Regulations:

SPECIES OPEN SEASON DAILY LIMIT POSSESSION LIMIT MINIMUM SIZE (INCHES)
Amberjack* All year 1 - 28 FL
American Eel All year 25 - 9 TL
Atlantic croaker All year 25 - -
Atlantic sturgeon No Harvest - - -
Billfish Catch and Release Only - - -
Black drum All year 15 - 14 TL
Black sea bass* All year 15 - 12 TL
Bluefish All year 15 - 12 FL
Cobia Mar. 1 - Oct. 31 1 per angler, max 6 per boat. - 36 FL
Dolphin* All year 10 (Not to exceed 60 per boat, except for headboats which are allowed 10 per paying customer.) - 20 FL
Flounder All year 15 - 12 TL
Gag grouper* All year 2 - 24 TL
King mackerel* All year 3 - 24 FL
Red drum All year 5 - 14 TL (23 TL maximum)
Red porgy* All year 3 - 14 TL
Red snapper* All year 2 - 20 TL
Sharks (other than Hammerheads, SSC and Prohibited Sharks)A All Year 1 per angler or boat, whichever is less - 54 FL
Sharks: Hammerheads (Great, Scalloped, and Smooth)A All Year 1 per angler or boat, whichever is less - 78 FL
Small shark composite (SSC)A (Atlantic sharpnose, Bonnethead, Spiny dogfish) All Year 1 per angler - 30 FL
Prohibited Sharks (NO HARVEST)A - - - -
Sheepshead All year 15 - 10 FL
Spanish mackerel* All year 15 - 12 FL
Spot All year 25 - -
Spotted seatrout All year 15 - 14 TL
Striped bass (Saltwater) All year 2 - 22 TL
Striped bass (Savannah River) All year 2 - 27 TL
Tarpon All year 1 - 68 FL
Tripletail All year 2 - 18 TL
Weakfish All year 1 - 13 TL
  • Note: Some species are also federally managed, and for federal regulations, you can refer to the provided websites.

How To Measure a Fish

Measuring a fish correctly is crucial for abiding by fishing regulations and ensuring sustainable practices. Here's how to measure both freshwater and saltwater finfish:

Freshwater Fish

  • Total Length (TL): Measure from the most forward part of the fish's head to the farthest end of the tail. The fish should be laid flat, mouth closed, with the tail lobes pressed together to measure the maximum length.

Saltwater Finfish

Saltwater finfish measurements can be either Total Length (TL) or Fork Length (FL), depending on the species:

  • Total Length (TL): Similar to freshwater fish, measure from the tip of the snout with the mouth closed to the farthest end of the tail. Ensure the fish is flat, and the tail is fully extended for an accurate measurement.

  • Fork Length (FL): Measure from the tip of the snout to the middle of the fork in the tail. The fish should be laid flat with the mouth closed and the tail fully extended. Fork Length is often used for species where the tail shape makes total length measurements inconsistent.

When measuring fish, use a flat ruler or a measuring tape and ensure accuracy to comply with size regulations.

Tagged Fish

Tagged fish are part of long-term studies by Coastal Resources Division (CRD) biologists focusing on the growth, migration, and fishing exploitation rates of specific fish species such as red drum, black drum, tarpon, and tripletail. Here's what to do if you catch a tagged fish:

If You Catch a Tagged Fish

  1. Record Information: Note down your name, address, and phone number, along with the fish species, date caught, tag number, total length, location, and whether the fish was kept or released.

  2. Report: To report a tagged fish, call (912) 264-7218. Provide the information you recorded.

  3. Handling the Tag:

    • If the fish is released: Do not remove the tag. Release it back into the water with the tag intact.
    • If the fish is kept: Return the tag to GADNR/CRD, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520. If the tag number is not clearly legible, lightly scrape the tag with your fingernail or a similar flat object to read the number.

Becoming a Cooperative Angler

If you are an angler who practices catch and release and want to contribute to these studies, you can become a cooperative angler. Contact the Cooperative Angler Tagging Program at 912-264-7218 or visit www.CoastalGaDNR.org/FishTag for more information.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.