New size and
bag limits will go into effect May 1 for the recreational cobia fishery in North
The minimum size
limit will increase to 36 inches fork length (measured from the tip of snout to
the fork in the tail). The possession limit will decrease to one fish per-person
per-day, with a maximum of four fish per-vessel per-day, if four or more people
are on board a vessel.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries
Commission voted in February to tighten recreational cobia regulations after the
federal government closed federal waters (ocean waters beyond 3 miles from
shore) north of the Georgia-Florida line to recreational cobia harvest. The
federal closure took effect on Jan. 24 and will remain for the rest of the
The federal action was taken to
account for overages in the recreational annual catch limit and
total annual catch limit of Atlantic migratory group cobia in 2016. Go here
more information on the closure in federal waters.
In addition to the
regulatory changes, the commission asked anglers to report the length and weight
of all cobia harvested in state waters on a catch card, which can be found at
official North Carolina Citation Weigh Stations or online here. A list of participating weigh
stations can be found here.
recreational cobia season will close in state waters at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 1.
specific state regulations, see Proclamation FF-13-2017 here.
information on the cobia season in state waters or the 2017 Cobia Catch
Reporting Program, contact Steve Poland, cobia staff lead with the N.C. Division
of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8159 or [email protected]