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Goliath Grouper Legal in 2023


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For the first time since 1990, goliath groupers, the charismatic behemoths of warm Atlantic waters, can be legally harvested by anglers. On March 3, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) approved a limited quota of 200 tags. The first season will start in 2023 and span March 1 through May 31. Hook-and-line is the only acceptable method, and fishing must occur in state waters.

FWC will issue permit tags via random-draw lottery at $150 for residents and $500 for out-of-state anglers. Only 50 of the 200 tags may be filled in the waters of Everglades National Park. Additionally, Martin County south through the Atlantic Coast of the Keys, all of the St. Lucie River and its tributaries, and Dry Tortugas National Park are all off-limits for goliath grouper harvest.

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One time fishing in FL, a Goliath was hooked. It took two guys taking turns to bring the fish up and we never saw it. They estimated it was at least 300 lbs. 

There are probably fish out there that weigh double that. 

Edited by archer36
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2 minutes ago, MGHunter66 said:

I caught a Goliath on a hand line, was an awesome experience . I’d post the picture here but after what my gt friends did photoshopping it I would definitely be banned🤣

Didn't know you could get banned for that. :hmmmer:

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Interestingly, it was recreational divers that pushed for this regulation change to allow for some harvest. Lots of complaints from divers on wrecks having big problems with massive Goliath groupers led in part to a recreational catch being reestablished thirty years after their season was closed. 

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The proposal is for a lottery of 200 Florida goliath harvest permits, one per person, with a trophy fee of $500 per tag. It’s slated to run from March to May, hook and line only, with a goliath slot limit for fish somewhere between 20 and 36 inches long.

Treestands don't demand, treestands don't complain, treestands simply ask me to sit down and listen. :cheers:

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