North Carolina Cobia Regs Change

With a May 1 opening date, this year’s cobia season in North Carolina waters comes with new regulations for anglers on private vessels.

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 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. That changes on July 1, when the private vessel limit will decrease to one fish per-vessel per-day. Previous regulations dropped the private vessel limit to one fish per-person per-day at the beginning of June.

The possession limit for fishing aboard a for-hire vessel will be the same as last year: 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.

For more information, see the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
website at

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