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The Limitations of New Jersey Saltwater Fishing

Oct 6, 2007
As with many states where there are strict limits on the hunting and fishing of endangered species, there are a number of regulations imposed on New Jersey saltwater fishing. There are limitations on the way that people are allowed to fish, what they are allowed to fish for, and the size limits of those particular species that are allowed to be caught. There are even rules in regards to fish preparation fishing in New Jersey.

The first rule of thumb to remember is that fishing in New Jersey is limited to angling - the act of using hand line or rod and line to take, catch, or kill any fish - unless otherwise noted by state law. An exception is spear fishing, though this must be done with the spear or harpoon completely submerged below the water, and the fisherman is responsible for assuring that the target fish is within size regulations.

Anyone fishing in New Jersey by any other means is in violation of the law. It is also illegal to filet any fish while at sea, unless a Special Filet Permit has been acquired by a party boat or similar vessel. This helps to assure that size limitations are adhered to in proper order.

There are some species that are prohibited from being taken in New Jersey. Saltwater fishing regulations state that it is against the law to take, possess, land, purchase, or sell Atlantic or shortnosed sturgeon, as well as several types of shark, including whale sharks, sand tiger sharks and big eye sand tiger sharks, basking sharks, and white sharks.

It is also strictly prohibited to intentionally hurt or kill sea turtles (an endangered species) or any marine mammals, as well as to possess them, as though keeping them as pets.

While you are limited on the types of fish you can angle for, that doesn't mean there is any shortage of species for which you can fish. Black sea bass are open for fishing year round, and the only limit is that they must measure at least 12 inches from the snout to the central portion of the tail, not including the tail filaments.

Bluefish are also legal to catch in Jersey, if you fish only between June 16 and August 7 and do not take more than 15 bluefish per day. Should you carry a commercial bluefish permit, the 15-fish catch limit doesn't apply.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is commited to providing the best saltwater fishing information possible. Get more information on New Jersey saltwater fishing here: http://www.asksaltwaterfishing.com
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