Know your limits: There were numerous rule changes last year for our reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico in both state and federal waters. We have had several gear requirements that include the use of circle hooks, venting tools and de-hooking devices when fishing for all reef fish. With the New Year upon us, more changes are in effect.
What's new: The recreational daily bag limit for gag grouper is two per person within the five-grouper aggregate limit in all Gulf waters, and the recreational harvest of gag grouper in all Gulf waters is prohibited from Feb. 1 through March 31.
The recreational daily bag limit for red grouper in gulf state waters is now two fish per person within the five-grouper aggregate limit. However, the recreational red grouper limit in Gulf federal waters is still one fish per person within the aggregate limit. Florida state waters extend nine nautical miles offshore in the Gulf, and federal waters extend beyond state waters.
The closure to the recreational harvest of red and black grouper in Gulf federal waters is still in effect Feb. 15-March 14.
In addition, the recreational minimum size limit for greater amberjack is now 30 inches fork length, and the commercial and recreational minimum size limit for gray triggerfish is 14 inches fork length in all Gulf waters.
Troy P. Sapp with Fins and Tails Guide Service can be reached at (813) 920-6928.