How Long Is Grouper Season In Florida?

How Long Is Grouper Season in Florida?

Florida Grouper fishing is a popular activity for fishermen due to its epic battles and availability all year. The best part about Florida Grouper fishing is the ability to target quality offshore fish in the state’s coastal waters. St. Petersburg, Florida is a great place to launch on your quest to catch big grouper. So how long is grouper Season in Florida?

The season dates for inshore grouper fishing generally run from June 1st through December 31st. This is six consecutive months of incredible inshore grouper action. Many inshore fishermen consider very shallow water flats the best place to sight fish inshore species. However, grouper fishing is usually done at depths between 30 and 100ft.


You can target grouper with a variety of natural and artificial baits. Bottom fishing is a popular method that uses either cut or live bait. These baits include:

  • Pinfish
  • Goggle Eyes
  • Pilchards
  • Grunts

Artificial baits are also a good option for an exciting day of Grouper fishing. While there are many types and styles of jigs, the majority of us focus on casting and shallow diving plugs.


A fishing structure is a key component of Florida Grouper fishing. This includes wrecks and reefs for bottom fishing. Casting plugs at rocks or ledges in shallow water is a great way to catch grouper. Grouper then smash the plugs and attempt to deep dive into the rocks. This is where the real action is. You should focus on reef formations, holes, and springs for shallow-water bottom fishing. These fish will be attracted to any type of underwater structure, no matter its depth.


Grouper are known for their ability to “dig”. This means that grouper will dive deep into the cover after they have caught your bait. This is what makes them so exciting to catch. Heavy tackle is recommended due to the size and strength of certain species. Salty Knots Fishing Charters uses 6000 to 8000-sized spinning reels, which are loaded with 60-80lb braided lines. These reels are attached to heavy action rods and a leader of 80-1300lb fluorocarbon.

When trying to catch this species, your best asset is your reaction to the hookup. Florida Grouper fishing may involve you hooking up with powerful giants. This requires a strong response to prevent the species from returning to its rocky habitat.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its July meeting, approved a final rule that will take effect January 1, 2023, and modify the recreational season for gag grouper in the Gulf of Mexico. The recreational season for gag grouper in Gulf state waters will open from September 1 through November 10.

This modification to gag grouper in Gulf State waters is intended to prevent overfishing, increase stock abundance, and ensure future gag fishing opportunities. This modification is compatible with the pending regulations in the Gulf of Mexico federal waters.

The FWC is committed to collecting important recreational harvest fishing data for the management of gag grouper and other reef fish. To collect data on recreational fishing for reef fish from private boats, the State Reef Fish Survey employs in-person interviews as well as a postal survey. These methods give the FWC a better picture of the state’s reef fish stocks and help to ensure long-term sustainability for recreational fishing in Florida.

For recreational anglers or spearfishers who plan to fish for certain species of reef fish from a private boat in Florida, the State Reef Fish Angler classification is required. Recreational anglers with this designation are eligible to be selected for the State Reef Fish Survey’s mail survey component. 

If you are looking to catch some monster gag groupers in the state of Florida look no further than Salty Knots Fishing Charters. Capt Avery Hughes has been fishing for gag groupers in the Gulf of Mexico for years and knows exactly what it takes to land these delicious monster saltwater fish! Call today to learn more about how to book a fishing trip of a lifetime!