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Black Grouper In Season

author
James Lee
• Tuesday, 15 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Brownish gray in color with dark worm-like markings on sides; strong serrated spur at bottom margin of properly, less noticeable in large specimens; fins dark, with anal and caudal having white margin; often confused with gag grouper ; most noticeable differences are brassy spots on black grouper ; tail of gag is slightly concave, blackgrouper's tail is square; gag has white margin on anal and caudal fins, black does not; under 10 pounds, gag's spur on properly is distinctive, where black is gently rounded. Open Season : May 1 – December 31 Note: since this species is managed under an Annual Catch Limit, the fishery could close if the recreational Annual Catch Limit is met or projected to be met.

grouper fish reef bahamas nassau melinda
(Source: rollingharbour.com)

Contents

Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use hooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species. At least one hooking device is required and must be used as needed to remove hooks embedded in South Atlantic snapper- grouper with minimum damage.

Definition of a Descending Device: an instrument to which is attached a minimum of a 16 ounce weight and a length of line that will release the fish at the depth from which the fish was caught or a minimum of 60 feet. Since minimizing surface time is critical to increasing survival, descending devices shall be readily available for use while engaged in fishing.

All species must be landed with head and fins intact Recreational Bag Limit sales are prohibited Open Season : May 1 – December 31 Note: since this species is managed under an Annual Catch Limit, the fishery could close if the commercial Annual Catch Limit is met or projected to be met.

Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use hooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species. At least one hooking device is required and must be used as needed to remove hooks embedded in South Atlantic snapper- grouper with minimum damage.

Definition of a Descending Device: an instrument to which is attached a minimum of a 16 ounce weight and a length of line that will release the fish at the depth from which the fish was caught or a minimum of 60 feet. Since minimizing surface time is critical to increasing survival, descending devices shall be readily available for use while engaged in fishing.

grouper cozumel season underwater jim bonaci mycteroperca
(Source: www.cozumel4you.com)

This prohibition does not apply to fish harvested, landed, and sold prior to the annual catch limit being reached and held in cold storage by a dealer. U.S. wild-caught black grouper is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.

Fishing gears used to harvest black grouper have minimal impacts on habitat. The groupers complex is not subject to overfishing based on 2019 catch data.

Black grouper take advantage of other species’ reproductive aggregations for feeding. Black grouper are found in the western Atlantic from Massachusetts to Brazil.

They are particularly associated with the southern Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, Cuba, the Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean. Annual catch limits are used for black grouper in the commercial and recreational fisheries.

These fisheries are closed when their annual catch limit is projected to be met. Both the commercial and recreational fisheries have size limits to reduce harvest of immature black grouper.

grouper catch season closes month december before last
(Source: coastalanglermag.com)

The commercial and recreational fishing seasons are closed from January through April to protect black grouper during their peak spawning period. Minimum size limits protect immature black grouper.

Year-round and/or seasonal area closures for commercial and recreational sectors to protect spawning groupers. Groupers are managed separately by commercial and recreational sector in Puerto Rico.

Seasonal closure for black, red, tiger, yellow fin, and yellow edge groupers from February 1 through April 30. The FCC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) manages the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean differently, and it’s important to know what’s in season and what you can harvest from each shoreline.

The Gulf of Mexico is a unique body of water that provides commercial and recreational anglers plenty of fishing opportunities. The Gulf covers most of Florida’s west coast, from Pensacola in the Panhandle to the start of the Everglades at the tip of the peninsula.

This is important to keep in mind as there are different regulations for what’s in season and what you can harvest depending on if you’re in state or federal waters. For Gag Grouper fishing in the Gulf, it’s important to note what county you’re embarking from.

grouper catch wikipedia fillet wiki fishes known names
(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

For counties of Franklin, Weibull, Taylor and Jefferson (in the Panhandle area from Apalachicola to Steinhatchee) there is open season in state waters from April 1 to June 30, and again from September 1 to December 31. Black, Red, Scamp, Yellow fin and Yellow mouth Grouper all have similar regulations in the Gulf.

It’s open season in both state and federal waters for Rock Hind, Coney, Yellow edge and Snowy Groupers. You can ask your charter captain if the size you have is a keeper or not; or refer to the FCC regulations to make sure you’re staying compliant.

Now moving east to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean where there are excellent opportunities for grouper fishing. Keep in mind, the FCC considers the Everglades and Florida Keys as part of the Atlantic Ocean waters, and all fishing done in these areas must stay within Atlantic-specific regulations.

From the Florida Keys to Jacksonville, anglers have hundreds of cities to choose from to launch your grouper expedition. The real question is, what subspecies of grouper you’ll find at the end of your line.

East Coast anglers should mark your calendars for May 1, this is when Gag Grouper and BlackGrouperseason opens from the Keys to Duval County (Jacksonville area). Honestly, that’s why there are regulations in place, so that this incredible species is not overfished and the population stays healthy.

grouper seasons coastalanglermag
(Source: coastalanglermag.com)

Now is the time to book your Grouper fishing charter, the season is just a few short weeks away and you’ll want to be sure to get in on the action! This past Friday was also the start of the eight-month recreational grouper season, and while there are far fewer tourists in the Keys these days hunting the sought-after fish, some local anglers are picking up the slack.

