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New regulations for the new season
Topic Started: Apr 30 2018, 08:23 AM (6 Views)
Ghost Comanche
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New regulations for the new season
by Ken Neil III at the Daily Press | April 12, 2018

A new fishing season comes with new regulations.

The 2018 cobia regulations were of greatest concern to anglers.

The cobia season will run from June 1 through September. The minimum size remains 40 inches. The bag limit is one fish per person, up to a maximum of three fish per boat. Only one of the three fish may be greater than 50 inches long.

The prohibition against using a gaff to land cobia has been removed, but with small bag limits and keeper slot, anglers will still need to be able to use a net to land and release cobia. Another change this year is that federal waters that have been closed the past two years are open this year. The free cobia permit, along with mandatory reporting that started last year, remains in place for 2018.

Of more immediate concern are tautog regulations. The bag limit is increased to four fish, with the minimum size remaining 16 inches. The season length has increased, with the only closure now being from May 16 through June.

The minimum size for flounder has decreased to 16.5 inches, with a bag limit of four fish.

Offshore bottom fishermen will find entirely new tilefish regulations. Managed as a combined species for many years, bluefish and golden tilefish now have separate regulations. Golden tilefish are open all year, with a bag limit of eight fish per angler. Blueline tilefish will open May 1, with various bag limits. Most of us will be fishing with a three-fish bag limit. Like cobia, a free permit and mandatory reporting are required.

The dogwoods are in bloom, which means that it is time to catch drum. There will be a presentation on fishing for black and red drum at 7 p.m. Tuesday at 7812 Warwick Boulevard in Newport News. The presentation is free and open to the public.

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