The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries says the recreational black sea bass fishing season will open May 15 in both federal and North Carolina waters north of Cape Hatteras.
According to the announcement Friday, the minimum size limit during the open season will be 13 inches total length, the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail, and the bag limit will be 15 fish per person, per day. The season will close on Dec. 11.
The recreational black sea bass regulations north of Cape Hatteras comply with the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, the division said. The management changes are needed to achieve a 20.7% coastwide harvest reduction target for recreational black sea bass adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for 2022.
The recreational black sea bass fishery south of Cape Hatteras is managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. South of Cape Hatteras, the minimum size limit is 13 inches total length, and the bag limit is seven fish per person per day. The recreational black sea bass season begins April 1 each year and closes when the quota is met. The 2022-23 season is currently open south of Cape Hatteras.
For more specific regulations on black sea bass, see Proclamation FF-23-2022 for North of Cape Hatteras or Proclamation FF-9-2022 for South of Cape Hatteras at https://deq.nc.gov/fisheries-management-proclamations.