Delaware’s Cobia and Tilefish regulations Update

Delaware’s Cobia and Tilefish regulations were recently changed to keep Delaware in compliance with the Fishery Management Plans for those species.  The new regulations, which went into effect on September 11, 2021, include the following management measures:

  • Cobia
    • Minimum size is now 37” Total Length. The minimum size applies to recreational anglers and commercial fishermen.
    • Recreational possession limit is now 1 Cobia per angler or per vessel.  That is per day or per trip, whichever is longer.
    • No closed season.
    • Commercial possession limit is now 2 Cobia per licensed commercial fisherman per day or per trip. 
    • A commercial fishing vessel may have up to 6 Cobia per day or per trip, whichever is longer, onboard provided the number of Cobia does not exceed twice the number of commercial fishermen onboard that vessel.

The Tilefish regulation now has different recreational management measures for Golden and Blueline Tilefish rather than aggregate measures.

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  • Golden Tilefish
    • No minimum size.
    • Recreational possession limit is 8 Golden Tilefish per angler.
    • No closed season.
    • Commercial aggregate possession limit for Golden and Blueline Tilefish is 500 lbs.
  • Blueline Tilefish
    • No minimum size
    • Recreational possession limit per angler is 3 Blueline Tilefish if fishing from a private vessel, 5 Blueline Tilefish if fishing from a United States Coast Guard uninspected for-hire vessel, or 7 Blueline Tilefish if fishing from a United States Coast Guard inspected for-hire vessel.
    • Recreational closed season of November 1 through April 30.
    • Commercial aggregate possession limit for Golden and Blueline Tilefish is 500 lbs.

The online Delaware Fishing Guide (available at The Fisheries Section – DNREC Alpha (delaware.gov) ) will soon be updated to reflect these changes.  Please contact the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914 if you have any questions about these regulation changes. 

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