Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Atlantic Swordfish Recreational Minimum Sizes and Bag Limits


This summary is provided as a courtesy. Official announcement of regulations is made through the Federal Register.
Fishing Type
Affected Species
Action Status
Final Rule
Page updated July 1, 2020
Point of Contact
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 301-427-8503


Bag limits vary by permit and vessel type. Additional requirements may be applicable. View the HMS Recreational Compliance Guide for details.

Updated bag limits


Vessels must have a valid HMS Angling or HMS Charterboat/Headboat permit to fish for Atlantic swordfish. The permit covers everyone fishing on that vessel. Tournament vessels may instead fish for swordfish with an Atlantic Tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial permit.

Buy or renew a permit


Measure lower-jaw fork length in a straight line from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail.

Lower-jaw fork length_swordfish.png

Measure cleithrum to caudal keel length by following the curve of the fish's body from the cleithrum to the caudal keel.

Cleithrum to caudal keel length.png

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on 07/13/2023