Recreational Fishing Regulations

Tale of the Tape…

Tape

Recreational regulations summary limits for some of the more popular recreational fish in Cape Cod Waters.
Click here for Printable Version of Recreational Finfish Regulations

Although every attempt has been made to keep this copy of our regulations accurate and up to date, this is an unofficial list. The official copy is maintained by the Secretary of State. For more information on ordering a copy of 322 CMR, visit the State Bookstore.

Updated as of May 1, 2016 *Note: These regulations apply to state-waters only. Please click here for federal-waters recreational fishing regulations.

StripedBass Striped Bass
Min. Size: 28″
Possession Limit: 1 Fish
Season: All Year

 BlackSeaBassBlack Sea Bass
Min. Size: 15″
Possession Limit: 5 Fish
Season: 5/21-8/31

Fluke

Fluke
Min. Size: 16″
Possession Limit: 5 Fish
Season: 5/22-9/23

Bluefish

Bluefish
Min. Size: None
Possession Limit: 10 Fish
Season: All Year

Toutog

Toutog
Min. Size: 16″
Possession Limit: 3 Fish
Season: All Year

Scup

Scup
(Private Boats)
Min. Size: 10″
Possession Limit: 30 Fish or 150 Fish per boat if 5 or more anglers)
Season: 5/1-12/31

Notes:
1) Subject to regulation by the Division and the municipality. Please consult municipal regulations.
2) All billfish species and swordfish are measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the tail fork. These species are managed by NOAA’s Highly Migratory Species Office. Please consult NOAA Fisheries for permitting requirements and regulations.
3) Black sea bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail, not including the tail filament.
4) Federal rules apply beyond state waters. Consult NOAA Fisheries for permitting requirements and regulations.
5) It is unlawful to fish with hook and line gear in the Winter Cod Conservation Closure from November 15 through January 31. It is unlawful to take cod from the Spring Cod Conservation Closure from April 16 through July 21.
6) Striped bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail. The discard of dead legal sized striped bass is unlawful. The practice of high-grading, whereby legal sized striped bass are released in favor of larger fish caught subsequently is unlawful. Accordingly, it is also unlawful to keep a striped bass alive in water by attaching a line or chain to the fish (stringer), or placing it in a live well or holding car. Striped bass must be kept whole, meaning the head, tail, and body remain intact. Only evisceration is allowed. Permitted for-hire vessels may fillet striped bass for their customers.
7) These species are managed by NOAA’s Highly Migratory Species Office. Please consult NOAA Fisheries for permitting requirements and regulations.
8) Cod and haddock rules subject to change in 2016.
9) Black sea bass and scup may be filleted but not skinned while at-sea. No more than two fillets per allowed fish may be possessed.