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South Carolina



Snapper Grouper Complex Size & Catch Limits

Snapper-Grouper Complex

Many of these species are managed under annual catch limits. Seasons may be closed when catch limits are met. Visit 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<span class="red" lang=""> 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, for-hire, and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools and to possess a descending device that is ready for use when fishing for or possessing snapper-grouper species. They are also required to use non-stainless, non-offset circle hooks when fishing with hook and line and 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. See “Special Information” (General Information) for information on SMZs.

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,


Closed Season

Bag Limit

Size Limit


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.


2 per person per day

17-inch FL


Jan. 1 - June 30 and Sept. 1 - Dec. 31

1 per vessel per day


Black Sea Bass

7 per person per day

13-inch TL

Porgies and Snappers

Red Porgy

Jan. 1 - April 30 and July 1 - Dec. 31

1 per person per day

14-inch TL

Vermilion Snapper

5 per person per day

12-inch TL

Red Snapper

Possession prohibited in federal waters

2 per person per day in state waters

20-inch TL in state waters

Lane Snapper

10 per person per day from this group

8-inch TL

Cubera, Yellowtail, Gray

12-inch TL

Blackfin, Silk and Queen Snapper

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

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

Red Grouper

Jan. 1 - May 31

Included in the 3 grouper aggregate daily bag limit

20-inch TL

Scamp, Yellowfin, &
Yellowmouth Groupers

Jan. 1 - Apr. 30

Golden Tilefish

1 per person per day

Included in 3 grouper aggregate bag limit.

Sand Tilefish

3 per person per day

Blueline Tilefish

Sept. 1 - Apr. 30

3 per person per day

Misty & Yellowedge Grouper

Included in the 3 grouper aggregate daily bag limit

Coney, Graysby, Red Hind & Rock Hind

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; White Grunt; Scup; Almaco & Bar Jacks; Margate; Whitebone, Knobbed, Jolthead & Saucereye; Banded Rudderfish; Sailors Choice

20 per person per day aggregate with no more than 10 of any one species

Gray Triggerfish

12-inch FL


14-inch TL (state waters)

  • 30 per boat per day (state waters)