Bluefish limit for NC anglers being reduced Feb. 1

North Carolina's recreational bluefish limit is dropping drastically beginning Feb. 1.

Reduction is effort to reduce coastwide harvest by 28.6%

The creel limit for recreationally-caught bluefish will decrease on Feb. 1 in North Carolina coastal waters. Currently, the limit is 15 per angler, per day.

The creel limit will drop to three fish per person, per day for recreational fishermen fishing from the shore, pier, private vessel, or in any way other than with a for-hire operation.

Recreational fishermen fishing on for-hire vessels (charter boats, head boats, guide boats) can possess up to five bluefish per person, per day. 

For the specific regulations, see Proclamation FF-1-2020.

The creel limit reduction complies with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council/Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Bluefish Fishery Management Plan and, in conjunction with action taken by other states, is intended to reduce the coastwide recreational harvest from Maine to Florida by 28.6% to prevent exceeding the 2020 recreational harvest limit. The latest coastwide stock assessment determined that bluefish are overfished but overfishing is not occurring. The coastwide commercial bluefish quota is also reduced in 2020. For additional information, see the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council news release

For more information, contact Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734 or

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