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Black Grouper Keeper Size

author
David Lawrence
• Tuesday, 29 December, 2020
• 7 min read

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.

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

Contents

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. 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.

grunts grouper fish ecosystems operate tasty coastal brain windows into open jacks lessons history
(Source: conservefish.org)

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 Backgrounder season opens from the Keys to Duval County (Jacksonville area).

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.

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.

grouper goliath florida types water
(Source: fishingbooker.com)

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.

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. They are particularly associated with the southern Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, Cuba, the Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean.

grouper florida types fisherman water
(Source: fishingbooker.com)

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

To reduce by catch, there are restrictions on the type of gear fishermen may use and where they can fish. 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 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council would like to gain a better understanding of what’s happening on the water.

grouper limit
(Source: www.pnj.com)

All anglers on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida who intend to fish for or harvest certain reef fish from a private vessel are required to obtain the State Reef Fish Angler designation. Those with a Gulf Reef Fish Angler designation will meet the statewide requirement until the Gulf designation expires, even if you are fishing on the Atlantic coast.

State: Must have heads and fins intact through landing Gear rules require circle hooks and hooking tools in Gulf waters reef fish fisheries.

Note: In the Atlantic reef fish fishery, gear rules require hooking tools, and as of Jan. 1, 2021, non-stainless steel hooks in all state waters, and non-offset circle hooks N. of 28 ° N. latitude. Several species of Gulf grouper (red, black, scamp, yellow fin and yellow mouth) are closed Feb. 1-March 31 seaward of the 20-fathom break.

Recreational anglers are encouraged to use electronic charting equipment to plot the 20-fathom break by entering the established coordinates listed on the map below into a route. Monroe County: Several species of Atlantic grouper (red, black, yellow fin, yellow mouth, scamp, rock hind, red hind, Coney and grays by) are closed Jan. 1 – April 30 in all state and federal waters of the Atlantic including all state waters off Monroe County (Atlantic and Gulf sides).

During this closure, anglers can harvest grouper in open federal waters of the Gulf and return to port in Monroe County by traveling through closed state waters of the Atlantic as long as the vessel proceeds directly to port without stopping to fish. Western boundary of the 4-county gag grouper recreational harvest region.

grouper giant kirkconnell cameron gulf mexico freediving sony dsc tail spearblog trigger pulling means square check need reply leave
(Source: www.spearblog.com)

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Sources
1 louisiana.kitchenandculture.com - https://louisiana.kitchenandculture.com/recipes/pan-fried-grouper
2 www.nassauparadiseisland.com - https://www.nassauparadiseisland.com/recipe-pan-fried-grouper
3 www.purewow.com - https://www.purewow.com/recipes/buttermilk-battered-pan-fried-fish-fillets
4 www.myrecipes.com - https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pan-seared-grouper-balsamic-brown-butter-sauce
5 afnw.com - https://afnw.com/laura-sharrad-bodwxe/page.php
6 www.berkeleywellness.com - https://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/recipes/article/pan-fried-grouper-orange-carrot-sauce
7 www.chowhound.com - https://www.chowhound.com/recipes/mario-batalis-fried-grouper-sandwich-31848
8 www.msn.com - http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/recipes/buttermilk-battered-pan-fried-fish-fillets/ar-BB16pwla
9 cooking.nytimes.com - https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015082-pan-seared-tilefish-with-garlic-herbs-and-lemon