Like many captains in the Keys, Hurricane Irma spelled an end to his professional charter angling career. He ran a boat out of Robbie’s Marina in Lower Macumba Key for five years, and a Palm Beach-docked vessel before that.

The fish was caught aboard the charter boat Got Fishes, operated by Ken Ramming at the Post Card Inn and Marina on Lindley Key. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.

“Adult gag grouper live in nearshore waters from coastal North Carolina south to Brazil and as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. Smaller gag are a lot of lighter in coloring, and have numerous dark brown, or charcoal, kiss-like marks along their sides.

“Young gag grouper will live in oyster reefs, estuaries and seagrass beds from Massachusetts to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The coloration of red grouper helps to distinguish this species from gag with its head and body being dark reddish brown, shading pink or reddish or even pale pink along the lower part of its body,” Nash said.

grouper gag offshore ars florida
(Source: forums.floridasportsman.com)

“In North Carolina, gag will typically spawn in February and have clear larvae, which then make their way into estuaries. As water temperatures start to go down in the fall, juvenile gag will migrate from estuaries to offshore hard bottom habitat and larger members of their species,” said Seward.

Seward noted that all grouper are considered protogynous intersex, “that is they start their lives as females, and a part of the population will morph, or make the change, to males as they get older. Females start to reach sexual maturity when they are about 24 inches in total length and about 3 years old.

They are voracious predators, and will feed on whatever they can capture including scad, snapper, grunt, sardines, crabs, porgies, shrimp and squid, said Seward. Red grouper sitting on sand habitat 45 degrees to camera full body view mouth open.

In addition to their color, red grouper can be distinguished from gag by the sloped, straight line of their spiny dorsal fin. “The red grouper is also a protogynous intersex and females are sexually mature by the time they reach 4 years old,” Seward said.

Females typically will let go an average of 1.5 million pelagic eggs that stay at the surface for between 30-40 days before finally settling down to the bottom. “Red grouper may live to be as old as 25 years of age, with older specimens reaching a size of 32.5 inches and up to 25 pounds.

groupers kyle gag
(Source: www.flkeysnews.com)

They will feed on lobster, shrimp, octopus, crabs and fish that are found close to their preferred reef habitat,” Seward said. Bottom fishing is the best way to catch gag grouper, using live bait, including squid and cigar minnows.

Use a depth finder to find deep-water rock ledges, artificial reefs and shipwrecks, a gag grouper ’s favorite hiding place. An annual shallow-water grouper spawning season closure runs Jan. 1-April 30 in federal waters off the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina, except red grouper, for which the season remains closed until June 1.

Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use hooking tools when fishing for the snapper grouper species. “This prohibition does not apply to fish harvested, landed and sold before the annual catch limit is reached and held in cold storage by a dealer,” said North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Executive Assistant to Councils Steve Poland, who is also a representative with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

A stock assessment update, Sedan 53, for red grouper was completed in February 2017 using data through 2015. Therefore, on Sept. 27, 2017, NFS sent a letter to the council stating that the South Atlantic red grouper stock was not making adequate progress toward rebuilding.

“For red grouper, this final rule extends the closure season formerly from January to April, to January through May of each year for the next ten years for the commercial and recreational portions off North and South Carolina, and establishes a commercial trip limit,” said Poland. This final rule establishes a commercial trip limit for red grouper harvested in the South Atlantic EEA of 200 pounds, gutted weight.

grouper gregory amendment allocation sector doug gulf
(Source: gulfcouncil.blogspot.com)

The trip limit is expected to help rebuild the red grouper stock by discouraging directed commercial fishing for the species, although it is not likely to substantially reduce the current level of commercial harvest of red grouper, according to the National Register. “The council selected a commercial trip limit that in combination with extending the spawning season cloture for red grouper off North Carolina and South Carolina would help keep down harvest numbers to help rebuild the stock,” Poland said.

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Sources
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2 tampa-fishing-charter.com - https://tampa-fishing-charter.com/fishing/fishing-knots-and-rigging/grouper-knot.html
3 www.mynameisfish.com - https://www.mynameisfish.com/2015/01/fishing-rig-for-grouper-knots-hooks-and.html
4 www.pensacolafishingforum.com - https://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/threads/best-one-drop-rig-knot-for-grouper.186002/
5 finaosportfishing.com - https://finaosportfishing.com/blog/best-fishing-knots/
6 land-based-fishing.com - https://land-based-fishing.com/basic-fishing-knots-for-beginners/
7 www.mynameisfish.com - https://www.mynameisfish.com/2017/04/grouper-fishing-with-savage-gear-3d.html
8 yorkvilleluxuryrealestate.com - https://yorkvilleluxuryrealestate.com/tag/0e1371-grouper-fishing-rigs