Florida Keys Regulations

The rules and regulations contained in FishMonster Magazine have been taken directly from the printed publications provided by the State of Florida FWC, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.  It is an effort to incorporate all recreational rules and regulations from all three agencies into a format easily read and understood by the recreational angler.  Every effort has been made to provide you with accurate and timely information.  Fishing regulations can and do change quite frequently.  Therefore, to quote the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management’s disclaimer on the back of their Recreational Fishing Regulations for Gulf of Mexico Federal Waters publication, “This publication was prepared for general informational purposes.....and has no legal force or effect.  Fishing regulations are subject to change.”  This is FishMonster Magazine’s position as well.  Please use at your own risk. These regulations have been prepared with the Florida Keys angler in mind and may not include every species.  If you do not see a species listed it does not mean that there is not a rule.  When in doubt please check with the appropriate agency listed below:

 

S   STATE GOM   GULF OF MEXICO SA   SOUTH ATLANTIC
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

www.MyFWC.com
850-488-6058
2590 Executive Center Circle East/Berkeley Building
Tallahassee, FL  32301

www.GulfCouncil.org
813-348-1630
2203 N. Lois Ave  Suite 1100
Tampa, FL  33607

www.safmc.net
843-571-4366
4055 Faber Place Drive  Suit 201 
N. Charleston, SC  29405

 

***When rules differ between areas, they are noted with a S, GOM or SA. If they all agree or if an area does not not have a rule, there will be no colored letter.*** 

Species Minimum Size Limit Closed Season Daily Recreational Bag Limit Remarks

Amberjack, Greater

S 28”F Atlantic 30” fork Gulf
GOM 30” fork
SA 28” fork, no coring

S  June 1 - July 31 Gulf
GOM-closed June 1-Dec 31

1 per person per day

GOM Captain and crew may not retain bag limit.
SA In April, for-hire vessels limited to 1 per person per day.

Amberjack, Lesser & Banded Rudderfish

Slot size 14”-22” fork

Aug 9-Dec 31, 2016

S 5 fish aggregate of lesser amberjack and banded rudderfish
GOM 5 fish aggregate (excluded from the 20 reef fish aggregate).

 

Black Drum

Between 14” - 24”

None

5 per person per day

S May possess one over 24”. Snatching prohibited. No harvesting using multiple hook with live or dead natural bait.

Bonefish

No Harvest

None

Harvesting is prohibited

There is an allowance for temporary possession of one bonefish at a time, at the site of capture for photos, measuring and weighing.
Multiple hooks in conjunction with live or dead natural bait cannot be used

Cobia (Ling)

33” fork

None

S 1 per person or  6 per vessel whichever is less
GOM 2 per person per day
SA 2 per person per day

GOM The 2-day bag limit allowance for charter vessels and headboats does not apply to cobia.
SA One day possession limit. Must be landed with heads and fins intact.  Charter/headboats require a permit for Coastal Migratory Pelagics.

Crab, Stone

2 3/4” claw minimum

May 16-Oct 14

1 gal. claws per person or 2 gal per vessel, whichever is less

S 5 traps maximum. Trap requirements apply. Illegal to possess whole crab. Harvest of egg-bearing crabs prohibited.
GOM Claws may not be removed from egg-bearing females. Illegal to land whole crab

Dolphin

S 20”fork-Atlantic
SA 20”fork

None

10 per person not to exceed 60 per boat per day.
SA Headboats allowed 10 per paying person per day

SA Sale prohibited except for for-hire vessels with appropriate permits. One day possession limit. Must be landed with heads and fins intact.  Charter/headboats require a permit for Coastal Migratory Pelagics.

Grouper, Black

S 24” Monroe County & Atlantic,  22” Gulf excluding Monroe County
GOM 22”
SA 24”

S  Atlantic & Monroe County-Jan1-April 30  Gulf closed Feb1-March 31
GOM Closed 2/1 - 3/31

when fishing beyond the

20-fathom break.
SA Jan-April

S  1 per person per day Atlantic & Monroe County, 4 per person per day Gulf excl. Monroe County.
GOM 4 per person in aggregate of all groupers
SA No more than one black or gag grouper (but not both) included in 3 grouper per person.

