(A) Albemarle Sound Management Area: contact DMF for seasons, areas or other limits; Atlantic Ocean year-round: 1 per person per day at 28” TL minimum;
Other coastal fishing waters; 2 per person per day at 18” TL minimum and unlawful to possess between 22” – 27” TL in Joint Fishing Waters. This Includes hybrid bass.
Season: October through April, statewide by Proclamation. Moratorium in Cape Fear River system.
(B) Limit of 10 per person per day or 60 per trip, whichever is less. On headboats, limit is 10 per person per day. No sale of recreational bag limit on vessels operating as charter or headboats.
(C) Unlawful to possess red drum greater than 27 inches total length. Unlawful to gig, spear, or gaff red drum. One black drum per person per day over 25” TL is allowed.
(D) Black sea bass NORTH of Cape Hatteras, open in TWO harvest seasons: 12:01 A.M. May 15 through midnight September 21, 2017 AND 12:01 A.M. October 22 through midnight December 31,2017.
(E) See prohibited species list above; Legal sharks include: tiger, blacktip, spinner, lemon, bull, nurse, smooth and scalloped and great hammerhead, blacknose, finetooth, bonnethead, shortfin mako, blue, thresher, porbeagle, and oceanic whitetip. One (1) Atlantic sharpnose (no minimum size) and one bonnethead (no minimum size) per person per day may be landed in addition to allowable bag limits for other sharks. See most recent Proclamation.
(F) Mature female crabs are exempt from minimum size limit. It is illegal to possess immature female crabs at any time and it is illegal to possess dark sponge crabs from April 1-April 30.
(G) In state or federal waters, federal permit required for Highly Migratory Species, excluding Atlantic bonito, little tunny (albacore), and blackfin tuna: 978-281-9370. Prior to removal from vessel, all billfishes, swordfish and bluefin tuna must be reported at NC HMS reporting stations. DMF website for more details.
(H) SNAPPER-GROUPER COMPLEX SPECIES:
Whitebone porgy, jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy, saucereye porgy, scup (south of Hatteras only), gray triggerfish, bar jack, white grunt, margate, sailor’s choice and spadefish. 20 per person per day in combination when the species are open to harvest. (see note I, above). It is unlawful to possess whitebone porgy, jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy, saucereye porgy and scup (south of Hatteras only) effective September 3, 2016 through midnight December 31, 2016. It is unlawful to possess almcaco jack, lesser amberjack and banded rudderfish effective August 9, 2016 through midnight December 31, 2016.
(I) For seasons, bag limits, size limits or closures for tunas, billfishes and sharks, contact NMFS Highly Migratory Species Division 800-894-5528. For snapper, grouper and mackerels, contact the South Atlantic Council 843-571-4366 or www.safmc.net, and see the most recent FF-Snapper Grouper recreational proclamation. Possession of red snapper is prohibited.
(J) Shallow water grouper species (gag, black, red, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, and yellowmouth grouper ) harvest is prohibited January 1–April 30. Possession of red snapper is prohibited.
(K) Grouper in the management unit include: snowy, red, yellowfin, yellowmouth, black, yellowedge, misty, gag, scamp, red hind, rock hind, graysby, and coney. The three (3) grouper bag limit also includes blueline, golden and sand tilefish. Maximum of one golden tilefish per person per day and one snowy grouper per vessel per day (when season is open). New regulations establish a May 1 through August 31 season for snowy grouper and blueline tilefish. No possession of Nassau, goliath and warsaw groupers and speckled hind.
(L) It is unlawful to possess blacknose, finetooth, blacktip, bull, lemon, nurse, spinner, tiger, blue, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, shortfin mako and common thresher less than 54 inches (FL). It is unlawful to possess great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks less than 78 inches (FL). It is unlawful to possess a great, scalloped or smooth hammerhead or oceanic whitetip shark while in possession of tunas, billfish or swordfish.
(M) Managed in accordance with Proclamation FF-13-2017. It is unlawful to possess more than one (1) cobia per person per day or four (4) cobia per vessel per day if more than four (4) people are on board the vessel.
(N) Contact DMF or visit www.ncmarinefisheries.net for seasons, areas, or other restrictions. Oyster season opens October 15-March 31 unless closed earlier by proclamation
(O) It is unlawful to take or possess American Shad from the Atlantic Ocean. For aggregate creel limits for American shad and hickory shad,see most recent Proclamation.
(P) Season open July 1 – August 31.
(Q) Season open January 1 - August 31, except year round when taken by baited pots.
(R) Propodus (forearm) length is measured by a straight line from elbow to the tip of the lower immoveable finger. The propodus (forearm) is defined as the largest section of the claw assembly that has both a moveable and immovable finger and is located farthest from the body of the crab. Unlawful to possess stone crab bodies or fail to immediately return to the waters from which taken. Unlawful to use a device to take stone crabs that can puncture, crush, or injure the crab body, such as gigs, spears, grabs, hooks, or similar devices. Unlawful to remove, take or possess stone crab claws from June 15 through August 15.
Size and creel limits for spotted seatrout, flounder, red drum and gray trout taken in inland waters are the same as the recreational limits for those species in adjacent joint and coastal waters.