Gag Grouper Season Opened June 1st in St. Pete Beach

Gag Grouper Season Opened June 1st in St. Pete Beach

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Gag Grouper season has opened in St. Pete Beach! Since June 1st, locals and tourists have been enjoying the chance to hook onto a beast!


Our private deep-sea fishing charters provide a fantastic, bucket-list day out on the water. Advance booking is advised, as our remaining spots are going fast!

How to Book a Gag Grouper Fishing Charter in St. Pete Beach, FL?

To book a Gag Grouper Fishing Charter in St. Pete Beach, FL:

The Bucket-List Experience!

Think you’re tough enough to win a tug-of-war with one of the Gulf’s biggest Grouper? Prove it!

Gag Grouper season in St. Pete Beach means it’s time for a bucket list experience!

Our fishing charters are action-packed! Departing from St. Pete Beach, you’ll witness the local area from a unique perspective as we glide out to deeper waters.

On the way, we’ll lure in small fish, which we’ll later use as bait. Then, once we’ve arrived at the Gag Grouper hotspots, we’ll get to work!

With our bait and gear ready, you’ll use a variety of tricks to attract these incredible fish.

When they bite, your rod will bend and send your heart pounding!

Known for their strength, Gag Grouper are not for the faint of heart. Who knows, you might even catch a Goliath Grouper!!

Our Captains will be with you every step of the way on our private deep-sea fishing charters, providing you with expert advice… and a helping hand when you look like you’re about to get pulled over the gunnels of the boat.

Once the Gag Grouper surfaces, you’ll get a photo to show off for a lifetime! Let’s go fishing!

When is Gag Grouper Season in St Pete Beach, FL?

  • Gag Grouper season for recreational fishing in St. Pete Beach, Florida, opens between June 1 and December 31.
  • Minimum size limit: 24 inches total length
  • Bag Limit: 2 fish per person within the 4 Grouper aggregate bag limit which include: Gag Grouper, Red Grouper, Black Grouper, Yellowfin Grouper, Yellowmouth Grouper, Scamp, Snowy Grouper, Yellow Edge Grouper and Warsaw Grouper
  • Must have a recreational fishing permit – such as by using a Florida fishing charter.
  • Must use non-stainless steel circle hooks if using natural baits.
  • At least one dehooking device is required to remove hooks.

Can You Eat Gag Grouper in Florida?

Yes! We’re allowed to bag two Gag Grouper per trip as part of our four Grouper aggregate.

One of the best things about Gag Grouper is their melt in the mouth taste!

The flakey, soft texture has a subtle flavor that is delicious with dressings, marinades and flavorings. Local restaurants in St. Pete Beach will be happy to prepare your Gag Grouper catch.

Why Gag Grouper?

You may have seen us rave about Tarpon and Red Snapper in recent months, so what makes Gag Grouper so great? Of course everyone has their favorite fish, but Groupers offer something unique.


Growing to around 5-50lbs, Gag Grouper provide both fight and fine dining in one species! They’re a favorite for fishing charter Captains throughout Florida.

Grouper is a big, thick-bodied fish that provides for meaty, big meals. As bottom dwellers, they’re usually found in deep-sea waters, but we’ve also had experience finding Gag Grouper spots in shallower waters.

Gag Grouper Appearance

  • Gag Grouper are also called ‘Gray Grouper’ due to their gray to light brown skin, with wavy dark markings. Some people describe it as ‘marbled’.
  • They also look very similar to Black Grouper, with the primary difference being a bone in their cheeks.
  • This bone, called the ‘preopercle’, is shaped like a boomerang. On Gag Grouper it’s angular with a serrated spur. On Black Grouper, the bone is rounded and even.
  • Long, compressed bodies.
  • Coloring varies with size – larger ones have darker tops and paler bellies. Smaller Gag Grouper are usually much lighter and have dark marks on their sides.

