The recreational cobia fishing season will open May 1 in North Carolina waters, and the Division of Marine Fisheries is asking anglers for help with data collection.
The recreational cobia fishery is managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), and its Cobia Fishery Management Plan identifies several data needs, including collection of size, age, and maturity information, as well as the collection of fin clips to help genetically identify stock differences.
Recreational anglers can aid in the collection of this data by donating cobia carcasses to the Division’s Carcass Collection Program. The locations of freezers can be found on the Carcass Collection Program webpage.
Additionally, creel clerks will be collecting cobia fin clips when interviewing recreational anglers. The information collected will be provided to ASMFC for use in future stock assessments.
During the open season, the minimum size limit will be 36 inches fork length (measured from the tip of snout to the fork in the tail), and the possession limit will be one fish per person per day. The vessel limit while fishing aboard a private vessel will be one-fish per-person per-day with a maximum of two fish per-vessel per-day if two or more people are aboard a vessel, from May 1 through June 30. The private vessel limit will decrease to one fish per-vessel per-day on July 1.
The possession limit for fishing aboard a for-hire vessel will be: 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 recreational cobia season closes on Dec. 31, 2022.
For more specific information on recreational cobia regulations, see Proclamation FF-29-2022 on the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Proclamation Webpage.
For more information, contact Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Anne Markwith at 910-796-7292 or Anne.Markwith@ncdenr.gov.