Grouper Season 2019 Florida

James Smith
• Monday, 26 October, 2020
• 10 min read

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.

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(Source: mainattraction.org)


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.

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.

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(Source: mainattraction.org)

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

Dennis Forgone, left, holds a 48-pound black grouper caught by his female angler on his charter boat Free Spool. Dennis Forgone Grouper season opens Wednesday after a four-month closure, and many South Florida anglers and divers will head offshore to try to catch or spear what is considered to be one of the region’s best-tasting fish.

Dennis Forgone, who is looking forward to opening day, especially considering that last year was one of the best ever for grouper for his customers on Free Spool (www.freespoolsportfishing.com), his 43-foot charter boat that fishes out of Haul over Marina in North Miami Beach. The closure was implemented in 2010 to allow the population of black, gag and red grouper to increase in number and in size as well as protect them during their spawning seasons.

So far, that closure appears to be working, as anglers and spearfishes have been seeing and catching bigger fish. That includes artificial reefs, wrecks, ledges, rock piles and debris piles.

“Generally speaking, I fish structure from 80 to 200 feet of water from Hallandale Beach to Government Cut.” When that happens, anglers will usually break the fishing line on the sharp edges of the structure before they pull out the grouper.

grouper florida keys season sandwich grilled tartar smothered fried nothing sauce better than recipe fishing
(Source: mainattraction.org)

“You need enough lead to hold the bottom when you’re sitting in one spot, whether it’s by the anchor or the boat’s motors. I’ll have both engines in gear and the boat will be slipping backwards because the current is so strong.

“I’ve got videos of us pulling in grouper and people commenting that I’m trolling for them. Forgone attaches his weight to the loop, which allows him to quickly remove and replace the lead when the strength of the current changes.

“The second thing we go to is anything that we have,” he says, adding that grouper will bite everything from live goggle-eyes, blue runners and grunts to strips and chunks of bonito. When a grouper grabs a bait, Forgone recommends leaving the rod in the rod-holder and reeling as fast as you can.

If a fish breaks the line, Forgone will make another drop, but he notes that the rest of the fish hanging around the structure might be turned off when they see their schoolmate with a piece of leader hanging from its lip. Florida recently announced that it will increase the recreational red grouper bag limit in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) on December 30 from two fish to four.

The red grouper bag limit increase is one of several fishery management changes made at the November Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FCC) meeting in Key Largo. This includes the regularly scheduled annual closure from February 1 through March 31 in Gulf state waters.

grouper west season coast spot secret again start june channel florida fishing south
(Source: southfloridafishingchannel.com)

The FCC will revisit state gag grouper management efforts in February 2012, once federal rules are solidified. In the Atlantic state waters, including Monroe County, the season closes January 1 and reopens May 1.

Gag grouper will close to recreational harvest in Gulf state and federal waters Jan. 1, 2021. For gag grouper, state waters off Franklin, Weibull, Taylor and Jefferson counties will reopen to harvest April 1 through June 30 and Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

Red Porgy © See (c) Below (c) Belonged Snapper (d) See (d) Below (d) BelowScampJanuary 1 – April 30January 1 – April 30 Red hind Rock hind Coney Grays by Yellow fin grouper Yellow mouth grouper (a) During November 1 – April 30 of each year the use of black sea bass pots is prohibited in certain closed areas.

However, such greater amber jack are subject to the prohibition on sale or purchase harvested from the South Atlantic EEA or, if harvested by a vessel for which a valid Federal commercial permit for South Atlantic snapper- grouper has been issued, harvested from the South Atlantic, i.e., in state or Federal waters. © Regulatory Amendment 27 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper- Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region removed the sale and purchase prohibition and the possession limit of three fish per person per day or three fish per person per trip during January 1 through April 30 each year, established a commercial trip limit of 60 fish in Season 1, and retained the 120 fish commercial trip limit in Season 2.

At 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 8, 2019, and will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1, 2020, unless the commercial annual catch limit is met or projected to be met before this date. *Red snapper may only be harvested or possessed in or from the South Atlantic federal waters during the open commercial and recreational seasons.

grouper florida season keys fishing snowy deep
(Source: mainattraction.org)

(e) Regulatory Amendment 30 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper- Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region extended both the commercial and recreational red grouper spawning season closures (January through April) through the month of May, in federal waters off North Carolina and South Carolina. The final rule also established a commercial trip limit for red grouper harvested in the South Atlantic federal waters of 200 pounds gutted weight.

Please Note: This summary is intended to provide appropriate information to fishers about regulations and the sustainable use of marine fishery resources in the South Atlantic. The 7-member, governor-appointed Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission made two important decisions Wednesday morning during its regularly-scheduled meeting in Havana, near Tallahassee.

An executive order from August 2018 prohibited harvest of shook and redfish in red tide affected waters where massive fish kills took place last summer. In September, the order was extended to cover the waters of Tampa Bay north to Pasco County, and to be in place through May 10, 2019.