Gag Grouper Biology Facts

  • Gag Grouper grow slowly, up to over 50 lbs and over 3 ft in length!
  • Gag Grouper have been recorded living for over 30 years.
  • They begin life as females, before changing to males around the age of 8 (this is called ‘protogynous hermaphrodites’).
  • They release between 60,000 and 1.7 million eggs every time they spawn.
  • Feeding on a variety of small fish, shrimp, crabs and squid is their food source.
  • Sharks and other large fish species prey on adult Gag Grouper.

More Gag Grouper Facts

  • Adult Gag Grouper can be found in depths of up to 500 feet, alone or in schools as big as 50 fish!
  • Spawning season and peak spawning times vary throughout the region, with spawning aggregations offshore in winter and early spring.
  • Females form migration groups to head offshore to males when it’s spawning time.
  • The scientific name for a Gag Grouper is ‘Microlepis’ – meaning ‘Small Scales’, in reference to their very small scales.

St. Pete Beach Gag Grouper Fishing Report

Although Gag Grouper season is highly variable throughout the year, the general fishing report is as follows:

  • January: Closed Season
  • February: Closed
  • March: Closed
  • April: Closed
  • May: Closed
  • June: Closed
  • July: Good
  • August: Good
  • September: Great
  • October: Good
  • November: Fair
  • December: Fair

Where Is The Best Place to Catch Grouper in Florida?

St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach are among some of the best Gag Grouper fishing spots in Florida! Schools of Gag Grouper are found every summer a few miles from shore. But it’s not just about the fish!

The sub-tropical climate and unspoiled waters of St. Pete Beach make for ideal conditions for fishing fans, families and anglers of all skill levels.


Plus, St. Pete Beach and the surrounding areas have great waterfront choices when it comes to restaurants and bars to close out your unforgettable day!

Book a St. Pete Beach Gag Grouper Fishing Charter Now!

CALL or TEXT: (727) 433-4200 today to book a Gag Grouper fishing charter in St. Pete Beach!

Booking in advance is highly recommended, as we are set to sell out soon. Our remaining spots are going fast!

YACHTFISH provides private Gag Grouper Fishing Charters from St. Pete Beach. St. Petersburg, Clearwater Beach and Tampa Bay.

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Captain John & first mate Coop were great fishing guides. Our family of 6 had a great time and we caught a lot of fish. Thanks
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My son and I fished with Captain Scott and 1st Mate Austin on June 21, 2024, out of St. Petersburg. We truly enjoyed our time out fishing with these guys. I can't say enough about their integrity and work ethic. While we didn't catch a ton of fish, we caught... read more
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Incredible fishing trip - Sam and Maverick got us on fish fast and kept us catching the whole day. They were always trying new things to catch different types of fish and were super helpful and informative. Made our experience great!! Will definitely use Yacht Fish again!
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What a great trip this was. I have been on a lot of charters all over the country and out of the country and Sam and Patrick are two of the best captains I’ve ever had. I will definitely be coming back to fish with these guys in the future.... read more
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Great day on the water with Yachtfish. Captain Pat and Mate Hunter were very knowledgeable and friendly. They went out of their way to make it a great experience for everyone from the kids to the grandparents. Lots of action all day and a full fish box, can’t ask for more.
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We booked on Saturday for Monday so I appreciate them fitting us in. We went with Captain Scott and it was amazing!!! He’s extremely professional and customer oriented. He was super patient with my partner who’s never fished before and made sure he had a great time. My balance is... read more
Kimberly Patterson Avatar
We booked a four-hour out of St. Pete Marina. One of our best trips ever. Capt. Scott was very knowledgeable and took us to several great spots. Caught fish, had fun, great value, what more could you ask? We will be back.
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I had a wonderful experience with Captain Johnny and Cooper! They were polite, kind, professional, and experts. Don’t let their age full you, they are extremely skilled! I enjoyed my experience, and highly recommend them! Planning my trip for next month with them!
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