S  No more than1 fish may be Gag or Black Grouper, either individually or in combination in Atlantic & Monroe County.  Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County) and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.  Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain & crew on for-hire vessels.
GOM For-hire captain & crew prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper while under charter.   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Grouper, Gag

S 24” Monroe County & Atlantic,  22” Gulf excluding Monroe County
GOM 22”
SA 24”

S  1 per person per day Atlantic & Monroe County; 2 per person per day Gulf.
GOM No more than 2 gag grouper per person (counts as part of the 4 grouper aggregate bag limit).
SA No more than one black or gag grouper (but not both) included in 3 grouper per person.

S Closed Jan1 - April 30 Monroe Co. and closed
Dec 3 - June 30 in state waters of Gulf of Mexico
excluding Monroe County.
GOM Closes Dec 3, 2014 - June 30, 2015
SA Closed Jan 1 - April 30

Grouper, Goliath

Closed to harvest or possession since 1990.

Grouper, Nassau

Closed to harvest or possession since 1992.

Grouper, Red

20”

S  Atlantic & Monroe County-Jan1-April 30 
SA Jan-April

GOM Closed Oct. 8, 2015 - Jan. 1, 2016

Closed 2/1 - 3/31

when fishing beyond the

20-fathom break.

S  3 per person per day Atlantic & Monroe County; 4 per person per day Gulf excluding Monroe County
GOM No more than 4 red grouper per person (counts as part of the 4 grouper aggregate bag limit).
SA Included in 3 grouper per person

S Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.  Atlantic & Monroe County: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
GOM For-hire captain & crew prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper while under charter.   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Grouper, Snowy

None

SA: Closed September 1 2015- April 30 2016

S 1 per person per day, included in 3 grouper bag limit
GOM 4 per person per day in aggregate of all groupers .
SA 1 per vessel per day Atlantic

S Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.  Atlantic & Monroe County: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.


GOM For-hire captain & crew prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper while under charter.   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Grouper, Yellowedge

None

None

GOM 1 per vessel included in 4 fish combined grouper total
SA 1 per person per day

Grouper, Yellowmouth

S 20”

Closed Atlantic & Monroe County Jan 1-April 30
GOM Closed 2/1 - 3/31

when fishing beyond the

20-fathom break.

SA Closed

Jan1-April 30

GOM 4 per person in aggregate of all groupers.
SA Included in 3 grouper per person

Grouper, Yellowfin 

20”

Grouper, Scamp

S 20” Atlantic and Monroe County 16” Gulf
GOM 16”
SA  20”

Grouper, Warsaw & Speckled Hind

None

SA: Closed until further notice

S  1 per vessel per day each species
GOM 1 per vessel per day, included in the 4 grouper aggregate.
SA Closed until further notice

S Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.  Atlantic & Monroe County: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
GOM For-hire captain & crew prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper while under charter.   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.
May not be sold or traded; no transfer at sea.

Grouper, All Others
(Coney, Graysby , Tiger etc.)

None

S Closed Atlantic and Monroe County Jan 1-April 30
SA Jan 1- April 30

GOM 4 per person in aggregate of all groupers .
SA 1 per person per day

S Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.  Atlantic & Monroe County: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
GOM For-hire captain & crew prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper while under charter.   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Hind, Red

None

S  Closed in Atlantic and Monroe County Jan 1-April 30
GOM  Jan 1-April 30 closure of “The Edges”
SA Jan1-Apr30

S  No rules
GOM 4 per person in aggregate of all groupers
SA 3 per person per day included in 3 grouper bag limit

S Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.  Atlantic & Monroe County: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
GOM For-hire captain & crew prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper while under charter.   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Hind, Rock

None

Hogfish

12” fork

S & GOM open

 

SA closed Aug 24-Jan 1, 2016

S  5 per person per day
GOM  5 per person per day
SA 5 per person per day off east Florida only

 

Mackerel, Cero

None

None

None

None

Mackerel, King

24” fork

None

2 per person per day including captain and crew

S Bag limit reduced to 1 in some state waters when federal waters are closed to all harvest. Check myFWC.com/fishing prior to fishing.
SA Must be landed with heads and fins intact. Charter/headboat require permit for Coastal Migratory Pelagics. Call SAFMC for multi-day exceptions. One day possession limit.

