RED GROUPER CLOSURE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
HERE WE GO AGAIN!
NOAA just announce the recreational closure of Red Grouper in the Federal water – Gulf of Mexico starting July 21st, 2023. This is not only hurting recreational fisherman but also Federally Permitted Vessels. In a bunch of Captain’s opinion including mine, NOAA has no clue what they are doing! NOAA is claiming that RED GROUPER is “OVER FISHED”. Honestly the Gulf of Mexico is loaded with millions of Red Grouper amongst other species.
There has never been a problem catching a Red Grouper in the Gulf waters. Although they only mentioned recreational closure, I have no doubt in my mind that they will close Red Grouper for Federally Permitted vessels as well. Therefore, I have been advertising the closure as part of my Charter Fishing Trips because to be honest it’s only a matter of time before they announce it.
Here is the link to the closure: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/bulletin/recreational-closure-red-grouper-harvest-federal-waters-gulf-mexico-0
I recently wrote a Blog of the Court update with our fellow Captain’s lawsuit against NOAA which was a BIG WIN for us in the Gulf of Mexico. With that being said I have another feeling that they are “punishing” us for winning against NOAA and decided they wish to close species early because the quota was met. I highly doubt that, if any changes need to be made well they need to change the Commercial Fishermans who are allowed to keep Red Grouper at 18 inches and we are only allow to keep 20 inches. I don’t think that is fair at all, change those regulations!
My little voice or your voice will never be heard by NOAA because they make all the rules as they please. I believe something has to be done about all these closures, I do this personally as well and not having the species I enjoy catching and bringing home for dinner is affecting my fishing experience and what fishing is all about. Not to mention closing Red Grouper during Red Snapper season is nonsense! And to only give us Gag Grouper for a really short time is not a great thing either.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but I hope you all still want to come out fishing with me and catch the species that are still opened. Some of those species will be Lane Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Hog Fish, Yellowtail Snapper and that’s just to name a few. Also Red Snapper season is opened June 1 – August 25th, 2023