An angler may leave a marina in many places along the Gulf Coast and target several offshore species. Due to the connectivity of the northern Gulf of Mexico, these species also benefit from comprehensive habitat restoration.
There are many types of snapper anglers target along the Gulf -- Lane, Mutton, Vermillion, Mangrove and the most popular, the Red Snapper.
A popular target due to its excellent texture and flavor, the red snapper is highly regulated.
- Average size: An average red snapper may weigh one to 30 pounds.
- Habitat: Snapper are reef fish and tend to aggregate in rocky bottom environments and oil rig platforms.
- Limits: Seasons within the state border (out to 9 miles) for the red snapper are set by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Snapper in state waters in managed by the department, and the commission may open and close the season to match the quote for the year. Red snapper season out of state waters is federally managed and regulated. The daily limit for red snapper is currently 2 per angler with a minimum total length of 16 inches.
There are many types of tuna anglers target along the Gulf -- Bluefin, Blackfin, Bigeye and the most popular, Yellowfin.
This cold-blooded delicacy is one of the fastest swimmers in the Gulf. The yellowfin tuna has a metallic, deep-blue back with a yellow ridged band extending down its back.
- Average size: Yellowfin are the among the largest of the species and can easily reach well over 100 pounds, often reach over 200 pounds and can tip the scales at 400 pounds.
- Habitat: Tuna may be found around oil platforms or near floating debris and vegetation in the open ocean.
- Limits: The current limit on Yellowfin is 3 daily per angler with a minimum total length of 27 inches.
Mahi Mahi (Dolphin)
The mahi mahi is perhaps one of the most colorful and unique species that Gulf anglers target. The azure blue and emerald bodies of the fish quickly fade after their harvest. They are one of the fastest growers in the Gulf, and scientists can measure their growth daily.
- Average size: Mahi mahi may range from 3-20 pounds with adult males reaching up to 50 pounds.
- Habitat: Dolphins are found in open Gulf water near rips (floating patches of seaweed) and other floating debris.
Cobia have dark brown bodies with white bellies, and when viewed from above or in the water, often resemble a shark due to their finlets.
- Average size: The most common size for Cobia is in the 50 pounds range, but it is not uncommon to find them around 80 pounds. It is considered rare to reel in a cobia weighing over 100 pounds.
- Habitat: Cobia can be found from high-salinity bays out to waters of depths reaching 250 feet. Cobia are attracted to structure like oil platforms, floating debris, and seaweed rips.
- Limits: An angler may take 2 cobia per day with a minimum fork length of 33 inches.
Wahoo are prized sport fish due to their taste, speed (swimming up to 60 mph!), and the fight they put up. The body of the Wahoo is a blue green color, and very streamlined which makes them great fast swimmers.
- Average size: Wahoo may reach between 50-75 pounds, but may be found up to 100 pounds.
- Habitat: Wahoo are known to be found around seaweed rips.
Gulf anglers may target Black, Gag, Red, Warsaw and Scamp Grouper. The most common catch is the Gag Grouper.
The Gag Grouper is a dark brown fish, with pattern marking that resemble “kiss-like” shapes.
- Average size: This fish is commonly found ranging from 10-20 pounds, but may reach weights exceeding 50 pounds.
- Habitat: Grouper tend to aggregate themselves around structure like rock and reef bottoms, or oil and gas platforms. They are found in depths ranging from 60-250 feet of water, with larger grouper being found on the deeper end of that spectrum.
- Limits: In Louisiana, an angler may take 4 Gag Grouper a day with a minimum total length of 24 inches per fish.