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. 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 Backgrounder season opens from the Keys to Duval County (Jacksonville area).
Pensacola Beach, FL offers great Grouper Fishing. Grouper are in the sea bass family and many varieties call the Gulf of Mexico waters home.
A 6-foot piece of 100-pound mono leads to a circle hook, with the size depending on the bait. The Canal connects directly to Lake Rousseau (inland) and Withlacoochee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Deep Sea Charter Fishing from Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida, with offshore permitted Professional Captain, Craig Best. The first and most experienced Gulf of Mexico deep drop offshore charter boat.
In the Gulf of Mexico, grouper anglers use magnum diving plugs that will go as deep as thirty feet or more. The Gulf has fairly calm water most of the year (except for our new 11-month recent hurricane season).
1) Fort DeSoto Park in south St. Petersburg leads the list on Florida’s left coast. Top Southwest Gulf Coast Fishing Charters & Tours: See reviews and photos of fishing charters & tours in Southwest Gulf Coast, Florida on TripAdvisor.
Crystal River, Florida offers the best fishing for grouper, without the long boat rides, that you will ever experience. We have been fishing Pulley ridge and beyond since 2007 Specializing in limited pass deepwater multi day trips.
The closest boat ramp is about half a mile away, with access to the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Along the gulf coast, anglers will be catching grouper, snapper, trigger fish, and amber jacks that fight hard and are delicious to eat.
Fish the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico off Fort Myers Beach and Daniel Island for grouper, grunts, King and Spanish mackerel, cobra, amber jack, sharks and more! Renowned for prolific freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities, Franklin County is every angler’s paradise.
The grouper were so thick and hungry, even I managed to catch a few, including this one, on a (way-too-light) little Obama Helios So spinning reel with 12-pound braided line. Gary Golden, Strike Zone, 27 Ocean Masters, Clearwater We all pretty much use an egg sinker with molded-in … There is an abundance of fishing locations along with untouched natural scenery in every inshore charter.
Exceptional tasting and hard fighting, grouper in Florida are most often found in deeper waters as these broad, heavyweights favor rocky bottoms, outcroppings and … First he's on the all new Andres Offshore 32 with Andres president Andy Eggebrecht, this is a sleek, purpose built sports craft, armed with all the electronic gadgets you could wish for and it soon gets them into an area teeming with a variety of big species. The grouper season in South Florida closes for four months on January 1, so time is running short to catch one of the hard-fighting, great-tasting fish.
Catching grouper, snapper, shook and triple tail, plus hunting hogs, on Florida’s unspoiled west coast. We’ve curated a list of some of our favorite Florida fishing spots to help you decide which place to check out next.
* Zero bag limit for captain and crew of for-hire vessels applies to gag, black, and red grouper only. So close that you giggle as a pod of dolphins plays in your bow wave in the Indian River Lagoon, near Stuart, Sebastian or Titusville.
The Forgotten Coast is home to an array of experienced captains who can take you out on a guided offshore fishing charter. Gulf Coast RV Resort is located in Levy County, with access to waters in the North Central region, among others.
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