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Florida Saltwater Fishing Seasons

Florida Saltwater Fishing Seasons

 

Saltwater fishing on federal waters differs in that some seasons can be closed earlier or extended. For example, the 2011 red snapper season was only 48 days, the shortest in history due to quotas being met. However, during 2010 there also was a fall snapper framework that spanned 3-day weekends opened to fishing in October and November, the result of waters being closed after a massive oil leak in the Gulf.

Always check with your guide or with the State agency for the most up-to-date information. 

 

2016 Federal Gulf of Mexico Fishing Seasons 

 

  • Greater Amberjack: Closed June 1-July 31; 1 fish per person per day; 0 bag limit for for-hire captain and crew  

  • Bay Scallops: Open June 25 - Sept. 24 (Season opens the Saturday before July 1 unless July 1 falls on a Saturday, then the opening date would be July 1); limit 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell, or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person; maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel

  • Stone Crab: State waters harvest season open October 15 - May 15; minimum size limit 2 3/4 inch claw; limit 1 gallon of claws per person or 2 gallons per vessel, whichever is less

  • Gag Grouper: Federal waters open June 1 - December 31; limit 2 per person with aggregate. State only: 0 fish bag limit for charter captain and crew

  • Red Snapper: Gulf federal season June 1-9 (closing June 10) for private recreational anglers, June 1-July 16 for federally permitted for-hire vessels (Read more: "How was the Red Snapper season calculated?"); limit 2 per person (included in the 10 per harvester per day state snapper aggregate bag limit); charter captain and crew: zero 

  • Snook: Dec. 1-end of February; May 1-Aug. 31; one per harvester per day

  • Spiny Lobster: Sport Season July 27-28, 2016 (last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July each year); limit 12 per person per day

 

No Closed Seasons - Gulf of Mexico State Waters

 

  • Bonefish
  • Blackdrum
  • Blue Crab
  • Bluefish
  • Cobia
  • Dolphin, Mahi
  • Flounder
  • Hogfish
  • King Mackeral
  • Spanish Mackeral
  • Mullet
  • Pompano
  • Red Drum
  • Black Sea Bass
  • Shark
  • Sheepshead
  • Snapper (all Snappers except Red)
  • Spotted Seatrout
  • Lion Fish
  • Other Groupers (includes Red, Black, Yellowfin, Yellowmouth, Rock Hind, Red Hind, and Scamp)
  • Tripletail
  • White Grunt
  • Whiting

 

 


Resources: 

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission