South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Tilefish, Blueline

Tilefish, Blueline

Tilefish, Blueline

Caulolatilus microps
Recreational
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
Commercial
All areas are open for commercial fishing.

The blueline tilefish is a dull olive-gray overall and white below. The lack of fleshy protuberance behind the head distiguishes it from the commercially important tilefish, Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps. Elongate, continuous dorsal and anal fins more than half the length of body, long snout, narrow gold stripe underlined in blue from snout to tip of eye. Strong, flat spine on gill cover.

The blueline tilefish is a bottom dweller found in water ranging from 240-780 feet deep, from Virginia to the Campeche Banks of Mexico. It is frequently found in the same habitat as groupers and snappers, preffering irregular bottom with sand, mud and shell hash. It is usually found in bottom water temperatures of 59° to 73° F. It has been found to burrow head first in cone-shaped sand piles. It may grow to be 32 inches and live up to 15 years. Spawning occurs from May to October, and females may lay more than 4 million free-floating eggs (Hermaphrodism is suspected to occur in this species). Blueline tilefish feed on bottom creatures, such as crabs, shrimp, snails, worms, sea urchins and small fish.

Regulations

NC, SC, GA, FL

  • Season is currently closed.
  • Season Closed: July 26, 2022 – May 01, 2023
  • Season Closed: September 01, 2023 – May 01, 2024
  • 3 Aggregate Limit
  • 3 Bag Limit
  • Notes:

    The recreational sector for blueline tilefish in or from federal waters of the South Atlantic is typically open from May 1 through August 31, each year. However, if recreational landings for blueline tilefish reach or are projected to reach the recreational catch limit, NOAA Fisheries will close the recreational sector for the remainder of the fishing year. NOAA Fisheries projects the catch limit will be reached by July 26, 2022, and is closing the fishery to prevent the catch limit from being exceeded. See the Fishery Bulletin 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.

    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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