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How Long Is Tuna Season in Massachusetts

How Long Is Tuna Season in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts, with its picturesque coastline and abundant marine life, is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts from around the world. Anglers are particularly drawn to the state’s tuna season, which offers exciting opportunities to catch the prized Atlantic bluefin tuna. In this article, we will delve into the details of tuna season in Massachusetts, including the best time to catch tuna, regulations, and frequently asked questions.

Tuna Season in Massachusetts:

Tuna season in Massachusetts typically runs from June to November, although the exact dates can vary slightly each year. During this period, the waters off the coast of Massachusetts are teeming with Atlantic bluefin tuna, making it an ideal time for anglers to test their skills and embark on thrilling fishing adventures.

The Best Time to Catch Tuna:

While tuna can be found in Massachusetts waters throughout the season, there are certain periods when the chances of a successful catch are higher. The peak tuna season in Massachusetts is generally considered to be from July to September. During these months, the waters are warmer, and the tuna are more active, providing anglers with increased opportunities to reel in a big catch.

Regulations and Permits:

It is important to note that fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna in Massachusetts is strictly regulated to ensure the sustainability of the species. Anglers must obtain the necessary permits and adhere to specific guidelines to participate in tuna fishing. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) oversees the regulations, which are subject to change, so it is essential to stay updated on the latest requirements.

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To fish for tuna in Massachusetts, anglers need a Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The permit can be obtained online through the NMFS website. Additionally, anglers must comply with size and bag limits, as well as reporting requirements. It is crucial to familiarize oneself with the current regulations before embarking on a tuna fishing trip.


1. Do I need a fishing license to catch tuna in Massachusetts?

Yes, a fishing license is required to fish for tuna in Massachusetts. Anglers must have a valid Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishing permit, which can be obtained online or at designated locations.

2. What is the bag limit for Atlantic bluefin tuna in Massachusetts?

The bag limit for Atlantic bluefin tuna in Massachusetts is determined by the size of the fish. It is advisable to consult the latest regulations to ensure compliance, as bag limits may change annually.

3. Can I catch Atlantic bluefin tuna from the shore?

While it is possible to catch Atlantic bluefin tuna from the shore in Massachusetts, it requires specialized equipment and expertise. Most anglers opt for offshore fishing trips aboard charter boats, which provide the necessary tools and knowledge for a successful catch.

4. What are the best fishing spots for tuna in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts offers various excellent fishing spots for tuna, including Stellwagen Bank, Jeffrey’s Ledge, and the waters off Cape Cod. These areas are known for their rich marine ecosystems, attracting tuna and other game fish.

5. Are there any restrictions on selling Atlantic bluefin tuna caught in Massachusetts?

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Yes, there are restrictions on selling Atlantic bluefin tuna caught recreationally in Massachusetts. Anglers must comply with commercial fishing regulations and obtain the necessary permits if they intend to sell their catch.

In conclusion, tuna season in Massachusetts presents an exciting opportunity for anglers to experience the thrill of catching Atlantic bluefin tuna. From June to November, the waters off Massachusetts’ coast become a playground for fishing enthusiasts. However, it is vital to stay informed about the regulations, permits, and bag limits to ensure the sustainability of this prized species. So, grab your fishing gear, obtain the necessary permits, and embark on a memorable tuna fishing adventure in the beautiful waters of Massachusetts.

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