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Circle Hooks Required Jan. 1 for Striped Bass

Circle hooks will be required for recreational fishers for striped bass in the ocean starting Jan. 1. Image: DMF

Recreational anglers fishing for striped bass starting Jan. 1 will need to use circle hooks with natural bait in coastal ocean waters, the Division of Marine Fisheries announced Friday.

The circle hooks must be non-offset and made of a non-stainless steel. Diagram: DMF

The requirement is for all recreational fishers, including possession, that use a hook and line with natural bait for striped bass. Natural bait is any living or dead organism or part of an animal or plant.

This requirement does not apply to recreational striped bass fishing in internal waters.

The circle hooks must be non-offset, or inline, and cannot be made of stainless steel. The point of an inline circle hook and barb are in the same plane as the shank. Offset circle hooks and stainless steel circle hooks are not allowed for striped bass fishing.

The circle hook requirement complies with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan and is designed to reduce release mortality in the recreational striped bass fishery.

For more specifics on the regulation, and other requirements for recreational striped bass fishing in ocean waters, see Proclamation FF-1-2021.

For more information, contact Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Charlton Godwin at 252-264-3911 or

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.