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2016 Summer Flounder/Black Sea Bass Regulations


May 17, 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016 marks the opening of NJ's Recreational Summer Flounder (Fluke) season.

This year, in order to address the discrepancy of the summer flounder size limits in the Delaware Bay with the state of Delaware, summer flounder regulations for Delaware Bay in NJ are a 17-inch minimum size limit and 4-fish possession limit. Delaware Bay, includes all New Jersey waters within the Delaware Bay and tributaries west of the COLREGS line from Cape May Point Light to Cape Henlopen. (Delaware Saltwater Regulations)

A vessel may transport summer flounder greater than 17-inches but less than 18-inches through the Cape May Canal to the northern terminus of the George Redding Bridge (Route 47) only if all fishing gear is stowed with rigs removed and the vessel does not stop to fish for any species while transporting summer flounder greater than 17-inches but less than 18-inches in this area.

For all other NJ marine waters the summer flounder regulations are: 18-inch minimum size limit and 5-fish possession limit. The recreational summer flounder season is open from May 21 through September 25.

The Shore Based Enhanced Fishing Opportunity Program will continue for 2016 at Island Beach State Park, allowing anglers to retain only 2 fish per day (NOT 5 fish) greater than or equal to 16 inches only at IBSP during the current 2016 New Jersey summer flounder fishing season.

Anglers that possess summer flounder harvested at IBSP may harvest summer flounder outside IBSP provided they abide to the 18-inch size limit and 5 fish possession limit applicable to all other waters (for example, if 1 fish is harvested at IBSP, 4 fish 18 inches or greater may be harvested in waters outside of IBSP).

Black Sea Bass

The following summarizes the possession and size limits for the three NJ Recreational Black Sea Bass open seasons:

2016 Black Sea Bass Seasons and Limits
Open Season Minimum Length Possession Limit
May 23 to June 19 12.5 inches 10 fish
July 1 to August 31 12.5 inches 2 fish
Oct 22 to Dec 31 13 inches 15 fish

For more information, visit the Saltwater Fishing, Crabbing and Clamming page on the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife web site.

Remember to renew your registration with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry before heading out:

The 2016 Marine Digest is available in PDF format on this website. The print version is expected by the week of May 23.

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Last Updated: May 17, 2016