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state regulations on spearfishing

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Sep 4, 2002
Does anyone know if there is a web page or have information on which states (USA) have restrictions on spearfishing?
For example, Rhode Island spearfishermen have the same bag limits and size restrictions as recreational anglers but in Massachusettes, there are some additional restrictions on certain species.
I recently read in Spearfishing Magazine that it is illegal to shoot Cobia in federal waters on the east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal Waters start at 9 miles out in the Gulf. It is legal to shoot them in both Florida and Texas Gulf waters. I don’t know about the other Gulf states. Apparently federal water start sooner on the East Coast. Something like 3 miles, and most East coast states also band spearfishing for cobia.

This was an eye opener for me since I fish in the gulf and due to visibility I almost always dive out further than 9 miles. I believe almost every state has a web page that gives it regulations. Texas site is http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fish/coastal.htm. It has two links to Federal Gulf Coast regulations.

I suggest you do a search for (the state your interested in) +fishing +regulations.
Yeah I found out about that cobia thing too Don...good part is aparantly the game wardens aren't aware of that law either:D b/c the ones in my area have never heard of that!
I'm specifically looking for eastern USA state regs: NY, NJ, CT, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC

can't seem to find the sites on-line.
give typing in the state's abbreviated name, dot, gov. Works out here, which says more than the politicians themselves.


AS far as NC goes, there is little difference between bag limits for R&R fishing and spearfishing with at least one exception: Red Drum(Redfish). "It is unlawful to take or possess red drum taken by gigs, gaffs or spears"-NCDMF
The R&R regs are 1 per day with a slot limit of 18-27". This hurts when we are swimming through schools of them this time of year...aaarrrggghhhh, but at least the black drum are plentiful now as well.

These are the only differences that I am aware of though I know little about the Tuna/Billfish reg differences. I have heard that there are different regs for R&R fishing and spearing of these species on the east coast. If anyone has any pertinent info on this...spit it out.

Hey Sven, do you know where to find clsures & up to date information on up here in Nor.Cal(or anywhere in cali I guess)?


BTW, picked up my first 10 ;)
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