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Saltwater Creel & Size Limits

Common Coastal Species

Size Limit

Bag & Possession Limit

Cobia14 (Ling or Lemonfish)

36” min fork length

1 daily per person

No more than 2 per vessel


16” min total length

27” max total length

Black Drum:

5 daily per person - bag and possession

No more than one over 27” max total length

Red Drum (Redfish)1:

5 daily per person - bag2

No more than one over 27” max total length

Southern Flounder

No Size Limit

10 daily per person

No possession allowed from Oct. 15 - Nov. 30


King Mackerel3:

24” min fork length

3 daily per person

Spanish Mackerel3:

12” min fork length

15 daily per person

Striped Mullet

No Size Limit

100 lbs. daily

Spotted Seatrout4 (Speckled Trout)

13” min total length

20” max total length

15 daily per person with no more than 2 over 20” max total length4

Highly Migratory Species5

Size Limit

Bag & Possession Limit


Blue Marlin:

99” min lower jaw fork length

No Bag or Possession Limit

White Marlin:

66” min lower jaw fork length

Roundscale Spearfish:

66” lower jaw fork length


63” min lower jaw fork length

No Bag or Possession Limit

Highly Migratory Species5

Size Limit

Bag & Possession Limit


Atlantic Sharpnose & Bonnethead Shark6:


1 daily per person - possession

Shortfin Mako Shark6:

Males: 71” min fork length

Females: 83” min fork length

1 in aggregate per vessel per trip - possession. No silky or sandbar sharks. No prohibited species. (See complete list of Prohibited Sharks)

Other Sharks

(EXCEPT Prohibited silky and sandbar)6:

54” min fork length


47“ Lower Jaw Fork Length (LJFL) or

25” Cleithrum to Caudal Keel (CK)

1 per person

No more than 4 per vessel trip


Bluefin Tuna8:

73” min curved fork length

1 per vessel per year with appropriate federal permit as incidental catch during the open season

Bigeye Tuna8:

27” min curved fork length

No Bag or Possession Limit

Yellowfin Tuna8:

27” min curved fork length

3 daily per person

Reef Fish3


  • Species within the 20 fish aggregate bag limit are Vermilion Snapper, Lane Snapper, Almaco Jack, Gray Triggerfish, Tilefish, Goldface Tilefish, and Blueline Tilefish.
  • Species within the 10 fish aggregate bag limit are all snappers (Gray, Mutton, Yellowtail, Cubera, Queen, Blackfin, Silk and Wenchman) except Red, Vermilion and Lane.

Size Limit

Bag & Possession Limit


Black & Gag9: 24” min total length

4 daily in aggregate

No more than 1 speckled hind and 1 Warsaw grouper per vessel, not more than 2 red grouper per person, and not more than 2 gag per person included in the bag limit

Red & Yellowfin9: 20” min total length

Scamp9: 16” min total length

Goliath & Nassau: Take Prohibited

Take/Possession Prohibited


Red10,11: 16” min total length

2 daily per person10 & 11

Mutton: 18” min total length

10 daily per person in aggregate with no more than 5 mutton snapper3*

Queen, Blackfin, Silk & Wenchman: None

Cubera, Gray (mangrove) & Yellowtail: 12” min total length

Lane: 8” min total length

20 daily per person in aggregate, with no more than 1 gray triggerfish and not more than 10 vermilion snapper per person included in the bag limit3*

Vermilion: 10” min total length

Reef Fish and Other3

Size Limit

Bag & Possession Limit

Almaco Jack

No Size Limit

20 daily per person in aggregate*

Gray Triggerfish12

15” min fork length

1 daily per person in aggregate3*

Tilefish (Goldface & Blueline)

No Size Limit

20 daily per person in aggregate*


Greater10,13: 34” min fork length

1 daily per person3

Lesser & Banded Rudderfish13:

14-22” fork length slot limit

5 daily per person in aggregate


14” min fork length

5 daily per person


18” min total length

5 daily per person

Explanation of Saltwater Creel & Size Limits

1Red Drum (Redfish) and Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout)

Recreational saltwater anglers may possess a two days’ bag limit on land; however, no person shall be in possession of fish over the daily bag limit in any one day or while fishing or while on the water, unless that recreational saltwater angler is aboard a trawler engaged in commercial fishing for a consecutive period of longer than 25 hours. Take or possession of red drum in federal waters is prohibited.

The possession limit for red drum and spotted seatrout taken south of U.S. Hwy 90 shall be three times the daily take limit when the fisherman holds and is in possession of a valid recreational fishing license and can show a landing receipt from a public boat launch located south of U.S. Hwy 90 that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that the fisherman has been actively on the water or at a remote camp that can be accessed only by water for two days or more. The fish shall be kept whole or whole gutted in separate bags for each species of fish. The bags shall be marked with the date the fish were taken, the species, the number of fish contained in the bag, and the name and license number of the person taking the fish. The fish shall only be in the possession of the person who took the fish. However, no fisherman shall be actively fishing or engaged in fishing while in possession of more than the daily take limit.

2Off-water Bag Limit

Two days’ bag limit allowed in possession off of the water, not while fishing or in a boat except as mentioned above in relation to south of U.S. Hwy 90.

3Charter Vessels & Headboats

Two-day limit allowed in possession only on charter vessels and headboats on multi day trips, if the vessels have two licensed operators, as required by the U.S. Coast Guard for trips more than 12 hours, and if each angler has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel verifying the length of the trip.

4Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout)

No harvest of spotted seatrout is allowed for the captain and crew of a vessel under charter (their creel limit/bag limit zero). Captain and crew may engage in fishing to demonstrate fishing for clients but may not harvest any spotted seatrout.

5Highly Migratory Species

An HMS Permit is required for all owners/operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks. The Atlantic HMS Permits will be valid from the date of issuance through Dec. 31, 2024. The permit fee is $20. NOTE: This permit requires the reporting of all recreationally caught swordfish, billfish, and bluefin tuna within 24 hours of landing that species, please see for more details.

An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The HMS Charter/Headboat Permit will be valid from the date of issuance through Dec. 31, 2024. The permit fee is $20.

For information about contact the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Permitting Office at 1-888-872-8862 or 727-824-5399 or visit the NMFS Permit Shop at For complete HMS regulations, contact the HMS Management Division at 301-713-2347 or visit the website at See Saltwater Fishing for a complete listing of Highly Migratory Species contact information.


Other seasons and rules may be currently in place in Federal waters off Louisiana, please check those rules at

Small Coastal Sharks

Atlantic sharpnose shark; bonnethead shark; blacknose shark; finetooth shark

Large Coastal Sharks

Blacktip shark; nurse shark; smooth hammerhead; bull shark; sandbar shark*; spinner shark; great hammerhead; scalloped hammerhead; tiger shark; lemon shark; silky shark*

*NOTE: Recreational harvest of sandbar and silky sharks (ridgeback sharks) is not allowed.

Pelagic Sharks

Blue shark; porbeagle shark; thresher shark; oceanic whitetip shark; shortfin mako

NOTE: A person subject to a bag limit shall not possess at any time, regardless of the number of trips or the duration of a trip, any shark in excess of the bag limits listed under Highly Migratory Species on Saltwater Creel and Size Limits chart. The practice of “finning,” that is, removing only the fins and returning the remainder of the shark to the sea, is prohibited within and without Louisiana waters. Notwithstanding other provisions of this part, a person may fish for, but not retain, white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) with rod and reel only under a catch-and-release program, provided the person releases and returns such fish to the sea immediately with a minimum of injury (For tips on safely releasing fish, visit

Prohibited Sharks

The following is a list of shark species that are prohibited: Atlantic angel shark, sand tiger shark, dusky shark, bigeye sand tiger shark, sixgill shark, largetooth sawfish, bigeye thresher shark, smalltooth sawfish, narrowtooth shark, Caribbean reef shark, white shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, basking shark, sevengill shark, Galapagos shark, bigeye sixgill shark, smalltail shark, longfin mako, bignose shark, whale shark and night shark. No sandbar or silky sharks may be retained under a recreational bag limit.


Recreational fishing vessels shall not possess more than one per person with a limit of four swordfish per vessel per trip. Swordfish taken under a recreational bag limit shall not be sold, purchased, exchanged, bartered, or attempted to be sold, purchased, exchanged or bartered. No person aboard any vessel shall transfer or cause the transfer of swordfish between vessels on state or federal waters. All recreationally harvested swordfish must be reported, see or call (800) 894-5528.


Anglers fishing for tunas within or outside Louisiana state waters are subject to both state and federal laws, rules and regulations. Federal regulations regarding the recreational harvest of tunas change often, especially for bluefin tuna. Prior to angling for or harvest of tuna, be aware of the most current federal regulations for fishing or harvest, including sizes, bag limits and closed seasons. For updates on tuna quota monitoring and tuna retention limit adjustments, anglers may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at 888-872-8862. The “Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure” is available at and announcements of changes may be accessed via the web at

Permanent Louisiana regulations on tuna harvest may be superseded by seasonal changes within the federal regulatory system. See the following websites ( and for current federal regulations. State requirements regarding tuna regulations may also be subject to change, please refer to the LDWF website for current information: and

Bluefin Tuna

All bluefin tuna must be reported within 24 hours of landing to NMFS by calling 888-872-8862 or visiting For further information about angling category permits call the NMFS HMS Division at 888-872-8862 or 301-713-2347. Federal quotas and regulations for bluefin tuna can change often, be aware of the most current bluefin tuna regulations and federal seasons by visiting


There is a closed season for the recreational harvest of gag from Jan. 1 through May 31 of each year. A closed season for the recreational harvest of black, red, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers as well as scamp has also been established from Feb. 1 - March 31 of each year sea-ward of the 20 fathom (120 feet) curve.

Other seasons and rules are currently in place in Federal waters off of Louisiana. Please check those rules at under “Fishing Regulations.”

10Charter Captain & Crew

No harvest of red snapper, greater amberjack or grouper of any species is allowed for the captain and crew of vessel under charter (their creel limit/bag limit is zero).

11Red Snapper

Regulations for the recreational harvest of red snapper in Louisiana state waters may change frequently. For current red snapper seasons, bag limits, and possession information check the LDWF website at:

12Gray Triggerfish

There is a closed season for the recreational harvest of gray triggerfish from Jan. 1 through the end of February and from June 1 - July 31 annually.


The recreational greater amberjack season is open May 1-31. There is a fixed closed season from June 1 - July 31. The season reopens Aug. 1 - Oct. 31, or until the annual quota is met or projected to be met. For more information, go to OR

14Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP)

Recreational anglers who are 18 years of age or older and charter captains are required to obtain this permit (free of charge) to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, hinds, snappers, dolphinfish, wahoo, cobia and gray triggerfish. Anglers wishing to obtain or renew a permit must register or login at More details on this program are also available on this site. The requirement for anglers on a for-hire trip to have the permit has been removed; instead, it is required that the charter captain have a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit in his/her possession.