Mackerel, Spanish

12” fork

None

15 per person per day

S  Transfer of Spanish Mackerel to other vessels at sea is prohibited.
SA Must be landed with heads and fins intact. Charter/headboat require permit for Coastal Migratory Pelagics. Call SAFMC for multi-day exceptions.

Permit

S 22” fork SPZ; Not less than 11” or more than 22” fork all other areas

S May 1 - July 31 SPZ

S 1 Per harvester per day, not to exceed 2 per vessel per day SPZ 2 per harvester per day all other waters
6 per person per day aggregate of permit and florida Pompano

S  May possess one over 22” fork lengh in all other areas, not to exceed 2 over 22” fork per vessel per day.

Pompano, Florida

S  11” fork

 

S  6 per harvester per day

S  Hook and line, cast net, and beach or haul seine ONLY

Pompano, African

24” fork

None

2 per vessel per day

S  Hook & line only, no spearing.. No harvesting using multiple hook with llive or dead natural bait.

Porgy Complex (Jolthead, Knobbed, Whitebone, Scup, Saucereye)

None

S See remarks

SA Open, subject to quota closure

GOM None

 

S Closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels which have a valid charter/headboat permit for South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper. Closure does not apply to recreational fishermen in state waters, only in federal.

Red Drum (Redfish)

Between 18” and 27”

None

1 per person per day; 8 fish vessel limit

S  Gigging, spearing, snatching prohibited. No harvesting using multiple hook with llive or dead natural bait. Harvest in federal waters prohibited.

GOM   RED DRUM IS ILLEGAL TO POSSESS OR HARVEST IN FEDERAL WATERS

Red Porgy

S  14” Atlantic
SA  14”

None

S  3 per person per day Atlantic.
SA 3 per person per day or 3 per person per trip whichever is more restrictive

 

Sailfish

63” fork length

None

One per harvester per day

SA Bag limits are subject to sub-quotas by size and permit categories, change seasonally, and are reduced to zero when sub-quotas are filled. Report all recreational swordfish and billfish landings within 24 hours to NOAA at 800-894-5528.
HMS Permit required in all federal waters. All HMS species (except blackfin tuna) require an HMS Angling Category permit from NOAA Fisheries. Permits available by calling 888-872-8862 or visiting www.nmfspermits.com.
For complete HMS regulations, contact the NOAA Fisheries HMS Management Division at 301-713-2347 or visit the website at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

Shark

S  54” fork for all sharks except Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, blacktip, bonnethead, finetooth and smooth dogfish
GOM  54” fork, except no restrictions on bonnethead and sharpnose
SA None

None

S  1 per person or 2 per vessel per day, whichever is less
GOM 1 per vessel, except 1 per person for bonnethead and sharpnose

S  Hook and line gear only. See list below for prohibited species.

Shark, Bonnethead

GOM  None

GOM  None

GOM  1 per person per day

 

Shark, Sharpnose

GOM  None

GOM  None

GOM  1 per person per day

 

Shark, Prohibited

S Atlantic Angel, Basking, Big Eye Sand Tiger, Big Eye Six Gill, Big Eye Thresher, Bignose, Caribbean Reef, Caribbean Sharpnose, Dusky, Galapagos, Lemon, Longfin Mako, Narrowtooth, Night, Silky, Sand Tiger, Sandbar, Sevengill, Sixgill, Smalltail, Whale and White.
GOM-Atlantic Angel, Bigeye Thresher, Bigeye Sand Tiger, Caribbean Reef, Caribbean Sharpnose, Bigeye Sixgill, Basking, Bignose, Dusky, Sand Tiger, Galapagos, Longfin Mako, Narrowtooth, Night, White, Sevengill, Sixgill, Smalltail, Whale and Sandbar

Sheepshead

12”

None

15 per person per day

S  Snatching prohibited.

