MOREHEAD CITY – A two-month recreational black sea bass fishing season will open Jan. 1 in both federal and North Carolina waters north of Cape Hatteras.
During this open season, the minimum size limit will remain at 12.5 inches, but the bag limit will decrease from 25 fish to 15 fish per person, per day.
The season will close Feb. 28, and regulations for the remainder of 2013 will be determined by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission at a later date.
A scheduled Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 season was cancelled this year after landings estimates indicated that the recreational harvest limit had been exceeded.
This closure prompted concerns about the black sea bass stock assessment and current accountability measures that could result in a recreational fishery closure in 2014.
The recreational black sea bass fishery south of Cape Hatteras is managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and will remain closed until June 1.