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Black Grouper Limit Florida

author
Carole Stephens
• Thursday, 17 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 florida head fishing keys key shot west
(Source: www.delphfishing.com)

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.

grouper fish tortugas dry fishing west key charter eat delphfishing benefit fillet nov
(Source: www.delphfishing.com)

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).

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council would like to gain a better understanding of what’s happening on the water. 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. Gulf state waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles.

Atlantic state waters are from shore to 3 nautical miles. Participation mandatory to fish for grouper in Florida waters.

Expand All | Collapse All 1 gag or black within the 3 grouper aggregate 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.

grouper key west fl
(Source: underpressure-spurdog.blogspot.com)

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. Eastern boundary of the 4-county gag grouper recreational harvest region.

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.

grouper florida
(Source: www.flickr.com)

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.

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. The FCC approved new Florida grouper regulations on February 10, 2016.

grouper fish florida species fishing snapper keys bass sea chart gag scamp panama reopens yellowfin hind yellowmouth catching rock floridakeystreasures
(Source: floridakeystreasures.com)

The new rules apply to black and gag grouper in the Gulf waters of Florida. The minimum size limit for recreational harvest has been set at 24 inches.

Check out MWC for the complete list of regulations. The minimum size is the same for both black and gag grouper, because anglers often confused the two species for each other.

The FCC will officially announce these rules in the near future. This will allow our kids to enjoy the great feeling of catching their meal as well.

Tell us about the first time you remember eating what you caught during a fishing trip. We are based in South Florida, but plan to cover all areas of fishing as we grow.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FCC) issued the following release. “At its Feb. 10 meeting at the Florida Public Safety Institute near Tallahassee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FCC) approved changes to the gag and black grouper minimum size limit and the gag grouper recreational season in Gulf state waters.

grouper limit
(Source: www.pnj.com)

Setting a 24-inch total length minimum size limit for recreational harvest of gag and black grouper in Gulf state waters Setting a June 1 through Dec. 31 recreational season for gag grouper in all state waters of the Gulf excluding Franklin, Weibull, Taylor and Jefferson counties (which have their own season from April 1-June 30) and excluding Monroe County (Monroe County follows the Atlantic state season) These changes are expected to go into effect prior to June 1 recreational season opening and will be announced on MyFWC.com and via a press release.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: Yellowedge Grouper Description
02: Yellowedge Grouper Fishing
03: Yellowedge Grouper Flavor (You're going to like it)
04: Yellowedge Grouper Wiki
05: Yellowfin Grouper Diet
06: Yellow Goliath Grouper
07: Pictures Of Goliath Grouper Fish
08: Apc Grouper Edits
09: App For Florida Fishing License
10: App For Florida Fishing Regulations
Sources
1 apps.apple.com - https://apps.apple.com/us/app/florida-fishing-regulations/id1283508372
2 www.eregulations.com - http://www.eregulations.com/florida/fishing/20flsw/fish-rules-app/
3 play.google.com - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details
4 apps.apple.com - https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fish-rules/id597875361