Saltwater Creel and Size Limits

Common Coastal Species

Species Size Limit Bag and Posession Limit
Cobia (Ling or Lemon Fish)  33” min fork length  2 daily per person 
Drum, Black  16” min total length  5 daily per person - bag and possession
No more than one over 27” max total length 
Drum, Red (Redfish) 1 16” min total length 5 daily per person - bag 2 No more than one over 27” max total length 
Flounder, Southern  none  10 daily per person (for each consecutive day on the water) 
Mackerel, King 24” min fork length  2 daily per person 
Mackerel, Spanish 12” min fork length  15 daily per person 
Mullet, Striped  none  100 lbs. daily 
Seatrout, Spotted (Speckled Trout) 12” min total length  25 daily per person - bag 2; 15 daily per person with no more than two over 25” (in specified areas) 

Highly Migratory Species 5

Marlin, Blue  99” min lower jaw fork length  none
Marlin, White  66” min lower jaw fork length   
Sailfish  63” min lower jaw fork length   
Shark, Atlantic Sharpnose and Bonnethead none  1 daily per person - possession 
Shark, Others (EXCEPT prohibited, silky and sandbar) 54” min fork length  1 in aggregate per vessel per trip - possession. No silky or sandbar sharks or prohibited species. 

29” min carcass length or 33 lbs. min dressed weight 

5 per vessel per trip 
Tuna, Bigeye 27” min curved fork length  none 
Tuna, Bluefin none   
Tuna, Yellowfin 3 daily per person   

Reef Fish3

Grouper, Black and Gag 9, 10, 12 22” min total length  5 daily in aggregateNo more than one speckled hind and one Warsaw grouper per vessel and not more than one red grouper per person included in the bag limit. 3, 9 
Grouper, Red and Yellowfin 9, 10  20” min total length   
Grouper, Scamp 9, 10  16” min total length   
Grouper, Goliath and Nassau  Take Prohibited  Take/Possession prohibited 
Snapper, Red 10, 11  16” min total length  2 daily per person
Snapper, Mutton  16” min total length  10 daily per person in aggregate

Snapper, Queen, Blackfin, Silk and Wenchman 

Snapper, Schoolmaster, Cubera, Gray (mangrove), Yellowtail, Dog and Mahogany 

12” min total length 


Snapper, Lane  8” min total length  20 daily per person in aggregate 3
Snapper, Vermilion  10” min total length   
Alamo Jack  none   
Gray Triggerfish  14” min fork length   
Tilefish, Goldface, Blackline, Anchorand Blueline Tilefishes  none   
Amberjack, Greater 10 30” min fork length  1 daily per person
Amberjack, Lesser and Banded Rudderfish 

14” min fork length

22” max fork length 

5 daily per person in aggregate 
Hogfish  12” min fork length  5 daily per person 
Seabass, Black  8” min total length  none 

1 Red Drum (Redfish), and Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout): Recreational saltwater anglers may possess a two day’s bag limit on land; however, no person shall be in possession of over the daily bag limit in any one day or while fishing or while on the water, unless that recreational saltwater angler is aboard a trawler engaged in commercial fishing for a consecutive period of longer than 25 hours. Take or Possession of red drum in federal waters is prohibited.

2 Two days’ bag limit allowed in possession off of the water, not while fishing or in a boat.

3 Two day limit allowed in possession only on charter vessels and headboats on multi day trips, if the vessels have two licensed operators as required by the U.S. Coast Guard for trips more than 12 hours, and if each angler has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel verifying the length of the trip.

4 Seatrout, Spotted (Speckled Trout): 12” minimum total length. 25 fish per person daily bag limit.
Except: 15 fish daily take and possession limit, with no more than two spotted seatrout exceeding 25” total length, regardless of where taken, in a defined area of Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes in southwestern Louisiana. Within those areas described here, including coastal territorial waters: south of Interstate 10 from its junction at the Texas- Louisiana boundary eastward to its junction with Louisiana Highway 171, south to Highway 14, and then south to Holmwood, and then south on Highway 27 through Gibbstown south to Louisiana Highway 82 at Creole and south on Highway 82 to Oak Grove, and then due south to the western shore of the Mermentau River, following this shoreline south to the junction with the Gulf of Mexico, and then due south to the limit of the state territorial sea, under the authority of the provisions of R. S. 56:325.1(A), the daily take and possession limit shall be 15 fish, regardless of where taken, with no more than two spotted seatrout exceeding 25 inches total length. Those spotted seatrout exceeding 25” in length shall be considered as part of the daily recreational take and possession limit.

