Gag grouper opened for recreational harvest in most state Gulf of Mexico waters and all federal Gulf waters June 1, and will remain open through Dec. 31.

Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties are excluded from this opening 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.

Gulf state waters are from shore out 9 nautical miles. Federal waters begin where state waters end and extend to 200 nautical miles.

The minimum size limit for gag grouper in Gulf waters is 24 inches total length, and the daily bag limit is two fish per person within the four-grouper per person aggregate limit.

If you plan to fish for gag grouper in Gulf state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, you must sign up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal is required).

State for-hire operators that do not have a federal reef fish permit and plan to target gag in state waters must have the State Gulf Reef Fish Charter designation on their license. Learn more at by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations,” “Snappers,” and “Learn more.”

However, if fishing aboard a federally permitted charter boat, which is the majority of Destin’s fleet, no extra permit is needed.

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

As for closures, the recreational harvest of greater amberjack and gray triggerfish in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters closed June 1 and will remain closed through July 31, reopening Aug. 1.

Seasonal harvest closures help conserve Florida’s valuable greater amberjack and gray triggerfish populations and improve these fisheries for the future.

This article was provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.