South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Porgy, Knobbed

Porgy, Knobbed

Calamus nodosus
Recreational
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
Commercial
All areas are open for commercial fishing.

The knobbed porgy has a conspicuously steep forehead and bony protrusions just in front of the eyes. The body is iridescent silvery blue, and the head is purplish with numerous yellow-bronze spots and blue streaks under the eyes.

The species inhabits hard-bottom areas (coral reefs, rock outcroppings and wrecks) in waters 90 to 300 feet deep from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and throughout much of the Gulf of Mexico. Spawning occurs at sea in May and June. Sexual maturity is reached at age 4 or 5, and the females lay thousands of pelagic eggs. The species is long-lived and slow growing, reaching a maximum size of about 20 inches and having a life span of about 17 years. Knobbed porgy have large incisors and strong molars which enable them to crush and consume hard-bodied animals, such as clams, snails, crabs, urchins, starfish and barnacles. They are fast enough to catch small fish, but fishes are rarely a part of their diet.

Regulations

NC, SC, GA, FL

  • Season is currently open.
  • 20 Aggregate Limit
  • 10 Bag Limit
  • Notes:

    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.

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    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.

    Federally Permitted Charter/Headboats must have the following on board:

    • The 2019 version of the NMFS document titled “Careful Release Protocols for Sea Turtle Release with Minimal Injury” (document may be electronic).
    • NMFS sea turtle handling and release guidelines placard
    • Required release and handling gears

    See Snapper Grouper Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Release Gear Requirements for more information.

    For more information on management of South Atlantic federal fisheries, please visit SAFMC or NOAA Fisheries.

    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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