Marine recreational fishing is a popular outdoor activity in Denmark, practised by both anglers and passive gear fishers. However, the impact on the targeted stocks is unknown, so to estimate the 2009 harvest of cod Gadus morhua and eel Anguilla anguilla, two separate interview-based surveys were initiated and carried out in 2009/2010. The first recall survey exclusively targeted fishers who had been issued with the mandatory Danish fishing licence. The second survey was designed to identify those who fish without a licence. It was estimated that 1231 t of cod were harvested in 2009, corresponding to 4.8% of the entire Danish cod yield (recreational harvest + commercial landings). Area differences were found, and, in certain areas, the recreational harvest of cod accounted for more than 30% of the total yield. The majority (81%) of the recreational cod harvest was taken by anglers. Eels, however, are almost exclusively caught with passive gear (fykenets) and a total of 104 t year−1 was harvested, which corresponds to 19% of the entire Danish eel yield. The inclusion of the harvest taken by fishers without a valid licence was important and added almost 20% to the estimated harvest.