There is no greater spot for Grouper fishing than the beautiful waters off the coast of Miami, Florida. Grouper are managed differently in Gulf versus Atlantic and in state versus federal waters. The FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) regulates the seasonality, what can be harvested, and the bag limits for Groupers in both the Atlantic and Gulf waters. The focus of this blog will be the regulations for each species of Grouper caught in the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean and East Coast regulations include the waters of the Florida Keys and the Everglades.
There are different limits for federal and state waters for some species, which we will outline below. Note that federal waters start at 3 nautical miles from the shore, and state waters are from the shore to 3 nautical miles out.
The East Coast season, which includes the Florida Keys to Duval County (Jacksonville area), opens on May 1st and runs through December 31st. Please see below for the limits by species:
- Gag and Black Grouper have a bag limit of 1 Gag Grouper or 1 Black Grouper within the 3 grouper aggregate.
- Red, Scamp, Yellowfin, Yellowmouth, Rock Hind and Coney Groupers each have a bag limit of 3 per person within the 3 grouper aggregate.
- Yellowedge Grouper season is open year-round and has a bag limit of 3 per person within the 3 grouper aggregate.
- Warsaw Grouper season is also year-round, however, harvesting is prohibited in federal waters. In state waters (within 3 nautical miles off the shore), the bag limit is 1 per vessel per day.
- Snowy Grouper regulations are different in state and federal waters. The state limit is 1 per person within the 3 grouper aggregate and the season runs year-round. In federal waters, the limit is 1 per vessel per day within the 3 grouper aggregate, and the season runs from May 1 through December 31.
- Goliath and Nassau Grouper are catch-and-release only, so take a quick picture of your catch and release it back into the Atlantic waters.
Grouper fishing is always a fun way to spend your day on the water. They are aggressive fighters but well worth the fight as they are on the tastiest fish in the ocean. Although we are still unable to take you fishing as we continue our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, we look forward to fishing with you again soon.