record Fish Program. The spearfishing category was created to recognize spear fishers who have obtained a level of proficiency that allows them to harvest exceptional specimens.

The spearing of a fish, whether record size or not, requires extensive knowledge of fish behavior to complete a successful stalk; knowledge of spearfishing equipment, operation and rigging to insure a well-placed and effective shot; and skill in the water to successfully hunt and capture a large fish. No diver should engage in spearfishing without proper preparation and education, and should abort their hunt and seek safety in a time of danger while diving.

Spear fishing may be conducted by means of a spear, harpoon or other missile while completely submerged in the marine waters of the state for any species (except lobster) of legal size and during open seasons. Persons who fish with a spear for species with size limits are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure the fish meets the minimum size limits before being killed or injured.

There are specific rules and minimum weights for the Spearfishing category of the Record Fish Program. To view the rules and weights, see the application form at (pdf, 67kb). To view the list of eligible fish, including the initial fish recognized, visit

Divers are reminded that the objective of the Record Fish Program is to increase the awareness of opportunities for species that are regularly sought after and routinely found off the coast of New Jersey.

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Last Updated: July 30, 2014