In February 2019, additional catch and release measures were put in place to prohibit harvest of spotted sea trout larger than 20 inches. In another measure which addressed spotted sea trout stocks statewide, the FCC directed staff to further examine the economically important species and account for some issues brought up during the public comment period Wednesday.

Staff had made recommendations to reduce recreational trout fishing bag limits in each of the four management zones in state waters, but will now delay that move until later in the year. May 1 is the opening of the recreational fishing season for grouper and dogfish in South Atlantic waters, including those off the coast of Florida.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

Unfortunately, because of an early season tropical disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean just off the Florida coast, easterly winds and rough seas will likely prevent offshore anglers from being able to successfully target grouper until Friday or Saturday, at the earliest. The state record black grouper weighed 113 pounds, 6 ounces and was caught off the Dry Tortugas in 1990 by Donald Bone.

Recreational anglers targeting these species may not take more than three groupers per person, per day. Hooking tools must be aboard commercial and recreational vessels for use as needed to remove hooks from reef fish, including Atlantic grouper.

SGT Peterson, an expert guide who offers deep sea, inshore/offshore and bay fishing trips in Apalachicola, St. George Island & Annabelle. You can target these species with small hooks and little pieces of squid as bait, using light tackle, 30 lb.

Though they are out of season, big red snapper and gag grouper are much closer to shore this time of year. While you cannot keep these species this time of year, you can have fun catching and releasing them like crazy, four or five miles offshore.

If you want to catch loads of fish this winter, book a charter on the Forgotten Coast ! October through December is the most productive time for redfish, sea trout, and flounder, especially in the flats and the bay.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

Inshore anglers will be seeking out redfish (especially bull reds), black drum, triple tail, sleepyhead, and speckled Sea trout. With Forgotten Coast fall temperatures ranging from the upper 80s to the low 40s, the weather can be unpredictable.

Saltwater anglers are targeting triple tail, black drum, flounder, and sleepyhead in our area. Using light spinning tackle and artificial lures or even fly rods, sports fishermen usually cast from smaller skiffs in shallow waters.

Some catch and keep anglers will fish from larger center console bay boats in a little deeper water. Offshore fishing trips in Franklin County are also available this time of year, but most are weather dependent.

SGT Peterson, an expert guide who offers deep sea, inshore/offshore and bay fishing trips in Apalachicola, St. George Island & Annabelle. Winter is a productive time of year for inshore and bay fishing on the Forgotten Coast.

In the winter, big red snapper and gag grouper are much closer to shore, usually just four or five miles from the coast. The Apalachicola River system spans many miles, offering plenty of fertile fishing spots.

grouper fishing key west season report
(Source: www.faroutcharters.com)

Fall is the most productive time of year for flats and bay fishing for trout, redfish and flounder on the Forgotten Coast. From October through most of December, inshore anglers are targeting redfish (especially bull reds) and speckled sea trout.

From September all the way through Christmas, fall flats fishing for redfish is unprecedented in Franklin County. In Franklin County this time of year, temperatures vary from the upper 80s to the low 40s, sometimes in the same day.

On a nice day, saltwater anglers can catch triple tail, black drum, flounder and sleepyhead in our area. Sport fishermen cast from smaller skiffs in shallow water with light spinning tackle and artificial lures as well as with fly rods.

In state waters (up to nine nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico), anglers have been seeing a lot of small grouper. Chum the water to bring these species to the surface, and then catch them using a 2/0 to 3/0 circle hook and cigar minnows or chunks of squid for bait.

The hottest thing coming up for offshore is red snapper season, which opens the first of June and lasts about four weeks. To bottom fish for red snapper and grouper, use a 6/0 or 7/0 circle hook and cigar minnows, Spanish sardines or squid.

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(Source: www.crystalriver-fishing.com)

Wade out 15 to 25 foot from land, find a break in the sandbar and fish around those areas for pompano or whiting. Cruise out to the bird sanctuary and work around the old bridge to catch big black drum and whiting with the occasional trout and redfish.

If you book a charter right now, ask about catching big redfish and trout in the cuts and fishing for king mackerels inshore. The Forgotten Coast is home to a number of experienced inshore, offshore and fresh water fishing captains.

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3 www.yummly.com - https://www.yummly.com/recipes/pan-seared-grouper
4 www.myrecipes.com - https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pan-seared-grouper-balsamic-brown-butter-sauce
5 www.orlandosentinel.com - https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1989-06-15-8906150261-story.html
6 www.wellplated.com - https://www.wellplated.com/pan-fried-cod/
7 www.chowhound.com - https://www.chowhound.com/recipes/mario-batalis-fried-grouper-sandwich-31848
8 www.weightwatchers.com - https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/recipe/grouper-pan-roasted-tomatoes-1/5626a620a6d5b39610700ad4
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