Shrimp

None

April & May closed to Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Clay counties

5 gallons heads on per person or vessel per day, whichever is less

S  Contact FWC Regional office for closed areas.

Snapper, Cubera

12”

None

S  Included within 10 per person per day Snapper aggregate bag limit if under 30”
GOM 10 per person in Snapper aggregate.
SA 2 per person not to exceed two per boat

S  May possess no more than 2 cubera snapper over 30” per harvester or vessel per day, whichever is less. 30” or larger not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit.
GOM   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.
SA 2 over 30” not incl. in 10 snapper bag limit, cubera under 30”  are included in the 10 fish bag limit.

Snapper, Dog

12”

None

10 per person per day in Snapper aggregate.

GOM  Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Snapper, Gray (Mangrove)

S  10”
GOM 12”
SA  12”

None

S  5 per person per day
GOM 10 per person per day in Snapper aggregate.
SA Included in 10 snapper per person limit

S  Included within 10 per harvester per day Snapper aggregate bag limit.
GOM  Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Snapper, Lane

8”

None

S  Included within 10 per person per day Snapper aggregate bag limit Atlantic
GOM  Included in the 20 reef fish aggregate
SA  Included in 10 snapper per person limit

S  Gulf not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit.

Snapper, Mahogany

S SA  No rules
GOM 12”

None

Included in 10 Snapper per person per day limit

GOM   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Snapper, Mutton

16”

None

Included within 10 per person per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

GOM   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Snapper, Queen

S 12”
GOM 12”
SA None

None

10 per person per day in Snapper aggregate.

GOM   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Snapper, Red

S 20” Atlantic, 16” Gulf
GOM 16”
SA  20”

S Gulf of Mexico, Open May 23 through July 12, and will reopen for Saturdays and Sundays in September and October including Labor Day and Sunday, Nov.1.

GOM Closed

SA Closed

2 per person per day 

S  Included within 10 per harvester per day Snapper aggregate bag limit. Note: Check myFWC.com/Fishing for most current regulations prior to fishing. Gulf: Zero daily bag limit and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
GOM-For-hire captain & crew prohibited from retaining bag limit while under charter.

Snapper, School-Master

S SA 10”
GOM 12”

None

Included within 10 per person per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

GOM  Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Snapper, Silk

S 12”

None

Included within 10 per person per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

GOM  Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Snapper, Vermillion

S  12” Atlantic, 10” Gulf
GOM  10”
SA 12” 

S  Nov 1-March 31 Atlantic
GOM  None
SA None

S  5 per person per day Atlantic, 10 per person per day Gulf
GOM  10 per person per day included in the 20 reef fish aggregate
SA 5 per person per day in addition to the snapper bag limit.

S Vermilion Snapper not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit, Atlantic: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
SA Captain & crew bag limit of 0.

Snapper, Yellowtail

12”

None

Included within 10 per person per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

GOM   Federally permitted for hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.

Snapper, all other

12”

None

Included within 10 per person per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

 

Snook (all species)

More than 28” and less than 32” Atlantic More than 28” and less than 33” Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park

GOM Federal & State:
Dec 1-Feb 28,

& May 1- Aug 31
SA Federal & State:
Dec.15-Jan. 31 & Jun 1-Aug 31

1 per person per day

S  Snook permit required when saltwater license required.  illegal to buy or sell snook. Snatch hooks and spearing prohibited.

Spiny Lobster

More than 3” carapace measured in water

4/01 - 8/05 Mini-season last Wed. and Thurs. of July

6 per person per day

No tail removal at sea. No spears, hooks, piercing devices, poisons or explosives. Carapice must be measured while in water. No taking of berried spiny or slipper lobster. Harvesting limited to diving and the use of bully or hoop nets.  Night diving prohibited for Monroe County.

