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Several grouper closures start Jan. 1 in Gulf and Atlantic waters

Staff Report

FLORIDA - Gag grouper will close to recreational harvest in Gulf state and federal waters Jan. 1, 2021. The same day, several species of grouper will also close to recreational and commercial harvest in Atlantic state waters and all state waters off Monroe County. This Atlantic seasonal closure includes gag, black, red, yellowmouth, and yellowfin grouper; scamp; red hind; rock hind; coney; and graysby. A similar closure will also occur in Atlantic federal waters.  

This 19.44lb red grouper caught while fishing with Captain Clint Taylor.
This angler caught a nice scamp, a type of grouper, while fishing aboard DayMaker charters with Capt. Patrick Price out of Sailfish Marina in Stuart.

For gag grouper, state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties will reopen to harvest April 1 through June 30 and Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. All other Gulf state waters (except waters off Monroe County, which follows the Atlantic state season) and all Gulf federal waters will reopen June 1 through Dec. 31.

"JP Harbison caught a nice Gag grouper." Submitted by Mynta Harbison

In the Atlantic and state waters of Monroe County, the grouper closure ends April 30, and harvest will reopen May 1.

Brock Meyer shared his nice catch in the "Panama city fishing" Facebook group, "PB gag and Black Sea bass this evening. Had 3 other grouper break me off. Countless Red snapper and triggers."
J.R. Billetdeaux, 9, of Fishhawk, shows off a 31-inch gag grouper he caught on a scaled sardine in 50 feet of water offshore of St. Petersburg while fishing with Capt. Glen F. Taylor recently.

Grouper information, including Atlantic and Gulf grouper regulations, is available online. Go to and select “Saltwater Fishing” then “Recreational Regulations” and “Groupers.”