2021 grouper season opens this weekend

Capt. Chuck Griffin of Aqua Adventures caught this gag grouper a few days too early, but he’s ready for the May 1 opener.

Gag grouper, several other species open May 1

The 2021 season for gag grouper opens May 1 for anglers fishing out of North and South Carolina. Officially known as the Shallow Water Grouper season, it includes numerous grouper species. But not all species of grouper are fair game starting May 1.

The grouper fishery is managed by the South Atlantic Fisheries Marine Commission. The Carolinas are required to follow their guidelines.

Here’s a list of what comes into season for recreational anglers this coming Saturday:

  • Black Grouper
  • Coney
  • Gag Grouper
  • Graysby
  • Red Grouper
  • Red Hind
  • Rock Hind
  • Scamp
  • Yellowfin Grouper
  • Yellowmouth Grouper

Anglers are limited to an aggregate of three grouper per day, however, only one of those can be either a black grouper or a gag grouper. Anglers can have one of either of those species, but not one of both.

Recreational anglers fishing for grouper must have in possession a dehooking device and a descending device. All anglers fishing for grouper north of Latitude 28 degrees N require non-offset, non-stainless steel hooks.

The season is set to close on Dec. 31, but grouper are managed under SAFMC’s Annual Catch Limit program. This means if a certain number of grouper are caught before Dec. 31, the season could be closed early.

Click here for more information on the 2021 grouper season.

About Brian Cope 2745 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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