Recreational Fishing

Recreational Fishing License

In order to fish the saltwaters of Georgia, individuals 16 years of age and older must have a current Georgia Fishing License and a free Saltwater Information Program Permit (SIP Permit). There are multiple ways you can obtain these:

Charter captains may or may not choose to purchase an annual license that covers all of their clients. For this reason, anglers booking a charter should inquire whether they will need a Georgia Fishing license and SIP Permit or if they will be covered under the charter fishing license.


The following is a list of clickable links to access the one-stop location Go Outdoors Georgia website:

Coastal Georgia Fishing Maps

Click here to visit the online Coastal Georgia Fishing Map, or for information about how to order a paper copy by mail. Paper copies are also available for free at DNR's Coastal Regional Headquarters, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia. The office is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

To receive a paper copy by mail, send $3 cash or check per map to:

Coastal Georgia Fishing Maps
c/o Coastal Resources Division
One Conservation Way
Brunswick, GA 31520

Be sure to indicate which of the following counties you want to receive:
Chatham, Glynn, Camden, Bryan/Liberty (both counties on one map), McIntosh

Be sure to include your return address.

ADA-Accessible Fishing Locations

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division is committed to providing access to outdoor recreation and sports to all. For a list of fishing locations with Americans with Disabilities Act accessible amenities, please visit

If you prefer, you can download a PDF list of ADA fishing locations:

PDF IconDownload the Fishing Locations ADA Amenities PDF

Saltwater Fishing Regulation Decal

2024 Regulation DecalThe Coastal Resources Division offers free recreational saltwater fishing regulation decals. These high-quality, screen-printed decals are made to withstand the sun and weather, and are the perfect addition to your cooler, boat, or other surface to help you stay in-line with fishing regulations. These decals are approximately 6 inches tall by 5 inches wide at the widest part.

For a free decal, visit our office at One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520 or mail $2 cash or check to cover postage to (you will receive two decals per $2 mailed):

Regulation Decals
c/o Coastal Resources Division
One Conservation Way
Brunswick, GA 31520

Make checks payable to "Coastal Resources Division." Be sure to include your return address.

Marinas, bait and tackle shops, and other fishing-related business may request bulk orders by contacting

My First Fish

Click here to design and download your very own "My First Saltwater Fish" certificate for your child. 

Cooperative Angler Tagging Project

The Georgia Cooperative Angler Tagging Project is an effort to involve the recreational angling public in the conservation and management of marine finfish. Click here for more information about Georgia Cooperative Angler Tagging Project.  Anglers reporting tags from fish they have captured are eligible for a variety of awards, including hats, T-shirts, golf towels and more.

Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Click the image icon below to go to the website where you can view the regulations or download a copy of the regulation book.

State Regulations
(0-3 nautical miles offshore)
Federal Regulations
(3-200 nautical miles offshore)
2023 Sport Fishing Regulations Guide Cover SAFMC Logo

Click here to directly download a PDF of the Sport Fishing Regulations Guide.



Printed copies of the Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations book are available at DNR offices and at participating fishing license vendor locations.

Click this link to learn about the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Regulations. This is a NOAA website with fishing regulation information concerning Billfish, Swordfish,Tunas and Sharks.

Recreational finfish season, limits, and sizes 

Amberjack* All year 1 28 FL
American Eel All year 25 9 TL
Atlantic Croaker All year 25 None
Atlantic Sturgeon No harvest    
Billfish (Blue marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish)   SEE FEDERAL GUIDELINES  
Black Drum All year 15 14 TL
Black Sea Bass* All year 15 12 TL
Bluefish May 1-Feb. 28 15 12 FL
Cobia Mar.1-Oct.31 1 per angler, max 6 per boat 36 FL
Dolphin* All year 10 (not to exceed 54 per boat*, except headboats, which are allowed 10 per paying customer) *= Effective July 12, 2022 20 FL
Flounder All year 15 12 TL
Gag Grouper* All year 2 24 TL
King Mackerel* All year 3 24 FL
Red Drum** All year 5 14 TL (max. 23 TL)
Red Porgy All year 3 14 TL
Red Snapper* All year 2 20 TL
Sharks (other than hammerheads, SSC and prohibited sharks)^ All year 1 per angler or boat, whichever is less 54 FL (83 FL for Shortfin Mako Sharks)
Sharks: Hammerheads (Great, Scalloped, and Smooth)^ All year 1 per angler or boat, whichever is less 78 FL
Small Shark Composite (SSC) (Atlantic Sharpnose, Bonnethead, Spiny Dogfish)^ All year 1 per angler 30 FL
Prohibited Sharks^:   Sand tiger, Sandbar, Silky, Bigeye sand tiger, Whale, Basking, White, Dusky, Bignose, Galapagos, Night, Reef, Narrowtooth, Caribbean sharpnose, Smalltail, Atlantic angel, Longfin mako, Bigeye thresher, Sharpnose sevengill, Bluntnose sixgill, Oceanic Whitetip, and Bigeye sixgill  
Sheepshead All year 15 10 FL
Spanish Mackerel* All year 15 12 FL
Spot All year 25  
Spotted Seatrout All year 15 14 TL
Striped Bass (saltwater) All year 2 22 TL
Striped Bass (Savannah River) All year 2 27 TL
Tarpon All year 1 68 FL
Tripletail All year 2 18 TL
Weakfish All year 1 13 TL

