Saltwater Finfish Seasons

All recreational anglers possessing or landing the following species or species groups: tunas, billfish, swordfish, snappers, amberjacks, groupers, hinds, cobia, wahoo, and dolphin must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit, except those anglers on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.  A Permit, available at no cost, as well as more information can be obtained at www.wlf.la.gov/rolp.

Black grouper, red grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, rock hind, red hind and scamp have an annual closed season from February 1 through March 31, seaward of 20 fathoms. 

*NOTE IMPORTANT CHANGES TO RECREATIONAL RED SNAPPER*

Recreational Red Snapper – Currently Open.

  • Currently open in state waters and closed in federal waters.
  • State waters only season is open daily.
  • Daily bag limit in state waters during the state waters red snapper season is 2 fish per person at a 16 inch minimum length.
  • As our department continues to fight the battle for regional management of our fisheries, regulations may have the potential to change throughout the season.  We urge anglers to visit this webpage or our online fishing regulations pamphlet prior to your trip to ensure you are compliant.

Recreational Gag Grouper Season – Currently Open

  • Season scheduled to open from July 1 through December 31
  • Bag limit changed to 2 fish per person per day
  • Get more information here.

Recreational Greater Amberjack – Currently Closed

  • Annual closed season from June 1 – July 31
  • Season re-opens August 1
  • Limits managed through a federal quota
  • Get more information here.

Recreational Gray Triggerfish – Currently Closed

  •     Open as of January 1, 2014
  •     Recreational bag and possession limit is 2 gray triggerfish.
  •     Closed season from June 1 through July 31.
  •     Limits managed through a federal quota
  •     Get more information here.

Recreational Bluefin Tuna- Closed

  • There is no directed or targeted recreational fishing for bluefin tuna allowed in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • One bluefin tuna over 73 inches curved fork length, caught incidentally, may be kept per vessel per year during open seasons.
  • Seasons subject to close at any time, get more information at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms .
  • Federal HMS Angling Permit and Louisiana Recreational Offshore Landing Permit needed.
  • Incidental Trophy Season closes at 11:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, 2014 and is scheduled to re-open January 1, 2015.

Commercial Greater Amberjack –Currently Open

  • Annual closed season from March 1 – May 31
  • 2,000 pound trip limit
  • Limits managed through a federal quota
  • Get more information here.

Commercial Large Coastal Sharks – Closed.

  • Season opened January 1, 2014
  • Annual closed season from April 1 – June 30
  • State and Federal Daily trip limit – 36 Large Coastal Sharks
  • Harvest is regulated by a federally established quota
  • State Shark Permit required to commercially harvest shark; Federal Permit required when fishing in Federal waters
  • Large Coastal Sharks are : great hammerhead shark, scalloped hammerhead shark, smooth hammerhead shark, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, sandbar shark*, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark.
  • *Sandbar shark may only be harvested with a special Federal Research Permit
  • Get more information here.

Commercial Small Coastal Sharks – Currently Open

  • Season Open
  • Season will close when quota is harvested or projected to be harvested
  • Annual closed season from April 1 – June 30
  • Harvest is regulated by federally established quota
  • Small Coastal Sharks are : Atlantic sharpnose shark, bonnethead shark, blacknose shark, and finetooth shark
  • Get more information here.

Commercial Gray Triggerfish – Currently Closed

  • Closed season from June 1 through July 31
  • Commercial trip limit of 12 gray triggerfish.
  • Reopens August 1
  • Limits managed through a federal quota
  • Get more information here.

Get creel and size limits before you hit the water here.