Spotted Seatrout

S  More than 15” and less than 20” (statewide) except one fish over 20” per person

None

S  5 per harvester/day NW region 4 per harvester/day SW region 4 per harvester/ day SE region 6 per harvester/ day NE

S  May possess no more than 1 over 20”; included in the regional bag limit. No harvesting using multiple hook with llive or dead natural bait.

Swordfish

S - 47” lower jaw  fork length with head attached or 25” cleithrum to keel lengh if head removed
SA Whole fish: 47” lower Jaw to tail fork or 29” carcass Lengh 

None

S 1 per harvester per day not to exceed a maximum  of 4 per recreational (not for hire) vessel or 15 per hire vessel per day.
SA 1 per person; maximum 4 per vessel
(6 per vessel for charter boats; 15 per vessel for headboats

SA Bag limits are subject to sub-quotas by size and permit categories, change seasonally, and are reduced to zero when sub-quotas are filled. Report all recreational swordfish and billfish landings within 24 hours to NOAA at 800-894-5528.
HMS Permit required in all federal waters. All HMS species (except blackfin tuna) require an HMS Angling Category permit from NOAA Fisheries. Permits available by calling 888-872-8862 or visiting www.nmfspermits.com.
For complete HMS regulations, contact the NOAA Fisheries HMS Management Division at 301-713-2347 or visit the website at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

Tarpon

Temporary possession for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling allowed, with stipulation that tarpon more than 40in must remain in water.

None   

Catch and release only.

 

One tarpon tag per person per year may be purchased when in pursuit of an IGFA record.

Vessel, transport and shipment limited to 1 fish.

All harvest of tarpon has been eliminated, with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an International Game Fish Association record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.
Gear used for tarpon will be limited to hook-and-line only.
Multiple hooks in conjunction with live or dead natural bait cannot be used to target or harvest tarpon, or to target bonefish.

Tilefish, Blueline

None

SA Closed Jan 1-April 30 and Sept 1-Dec 31

S, GOM  No rules  
SA 3 per person per day 5/1-8/31 , Included in 3 grouper per person per day

 

Tilefish, Golden

None

SA August 11 2015- January 1 2016

S  1 per person per day Atlantic  4 per person per day Gulf

SA 1 per person per day included in 3 grouper bag limit

S  Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic and Monroe County) and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.  Atlantic: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.

Triggerfish, Gray

S  12” fork Atlantic, 14” fork Gulf
GOM  14” fork
SA 12” off east Florida only

S Gulf Closed until Jan. 1, 2016 

GOM-closed June 1-Dec 31, 2016

GOM 2 per angler per day included in the 20 reef fish aggregate                                    
SA Included in 20 fish snapper grouper aggregate

S  Triggerfish except Gray and Ocean have live landing and live well requirements.

 

Atlantic State Waters- Bag Limit 10 per person per day

Tripletail

15”

None 

2 per person per day 

S  Hook and line gear only. No snatch hooks. No spearing. No harvesting using multiple hook with llive or dead natural bait.

Tuna,  Blackfin

None

None

None

 

Tuna, Skipjack

None

None

None

Wahoo

None

None

S, SA  2 per person per day
GOM  No rules

SA Sale of recreational catch prohibited

Wreckfish

None

SA-Jan 1-June 30 and Sept 1-Dec 31

SA 1 per vessel per day

 

 

ADDITIONAL RULES:

Charter Vessels/Headboat Two-Day Bag Limit Allowance
GOM Persons on qualified charter vessels or headboats with two captains for trips in excess of 24 hours may possess 2 days’ bag limits of reef fish species, king mackerel and spanish mackerel. One-day bag limits apply on all other species and trips regardless of length. ** The 2-day bag limit allowance for charter vessels and headboats does not apply to cobia.

King & Spanish Mackerel Multi-Day Possession Limit
SA A person who is on a trip that spans more than 24 hours may possess no more than two daily bag limits, provided such person is aboard a charter vessel or headboat, vessel has two licensed operators and each passenger has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessl verifying length of trip.

