Hogfish recreational season harvest will close in state waters off Florida’s Atlantic and southern Gulf coasts Nov. 1. This closure includes all state waters south of Cape Sable, which is on the Gulf side of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast. The management boundary line is 25 degrees 9 minutes north latitude (a line due west of Cape Sable). The Keys/east Florida hogfish season runs from May 1 through Oct. 31.
Recreational harvest closed Aug. 24 in federal waters off the Keys and east Florida. Both state and federal waters off these coasts reopen to harvest May 1, 2018.
Recreational harvest remains open in state and federal waters north of Cape Sable in the Gulf.
Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Hogfish” for more.
Scientific name: Lachnolaimus maximus (Walbaum, 1792)
Common name: Hogfish
Hogfish is a species of wrasse native to the western Atlantic Ocean, with a range from Nova Scotia, Canada to northern South America, including the Gulf of Mexico. This species occurs around reefs, especially preferring areas with plentiful gorgonians. Hogfish are often referred to as the filet mignon of fish. This delicate, white fish has virtually no “fishy” taste and is often a favorite. What makes hogfish special is that it is primarily caught by spear, not hook and line like most fish are harvested. Hogfish is great blackened on a skillet with your favorite seasoning, or with no seasoning at all. There’s no wrong way to cook it, however, the meat is very tender and cooks extremely fast so it’s important not to overcook it. Substitutes for this delicate fish are hard to find. Snapper and grouper offer comparable flakiness, but hogfish truly is one of a kind. $23/lb of fillets.