5 Highly Migratory Species: All owners/operators of vessels fishing recreationally for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit. Similar to Atlantic tunas permits, 2010 Atlantic HMS permits will be valid from the date of issuance through December 31, 2010.
Federal regulations currently require a federal HMS angling permit for all owners/operators of recreational vessels fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Those regulations also require an Atlantic HMS Charter/ Headboat permit for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For information contact the National Marine Fisheries Service Permitting Office at 1-888-USATUNA (1-888-872-8862) or visit NMFS Permit Shop at: http://www. Recreational tournament operators: A person conducting a tournament involving scorekeeping or awards for highly migratory species including Atlantic billfish, swordfish, tuna and sharks (whether or not retained), must register with the NOAA Fisheries Permit Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701 or by FAX to 727-824- 5398. The registration must be in writing, at least four weeks prior to commencement of tournament fishing. A tournament registration form is available upon request from the above address or can be requested by FAX to 727-824-5398. NOTE: Federal regulations currently require registration of all fishing tournaments involving the catch and/or landing of any HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

6 Sharks: Closed Season: All Louisiana state waters out to the seaward boundary of the Louisiana Territorial Sea shall be closed to the recreational and commercial harvest and possession of all sharks between April 1 and June 30 of each year.
Small Coastal Sharks: Atlantic sharpnose shark; bonnethead shark; blacknose shark; finetooth shark 
Large Coastal Sharks: blacktip shark; nurse shark; smooth hammerhead; bull shark; sandbar shark*; spinner shark; great hammerhead; scalloped hammerhead; tiger shark; lemon shark; silky shark* *Note: Recreational harvest of sandbar and silky sharks (ridgeback sharks) is not allowed.
Pelagic Sharks: blue shark; porbeagle shark; thresher shark; oceanic whitetip shark; shortfin mako
Prohibited Species:
No person shall take, possess, purchase, sell, barter, exchange or attempt to possess, purchase, sell, barter or exchange any of the following species or parts thereof:
Atlantic angel shark; Caribbean sharpnose shark; sand tiger shark; basking shark; dusky shark; sevengill shark; bigeye sand tiger shark; Galapagos shark; sixgill shark; bigeye sixgill shark; largetooth sawfish; smalltail shark; bigeye thresher shark; longfin mako; smalltooth sawfish; bignose shark; narrowtooth shark; whale shark; Caribbean reef shark; night shark; white shark.
Sharks taken under a recreational bag limit shall not be sold, purchased, exchanged, bartered or attempted to be sold, purchased, exchanged or bartered. A person subject to a bag limit shall not possess at any time, regardless of the number of trips or the duration of a trip, any shark in excess of the bag limits mentioned above. The practice of “finning,” that is, removing only the fins and returning the remain-der of the shark to the sea, is prohibited within and without Louisiana waters. Notwithstanding other provisions of this part, a person may fish for, but not retain, white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) with rod and reel only under a catch and release program, provided the person releases and returns such fish to the sea immediately with a minimum of injury.

7 Swordfish: Recreational fishing vessels shall not possess more than five swordfish per vessel per trip. Swordfish taken under a recreational bag limit shall not be sold, purchased, exchanged, bartered, or attempted to be sold, purchased, exchanged or bartered. No person aboard any vessel shall transfer or cause the transfer of swordfish between vessels on state or federal waters.

8 Tuna: Person subject to the jurisdiction of the state, fishing for tunas within or without Louisiana state waters, are subject to both state and federal laws, rules and regulations. Federal regulations on recreational harvest of tunas change often, especially for bluefin tuna. Prior to harvest of tuna, be aware of the most current federal regulations on harvest, including sizes, bag limits and closed seasons. The “Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure” is available at asp and announcements of changes may be accessed via the web at http://
All bluefin tuna must be reported within 24 hours of landing to NMFS by calling 888-872-8862 or visiting For further information regarding angling category permits please call the NMFS HMS Division at 888-872- 8862.
Permanent Louisiana regulations on tuna harvest may be superseded by seasonal changes within the federal regulatory system. See websites referenced above for current federal regulations.

9 Grouper: NOTE: A closed season has been established for recreational harvest of gag, black and red grouper, effective Feb. 15 - March 14 of each year in Louisiana state waters. As of the publication date of this pamphlet, modified rules on bag limits were being considered.Other seasons and rules are currently in place in Federal waters off of Louisiana. Please check those rules at under “Fishing Regulations.”

10 No harvest of red snapper, greater amberjack or grouper of any species is allowed for the captain and crew of vessel, under charter (their creel limit is zero).

11 Snapper, Red: A federal recreational quota for red snapper is in effect. The recreational season for harvest of red snapper is scheduled to open June 1.

12 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Closes State Waters to Harvest of Gag Grouper