Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, December 10, 2017: Hogfish!
Captiva Fishing Report, Sunday, December 10: Hogfish, Catch & Release; Red Tide Report (Caloosahatchee freshwater runoff may be lessening a bit; some Red Tide but it has broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.
Sunday, December 10: Hogfish, & Snapper, Near Offshore Structiure; Pompano & Bluefish schools running inshore, Snook in the passes, Seatrout on grass flats, Redfish on oyster bars, and Grouper on the structure.
“The hogfish (Lachnolaimus maximus), is a species of wrasse native to the western Atlantic Ocean, with a range from Nova Scotia, Canada to northern South America, including the Gulf of Mexico. This species occurs around reefs, especially preferring areas with plentiful gorgonians. This species is currently the only known member of its genus.
The hogfish is characterized by a large, laterally compressed body shape. It possesses a very elongated snout which it uses to search for crustaceans buried in the sediment. This very long “pig-like” snout and its rooting behavior give the hogfish its name. The caudal or tail fin is somewhat lunate and the pectoral fins are along the lateral sides of the body with the paired pelvic fins directly below.
A prominent black spot behind the pectoral fins differentiates males from females. The dorsal fin usually is composed of three or four long dorsal spines followed by a series of shorter dorsal spines. It is a carnivore. It mainly feeds on small crustaceans..
Like many wrasses, the hogfish is a sequential hermaphrodite, which means it changes sex during different life stages. The hogfish is a protogynous, “first female” hermaphrodite: juvenile hogfish start out as female and then mature to become male. The change usually occurs around three years of age and about 14 inches in length. Females and juveniles will usually start out as pale gray, brown, or reddish brown in color, with a paler underside and no distinct patterns.
Males are distinguished by a deep, dark band spanning from the snout to the first dorsal spine, as well as by a lateral black spot behind the pectoral fins. Hogfish reach a maximum of 91 cm (36 in) in total length and about 11 kg (24 lb) and have been recorded to live up to 11 years. Spawning in South Florida occurs from November through June. Hogfish social groups are organized into harems where one male will mate and protect a group of females in his territory.
Hogfish is a commonly targeted species for many spear and reef fisherman and is regarded highly by many for its taste and food value. In 2007, the Florida landings of hogfish totaled 306,953 pounds. The fish stocks are regulated by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Bag, size, and gear limits all have been placed on this species to ensure a healthy stock and to protect it from overfishing.” Please see more information here.
“Federal waters early closure: All federal waters south of Cape Sable in the Gulf, around the tip of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast closed to recreational and commercial hogfish harvest Aug. 24.
Recreational harvest of hogfish in state waters remains open.
Commercial harvest of hogfish closed Aug. 24 in both state and federal waters from Cape Sable in the Gulf, around the tip of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast.
See below for other changes that go into effect Aug. 24 in state waters.
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 on Aug. 24, 2017. Approved changes include:
- A new state management boundary between the Keys/east Florida and Gulf hogfish stocks will be at 25 degrees 9 minutes north latitude (a line due west of Cape Sable, which is on the Gulf side of Florida). Once effective, hogfish north of Cape Sable will be managed as Gulf hogfish, and hogfish south of that line, around the tip of Florida and up the Atlantic coast, will be managed as Atlantic hogfish.
- 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 about these changes in state waters.
Learn more about federal changes.
Hogfish: Lachnolaimus maximus
|Regulations||Gulf State Waters||Atlantic State Waters (includes all state and federal waters south of Cape Sable, including the Florida Keys)|
|Minimum Size Limit||14″ fork||16″ fork|
|Daily Bag Limit||5 per harvester||1 per harvester|
Effective Aug. 24, 2017: Minimum importation and sale size limit: 14″ FL statewide
Gulf Season: Open year round (closures only if annual catch limit is met or exceeded)
Atlantic state season: Open May 1-Oct. 31.
- Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net
12″ FL; 5 per person per day
Atlantic federal waters: Closed. All federal waters south of Cape Sable in the Gulf, around the tip of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast closed to recreational and commercial hogfish harvest starting Aug. 24.
NEW: The following changes will go into effect Aug. 24, 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. NEW: Recreational and commercial season closing Aug. 24 in all Atlantic federal waters, including waters south of Cape Sable. Learn more.
- For persons harvesting hogfish in Gulf federal waters north of Cape Sable, new regulations include a 14-inch minimum size limit.” Please see more information here.
We’re located at Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.
After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned with sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.
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Fair winds and following seas,
Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.