Hogfish are a reef species that inhabit rocky bottoms, ledges, and reefs throughout Florida’s offshore waters. They are easily identified by their long, hog-like snout, which allows them to feed on bottom-dwelling mollusks and crustaceans. Because they tend to root in the sediment in search of small prey, they are not commonly caught on hook and line. Hogfish are primarily harvested by spearfishing, and they are considered to be of excellent food quality.

hogfish Florida Keys Foods

Hogfish: Lachnolaimus maximus

Florida Regulations: 

Regulations Gulf State WatersAtlantic State Waters (includes all state and federal waters south of Cape Sable, including the Florida Keys)
Minimum Size Limit14″ fork16″ forkHogfish
 Daily Bag Limit 5 per harvester1 per harvester

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Gulf state:  Open year-round

Atlantic state (includes all state waters south of Cape Sable in the Gulf and Monroe County): Open May 1-Oct. 31

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Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net

 Federal waters:

Gulf federal waters north of Cape Sable: Open year-round, 14-inch minimum size limit, 5-fish/person recreational bag limit.

Atlantic federal waters: Open May 1-Oct. 31 annually. 16-inch minimum size limit, 1-fish/person recreational bag limit.

Habitat and Fishing Tips:

Hogfish are a reef species that inhabit rocky bottoms, ledges and reefs throughout Florida’s off-shore waters. They are easily identified by their long, hog-like snout, which allows them to feed on bottom-dwelling mollusks and crustaceans. Because they tend to root in the sediment in search of small prey, they are not commonly caught on hook and line. Hogfish are primarily harvested by spearfishing, and they are considered to be of excellent food quality.

Florida Rule  icon_external.png Gulf Federal Waters Rules icon_external.png Atlantic Federal Waters Rules icon_external.png

State Record:  19 lb 8 oz, caught in Daytona Beach

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