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Grouper Season 2020

author
Maria Johnson
• Friday, 04 December, 2020
• 10 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.

buck team
(Source: teambuckrogers.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.

rogers buck
(Source: teambuckrogers.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 Black Grouper 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 west season coast spot secret again start june channel florida fishing south
(Source: southfloridafishingchannel.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.

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.

In the Atlantic and state waters of Monroe County, the grouper closure ends April 30, and harvest will reopen May 1. Rebecca Barry She is thrilled to be in the River City where she can catch the JU Dolphin's games and study the diverse weather patterns.

grouper west season coast again start june channel florida stretches trolling anclote tarpon knots caught springs miles area using
(Source: southfloridafishingchannel.com)

This big gag was caught on a recent 39-hour trip aboard a party boat out of Hubbard’s Marina. The gag grouper recreational season in Gulf state waters off Franklin, Weibull, Jefferson and Taylor counties will open for harvest Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

Gag grouper will close to recreational harvest in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters Jan. 1, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 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. 3, 2021.

In the Atlantic and state waters of Monroe County, the grouper closure ends April 30 and will reopen May 1. Visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov for the latest information on the status of annual catch limits. These species are also managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SFMC) in federal waters.

Sale of snapper grouper under the recreational bag limit is prohibited. For-hire vessels must have a Snapper Grouper permit to fish for these species in federal waters.

The harvest and possession of snapper grouper species by commercial and recreational fishermen will be limited to the recreational bag limit within the Special Management Zones. Greater Amber jack 1 per person per day28-inch FL In April, for-hire vessels are limited to 1 per person/day or 1 per person/trip.

(Source: teambuckrogers.com)

Aggregate bag limits apply Regulations only apply in Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties.

A fishery may close when the quota or annual catch limit is projected to be reached, sign up for fishery bulletins and text messages. NOTE: Species not listed do not currently have federal seasonal closures or quotas but states may regulate vessels registered in that state and fishing in federal waters for species that do not have applicable federal regulations, or for which management has been delegated to the state.

(3) As of April 30, 2018, the recreational Greater Amber jack fishing year was modified to be August 1 through July 31 and the fixed closed season was modified to be November 1 through April 30 and June 1 through July 31. (4) This summary is intended to provide appropriate information to fishermen about fishing regulations in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Sources
1 finnsfishingtips.com - https://finnsfishingtips.com/grouper-trolling-lures/
2 www.liveabout.com - https://www.liveabout.com/catching-and-fishing-for-grouper-2929541
3 www.fishanywhere.com - https://www.fishanywhere.com/blog/grouper-season-2020-in-florida/
4 charterspensacolabeach.com - https://charterspensacolabeach.com/grouper-fishing-charter/
5 www.thetriple-trouble.com - https://www.thetriple-trouble.com/grouper/