Grouper are managed differently in the Gulf versus the Atlantic and in state versus federal waters.
Gulf state waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles.
Atlantic state waters are from shore to 3 nautical miles.
At the July meeting, FWC approved extending the recreational gag grouper season in state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties, by opening the season Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.
Have you signed up for the Gulf Reef Fish Survey yet? Learn more.
(regulations below are for state and federal waters unless specified)
2 per person with aggregate
State only: 0 fish bag limit for Charter Captain and Crew
State: June 1-Dec. 31 (excluding Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor, Jefferson counties)
April 1-June 30 and Sept. 1-Dec. 31 in state waters off of Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties
Federal: June 1 – Dec. 31
4 per person within aggregate
State: Open year-round
Federal: Closed Feb. 1-March 31 seaward of 20 fathoms (map)
"The Edges" closed Jan 1 - Apr 30
2 per person within the 4 grouper aggregate
Up to 4 per person within 4 grouper aggregate
State: Up to 4 per person within the 4 grouper aggregate
1 of each per vessel within 4 grouper aggregate
*Note: Gear rules require circle hooks and dehooking tools in Gulf waters reef fish fisheries.
Up to 3 per personwithin 3 grouper aggregate
Open May 1-Dec. 31
Federal: Harvest prohibited
State: 1 per vessel per day of each species
Federal: Open May 1 – Aug. 31
Click map or link above for a larger PDF.
Several species of Gulf grouper (red, black, scamp, yellowfin and yellowmouth) 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, yellowfin, yellowmouth, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby and tiger) are closed Jan. 1 - April 30 in all state and federal waters (tiger are not included in the federal closure) 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.
85 degrees 13.76 minutes west
29 degrees 40.71 minutes north
Offshore Indian Pass
85 degrees 13.71 minutes west
29 degrees 30.32 minutes north
83 degrees 34.52 minutes west
29 degrees 31.62 minutes north
83 degrees 24.53 minutes west
29 degrees 40.03 minutes north
Anglers targeting gag grouper in state waters in Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties can keep their bag limit from April 1 through June 30. This opening also includes all waters of the Steinhatchee River, including those in Dixie County, and all waters of Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass, including those in Gulf County. The shaded areas represent what will be open to recreational gag grouper harvest between April 1 and June 30.
Pictured above is the western boundary of the April 1-June 30 gag grouper recreational harvest.
Pictured above is the eastern boundary of the April 1-June 30 gag grouper recreational harvest season.
Grouper biology information:
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