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Grouper from the Tortugas - legal?

xeniaxenia Posts: 1,257 Officer
I keep seeing reports from the Dry Tortugas where grouper, mostly red and some blacks are being taken and kept.  Currently, shallow water grouper are closed in the Atlantic January - April in all waters, and in the Gulf February - March in water deeper than 120'.  Judging by the size and type of the fish, and the color of the water in the photos, I would bet they are being taken beyond 120' depth.  Is there an area near the Dry Tortugas where it's currently legal to take Red and Black Grouper?


  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 1,031 Officer
    Yes, there is an area that is still legal in Gulf Federal.  I happen to be out N of the Tortuga's late Fri and I could see the Yankee sitting just to the north of me bottom fishing.  He was anchored on a spot we called "The Rock Pile".  It comes up from 110' to 100' and is good for groupers, muttons, yellowtails and kings.  About 2 weeks ago, he was right next to the "S" tower, I know because I was planning on fishing it but didn't want to crowd him so we went to a shrimp boat wreck near there and loaded up on cobia's,  He's pretty tight when it comes to the rules, he knows where and where not to fish and heaven forbid someone tries to keep an undersized fish... If you notice, you'll see no gags as they're completely closed in the gulf along with AJ's. 

  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 1,031 Officer
    Just remembered that we were fishing a barge wreck up off of Ft Myers about a month ago and I think it was his boat up that way as well.  It was a ways off but it sure looked like him.  He, like most of us captains will go where it's legal because that's what he's paid to do.  I think he's on one of the boards for the fisheries so he's obviously up on all the latest regulations.  When I went with him, there was a NOAA rep that greeted us back at the dock and measured all the fish.  He said it's a regular occurrence.

  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,257 Officer
    So there is an area where it's legal.  That clears up a lot.  Thanks.
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