Snapper-Grouper Multi-Day Possession Limit
SA A person aboard a charter vessel or headboat on a trip that spans more than 24 hours may possess no more than 2 daily bag limits of species other than red porgy (red porgy limit is 3/day or 3/trip, whichever is more restrictive). A person aboard a headboat on a trip that spans more than 48 hours and who can document that fishing was conducted on at least 3 days may possess no more than 3 daily bag limits of species other than red porgy (red porgy limit is 3/day or 3/trip whichever is more restrictive).

Head and Fins Attached Rule
All fish except for bait and oceanic migratory species taken from federal waters must have heads and fins intact through landing. Up to 1-1/2 pounds of finfish per person is exempt from the head and fins intact rule for personal consumption provided the vessel is equipped to cook such finfish.

Sale of Snapper Grouper
The sale of snapper grouper harvested under the bag limits is prohibited unless the vessel owner has been issued a Federal Commercial Snapper Grouper Permit.

Charter Vessels and Sea Turtles and Sawfish Rule
For-hire and charter vessels must follow sea turtle and smalltooth sawfish release protocol. Go to NMFS Protected Resources Division web site for more information: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pr.htm.

Captain and Crew Bag Limits
GOM For-hire captains and crew are prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper or red snapper while under charter.

Reef Fish as Bait
GOM Reef fish as bait, except sand perch or dwarf sand perch, is prohibited.

Snapper Grouper Allowable Gear
*Vertical hook-and-line including hand-held hook-and-line and bandit gear. * Spearfishing without rebreathers * Powerheads, except where expressly prohibited in Special Management Zones (SMZ’s).
Note: All species in the snapper grouper management unit must be maintained with heads and fins intact. (cobia, king mackerel, spanish mackerel, dolphin, and wahoo must also be landed with heads and fins intact). Goliath and nassau grouper must be released by cutting the line and not be removed from the water. Possession of a dehooking device is required on board a vesel when fishing for South Atlantic snapper grouper.

Other Rules
GOM Federal permitted for-hire reef fish vessels must comply with the more restrictive of federal or state reef fish regulations when fishing for reef fish in state waters.
GOM Reef fish taken under the recreational bag limit may not be sold.
GOM Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required, along with venting tools and dehooking devices when angling for reef fish, because they reduce mortality on released fish.
SA Use of circle hooks is not required in Monroe County. They are only required north of the 28 N. latitude.

AGGREGATE SPECIES LIMIT RULES

20 Reef Fish Aggregate
SA Vermilion Snapper, Lane Snapper, Almaco Jack, Gray Triggerfish, Tilefish, Goldface Tilefish, Blueline Tilefish, Blackline Tilefish, Anchor Tilefish.

3 Grouper Aggregate
SA Misty Grouper, Red Grouper, Scamp, Tiger, Yellowedge, Yellowfin Grouper, Yellowmouth Grouper, Blueline Tilefish, Sand Tilefish, Coney, Graysby, Red Hind and Rock Hind. Max 1 gag or black grouper (but not both), max 1 Snowy, Max 1 Golden Tilefish, Max 1 Speckled Hind and 1 Warsaw grouper per trip. May not be sold or transferred at sea.

10 Snapper Aggregate
GOM includes all except red, vermillion and lane
SA Excludes vermillion snapper
Exceptions: max of 2 cubera snapper per person for fish 30” tail or larger off east Florida. Cubera under 30” are included.

Shallow Water Grouper
Closed January through April. Prohibition on recreational and commercial harvest of gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper and tiger grouper. For-hire and charter vessels captain and crew have a bag limit of 0.

20 Other Snapper Grouper Complex Species
There is an aggregate bag limit of 20 fish per person per day inclusive of all fish in the snapper grouper management unit currently not under a bag limit, excluding tomtates and bluerunners. This means you may catch your bag limits, and in addition retain up to 20 other fish for which there is no bag limit.

 

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