State waters: The FWC approved several management changes to hogfish at the November Commission meeting in St. Petersburg. These changes will go into effect in the near future. Please check back on this page for an effective date. Approved changes include:

  • Lowering the Atlantic recreational daily bag limit from five to one fish per harvester.
  • Setting an Atlantic recreational harvest season of May 1 through Oct. 31.
  • Increasing the Atlantic recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 16 inches fork length.
  • Increasing the Gulf recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 14 inches fork length.
  • Setting the minimum importation and sale size limit to 14 inches fork length statewide.

Learn more


Hogfish: Lachnolaimus maximus

 Florida Regulations: 

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Minimum Size Limit

12” fork 

Will soon be 14" fork

Check back for effective date

12" fork

Will soon be 16" fork

Check back for effective date

 Daily Bag Limit  5 per harvester 

5 per harvester

Will soon change to 1 per harvester

Check back for effective date

 Soon to be effective: Minimum importation and sale size limit: 14" FL state wide

State Waters Harvest Seasons 

Atlantic state season: Currently open. In 2016, the Commission approved an open season for hogfish of May 1-Oct. 31. This season has not gone into effect yet and the hogfish season will remain open in state waters until an effective date is determined, which should happen sometime this spring. Check back for updates.

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net

 Federal waters:

12" FL; 5 per person per day

NEW: Hogfish is overfished and undergoing overfishing in the Florida Keys and East Florida. If approved by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, several management changes will go into effect in early 2017:

  • For persons harvesting hogfish in Gulf federal waters south of Cape Sable and in all Atlantic federal waters, new regulations include: a 16-inch minimum size limit, a 25-lb. commercial trip limit, a 1-fish/person recreational bag limit, and a May-October recreational season.
  • For persons harvesting hogfish in Gulf federal waters north of Cape Sable, new regulations include a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Habitat and Fishing Tips:

Hogfish are a reef species that inhabit rocky bottoms, ledges and reefs throughout Florida’s off-shore waters. They are easily identified by their long, hog-like snout, which allows them to feed on bottom-dwelling mollusks and crustaceans. Because they tend to root in the sediment in search of small prey, they are not commonly caught on hook and line. Hogfish are primarily harvested by spearfishing, and they are considered to be of excellent food quality.    


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State Record:  19 lb 8 oz, caught in Daytona Beach


Image Credit:Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
One 24-inch female red snapper can produce as many eggs as 212 17-inch females.

Learn More at AskFWC