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Gag Grouper Season Opens June 1st

Gag Grouper season opens June 1st and ends December 31st. It is open for recreational harvest in all federal waters and most state Gulf of Mexico waters. 

Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor, and Jefferson counties are excluded because they have their own season from April 1-June 30 and Sept. 1-Dec. 31. Monroe County is also excluded from this season because it follows the Atlantic state season.

To fish for Gag Grouper, you need to be signed up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal required) visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Reef Fish Survey” under “Reef Fish.” Sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

Federal waters start nine nautical miles out and extend 200 out. Gulf state waters end where federal waters begin. 

 Gag Groupers limit is 24 inches total length with a bag limit of 2 fish per person with a total boat limit of 4.  

Learn more about grouper at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Groupers.”

Photo provided by the FWC 

FWC approves statewide changes to tripletail and sheepshead management

FWC approves statewide changes to tripletail and sheepshead management 

At its April meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several changes to the management of tripletail and sheepshead.

Changes go into effect July 1, 2018, and include:

  • Tripletail:
    • Increasing the minimum size limit from 15 to 18 inches total length.
    • Extending all of the FWC’s recreational and commercial regulations for this species into federal waters (including the new size limit).

Learn more about tripletail regulations at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing.”

  • Sheepshead:
    • Reducing the recreational bag limit from 15 to 8 fish per person, per day year-round.
    • Creating a recreational vessel limit of 50 fish per vessel, per trip during March and April.
    • Extending all of the FWC’s recreational and commercial regulations for this species into federal waters (including the new bag and vessel limits).

Learn more about sheepshead regulations at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing.”

These proactive measures will help conserve both fisheries for current and future generations.

To view presentations given at the Commission meeting, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings” then click on the link below “Next Meeting.”

Greater amberjack season opens May 1 in Gulf state waters

Greater amberjack season opens May 1 in Gulf state waters 

The greater amberjack recreational season in Gulf state waters will reopen to harvest May 1 and remain open through May 31. The season will reopen again Aug. 1 through Oct. 31.

Greater amberjack is overfished and undergoing overfishing, and the season has closed increasingly early in recent years due to federal quotas being met or exceeded. This new season structure adopted at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in December will optimize recreational fishing opportunities in both the spring and fall while minimizing harvest during the spawning season, helping to rebuild the stock.

For more information on greater amberjack including size and bag limits and other regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Amberjack.”

40 day long Red Snapper season announced!

To everyone's surprise, Gov. Scott and FWC announced a 40-day long Red Snapper season instead of the previously proposed 24 day season.
The season will run June 11th through July 21st. This includes both state and federal water.
Private recreational vessels, as well as for-hire operations without a federal reef fish permit, are included in this extension but are limited to reef fish in Gulf state waters only.

“Florida is an important access point throughout the nation and world for recreational red snapper fishing,” said FWC Chairman Bo Rivard. “With other Gulf states setting longer seasons than what Florida had initially proposed, it was important for us to find a fair resolution that would provide equal access to red snapper in Florida. FWC worked collaboratively with NOAA Fisheries to come up with a season that would provide access to all of those that choose Florida as their fishing destination. We appreciate the leadership from Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Congressman Neal Dunn and we are excited to announce that extension today.”

We here at Half Hitch are stoked for 40 days of getting out there and catching some beautiful Red Snapper!

 

 

Below is a copy of the original article posted by FWC. 

Gov. Scott and FWC announce 40-day recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters

April 17, 2018

Suggested Tweet: 40-day recreational red snapper season announced by @FLGovScott and @MyFWC for Gulf waters: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/1ea5346 #fishing #Florida  

red snapper

Gov. Scott and FWC announce 40-day recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Gov. Rick Scott are excited to announce a 40-day recreational red snapper season for both Gulf state and federal waters. A 24-day season was originally proposed.

Gov. Scott said, “Florida is a premier fishing destination and saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico has a $7.6 billion economic impact in our state every year. Adding additional opportunities for anglers to enjoy Florida’s world-class fishing not only benefits our visitors but also our Gulf Coast communities. I am pleased to announce this extension today, and encourage visitors and residents to start planning their summer fishing trips.”

“Florida is an important access point throughout the nation and world for recreational red snapper fishing,” said FWC Chairman Bo Rivard. “With other Gulf states setting longer seasons than what Florida had initially proposed, it was important for us to find a fair resolution that would provide equal access to red snapper in Florida. FWC worked collaboratively with NOAA Fisheries to come up with a season that would provide access to all of those that choose Florida as their fishing destination. We appreciate the leadership from Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Congressman Neal Dunn and we are excited to announce that extension today.”  

Florida will be setting the season in 2018 and 2019 in both state and federal waters through a fishery-management pilot program (also referred to as an Exempted Fishing Permit). The 2018 proposed season would open June 11 and close July 21.

This recreational season will include those fishing for red snapper from private recreational vessels. For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit are also included but are limited to targeting reef fish in Gulf state waters only.

This Exempted Fishing Permit will not apply to commercial fishermen or for-hire operations with a valid federal reef fish permit.

To share your comments or input on Gulf red snapper, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.

Learn more about snapper at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers” and don’t forget to sign up for the Gulf Reef Fish Survey via GoOutdoorsFlorida.com if you plan to target snapper or other reef fish from a private vessel.

                                                 

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 By signing up for the Half Hitch newsletter, you'll stay informed about what's going on with outdoor activities around the Panhandle, and receive notification of special buys, seminars and tournament information. Your personal information will never be given, sold or in any other way transferred to any other party or used for any other purpose than providing Half Hitch with a means of communicating with you. We also honor your request to opt out at any time, however you will miss out on important fishing tips, information and specials. 

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