* These species are also federally managed from 3 to 200 miles offshore. Go to for federal regulations. 

** Red Drum are a gamefish in Georgia [O.C.G.A. 27-1-2 (36)(I)]. As gamefish, Red Drum may only be fished for with pole and line (rod/reel) [O.C.G.A. 27-4-5].

^ These species are also federally managed. Go to for federal regulations.

Recreational Shellfish Harvesting

A Georgia fishing license is required to collect oysters and clams for recreational purposes. Oysters and clams can only be collected from approved recreational harvest areas.

Click here for more information and maps of Recreational Shellfish Harvest Areas

Click here for more information about CRD's Shellfish and Water Quality Monitoring Program

Click here for a map of the Shellfish Recycling Centers in coastal Georgia and restaurants that participate in the shell recycling program

Tarpon Tips

Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) is one of Georgia's most charismatic and sought-after gamefish species. These powerful fighters pose an exciting challenge for even the most experienced anglers, and following some simple tips will help keep them around for generations to come.

Click here to learn about how you can help conserve tarpon. 

Return 'Em Right logoBest Release Practices for Reef Fish and Related Species

The safe handling and release of recreationally caught fish is essential to supporting healthy fish populations. Although an individual angler may catch and release relatively small numbers of fish each time they go fishing, millions of saltwater recreational anglers collectively account for a significant portion of total fishing effort. The cumulative impact is millions of reef fish discarded each year, with a substantial portion of them dying upon release.

Click here to download the Return 'Em Right Best Release Practices Manual.

Click here to download the Return 'Em Right Best Fact Sheet.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) is promoting the use of descending devices by offshore anglers and short leader rigs for catch & release fishing for large adult red drum.  Click this link to learn more.

Recreational Crabbing

Click here to download a PDF of a brochure about how to catch, clean, and cook blue crab. 

State Saltwater Gamefish Records Program

Below is a list of clickable links for the various documents, forms, and information on Gamefish Records Programs:

Data Collection and Surveys

Division staff conduct a variety of regularly scheduled surveys to gather biological, distribution, habitat, catch and effort data on a number of recreationally important species.  Examples include the carcass recovery project, the cooperative angler tagging project, recreational angler surveys, red drum and shark longlining, seafood harvest reporting, and trawl surveys. This information is used by the Department and interstate organizations to make resource management decisions at both the state and regional level. Click this link to learn more about Data Collection and Surveys.

Fisheries Management

logo of Coastal Resources Division

State Management

The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) is responsible for managing fisheries in state waters (out to three miles offshore).

The following is a list of clickable links for species with State Fishery Management Plans: blue crab, cannonball jellyfish, red drum, sheepshead, shrimp, spotted seatrout, tripletail and whelk.

Click here to watch a narrated presentation on the status of Red Drum given during a CRD Finfish Advisory Panel meeting June 9, 2022.

Click here to access the report "Status of Research and Management of Red Drum Sciaenops ocellatus in Georgia" updated through 2021 data collection. 

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ASMFC logo

Interstate Management

In recognition that fish do not adhere to political boundaries, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) was formed. The ASMFC is a partnership of the 15 Atlantic coastal states working cooperatively for the conservation and management of shared near shore fishery resources. Examples of fish species managed by the SAFMC that are caught by anglers fishing off the Georgia Coast include: Atlantic croaker, black drum, coastal sharks, cobia, red drum, spot, spotted seatrout, summer flounder, and weakfish.

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SAFMC logo

Federal Management

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) is responsible for the conservation and management of fish stocks within the federal 3-mile to 200-mile waters of the Atlantic off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida to Key West. Examples of fish species managed by the SAFMC that are caught by anglers fishing off the Georgia Coast include: amberjack, black sea bass, dolphin, grouper, king mackerel, red porgy, snapper, Spanish mackerel, triggerfish, and wahoo.