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Snapper Grouper Complex Size & Catch Limits

Hunting Regulations Icon South Carolina Hunting & Fishing

 

TL=Total Length, FL=Fork Length.

AIW=Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway; State Waters extend from the saltwater-freshwater dividing line to the 3-mile limit. Federal Waters extend from the 3-mile limit to 200 miles offshore (international waters).

Up to date fishing regulations can be found on the SCDNR website at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/saltwaterfish.html.

All species in this section must be landed with head and tail intact.

An operator or crew member onboard a for-hire or commercial vessel must have a valid Operator Card when underway fishing for Dolphin/Wahoo.

These species are also managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) in federal waters. Regulations may change. Please contact the SAFMC at 843-571-4366 or www.safmc.net to get the most up to date regulations on these species.

The harvest and possession of coastal migratory pelagic species by commercial and recreational fishermen will be limited to the recreational bag limit within the Special Management Zones.

Many of these species are managed under annual catch limits. Seasons may be closed when catch limits are met. Visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov for the latest information on the status of annual catch limits.

These species are also managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) in federal waters. Regulations may change. Please contact the SAFMC at 843-571-4366 or www.safmc.net to get the most up to date regulations on these species. You can also download the FREE mobile application Fish Rules. Fish Rules is available for both android and apple products.

Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species. Non-stainless circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits for snapper grouper species.

Sale of snapper grouper under the recreational bag limit is prohibited. For-hire vessels must have a Snapper Grouper permit to fish for these species in federal waters.

The harvest and possession of snapper grouper species by commercial and recreational fishermen will be limited to the recreational bag limit within the Special Management Zones.

Sea Turtle Release Gear Requirements: For-hire vessels fishing for snapper grouper species and possessing a federal for-fire permit must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow release protocols. For more information, call 727-824-5312 or visit, http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/turtle_sawfish_release/index.html

Species

Closed Season

Bag Limit

Size Limit

Restrictions

Greater Amberjack 1 per person per day 28-inch FL
  • In April, for-hire vessels are limited to
    1 per person/day or
    1 per person/trip.
Hogfish 2 per person per day 17-inch FL
Wreckfish Closed:
Jan. 1 – June 30 and Sept. 1 – Dec. 31
1 per vessel per day

Seabass

Black Seabass In federal waters, closed when Annual Catch Limit (ACL) is met 7 per person per day 13-inch TL

Porgies and Snappers

Red Porgy 3 per person per day 14-inch TL
Vermilion Snapper 5 per person per day 12-inch TL
Red Snapper Possession prohibited Possession prohibited
Lane Snapper 10 per person per day from this group 8-inch TL
Black, Blackfin, Cubera, Dog, Yellowtail, Gray, Mahogany, Schoolmaster 12-inch TL
Silk and Queen Snapper 12-inch TL
Mutton Snapper 5 per person per day, included in the above group limit of 10 per person per day 18-inch TL

Grouper and Tilefish

Gag & Black Grouper Closed:
Jan. 1 – Apr. 30
Included in the 3 grouper aggregate daily bag limit; Maximum of 1 gag or black grouper (but not both) per person/day 24-inch TL
Scamp, Red, Yellowfin, & Yellowmouth Groupers Closed:
Jan. 1 – Apr. 30
Included in the 3 grouper aggregate
daily bag limit
20-inch TL
Golden Tilefish, Blueline Tilefish, and Sand Tilefish Closed:
Sept. 1 – Apr. 30
Included in 3 grouper aggregate bag limit; Blueline tilefish – 3 per person per day (May-August only); Golden tilefish – 1 fish per person per day
Misty & Yellowedge Grouper Included in the 3 grouper aggregate daily bag limit
Coney, Graysby, Red Hind & Rock Hind Closed:
Jan. 1 – Apr. 30
Included in the 3 grouper aggregate daily bag limit
Snowy Grouper Sept. 1 – Apr. 30 Included in the 3 grouper aggregate daily bag limit; Only 1 fish per VESSEL per day (May – August only)
Warsaw and
Speckled Hind
Possession prohibited Possession prohibited
Nassau & Goliath Grouper Possession prohibited Possession prohibited
  • If caught must be released by cutting the line and not removing the fish from the water.

All Other Snapper Grouper Complex Species

Including but not limited to: Lesser Amberjack; Cottonwick; White Grunt; Scup; Almaco & Bar Jacks; Margate; Whitebone, Knobbed, Jolthead, Saucereye & Longspine Porgies; Banded Rudderfish; Sailors Choice; Bank Seabass; Rock Seabass; Ocean Triggerfish 20 per person per day aggregate bag limit
  • Tomtates are excluded from the bag limit.
Gray Triggerfish 12-inch FL
Spadefish