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Going Saltwater Fishing in the Greater Atlantic Region?

Credit NOAA

From making sure you have all the right fishing permits to getting an updated weather forecast, explore the information and resources here that will help you plan an enjoyable fishing trip.

What Fish Can I Catch?

When fishing in our regional federal waters, you can catch and keep a variety of fish species, such as cod, haddock, flounders, bluefish, black sea bass, tuna,  scup, Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish. Be sure to check our regulations for each species regulations before you leave to go fishing as the size and number you can keep differ for each species.  They may also change depending on the area and time of year in which you are fishing.  Individual state regulations may differ from ours and often apply to any fish landed regardless of if it was caught in state or federal waters.

Recreational Fishing Permits

Anglers aged 16 or older need a permit to fish in Federal waters.  All of the states in the Greater Atlantic Region also have fishing license and/or registration requirements.  Your state will automatically register you with NOAA's national registry. You may obtain a single permit from the state you fish from that will meet both of these requirements. If you fish from multiple states you may need a permit from each.

Recreational and for-hire fishing for tunas, sharks, swordfish, and billfish must be done from a vessel that has a Federal Highly Migratory Species Permit.  For more information on fishing for highly migratory species, go to the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species site.

Owners and operators of for-hire vessels that fish in federal waters must obtain permits from GARFO.  In some states, owners and operators of commercial charter boats, head boats and guide boats must register their vessels with NOAA.

If you are still not sure whether you need to register with NOAA Fisheries to go fishing, complete this easy questionnaire.

Credit: NOAA

NOAA Marine Services