South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Grouper, Red Hind

Grouper, Red Hind

Grouper, Red Hind

Epinephelus guttatus
Recreational
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
Commercial
All areas are open for commercial fishing.

The red hind and the rock hind, Epinephelus adscensionis, are both characterized by numerous dark spots on a lighter background. This color feature alone distinguishes the two from the speckled hind. The red hind have pale pink bodies with uniform red spots. The back and the sides lack the large black blotches or saddles that are seen on rock hind, and the soft-rayed portions of the dorsal and anal fins as well as caudal fin are margined in black.

The species is found in tropical and subtropical waters as deep as 400 feet, from North Carolina to Brazil, including the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. It is most abundant off Bermuda and in the West Indies. Red hind are protogynous hermaphrodites. Spawning occurs from March to July, and females release an average of 90 thousand to 3 million pelagic eggs. The species may live up to 17 years or longer, and reach a length of 23 inches and a weight of 10 pounds. Red hind feed on small fishes, crabs, shrimps and squid. Red hind will hide in holes and crevices and capture their prey by ambush.

Regulations

NC, SC, GA, FL

  • Season is currently open.
  • Season Closed: January 01, 2023 – April 30, 2023
  • 3 Aggregate Limit
  • 3 Bag Limit
  • Notes: Regulatory Remarks:This species is part of the shallow water grouper spawning season closure: January 1 through April 30, except for red grouper harvested in federal waters off the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina, which remain closed until June 1.

    Shallow-water Grouper:: gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper.

    A descending device is required on board all vessels fishing for or possessing snapper and grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic. The descending device must be readily available for use and attached to at least 16 ounces of weight and at least 60 feet of line. Get more information at Best Fishing Practices Webpage

    No minimum size limit.

    Must be landed with head and fins intact.

    If you are bringing fish back to the U.S. from the Bahamas by water, please see Bringing fish back from the Bahamas.

    ———- Federally Permitted Charter/Headboats:

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that fish.

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in state waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters but open in state waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that species.

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in state waters but open to harvest in federal waters, they may retain that fish if they do not stop to fish in state waters when returning to port. All gear must be stowed.

    For more information, see: Red Hind Regulations

    To see commercial regulations, download Fish Rules Commercial App for iOS devices or Android devices.

  • Gear Description: Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers. When fishing for or possessing snapper grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic, the following regulations apply: (1) Use of a dehooking tool is required. (2) The use of non-stainless steel hooks is required when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits. In waters North of 28-degrees N. latitude, the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when fishing for snapper grouper species using hook-and-line gear with natural baits. (3) A descending device is required on board all vessels and must be readily available for use (attached to at least 16 ounces of weight and at least 60 feet of line). See below for more details.

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