Where to Find and How to Catch Hogfish in Florida

Finding a hogfish fix is easy in St. Petersburg, Florida! People come from all over to enjoy the experience of catching these delicious creatures and then cooking them up for dinner

No matter what time of year you visit, there are many opportunities to catch your own hogfish meal.

What are hogfish, and where do they live?

Woman on a boat holding a hogfish, showcasing tips on where to find and how to catch hogfish with the ocean in the background

Hogfish is a type of fish found in the Gulf Coast region and all along the Eastern Seaboard. They typically live among coral reefs, but they can also be seen on sandy bottoms.

Hogfish are reddish-brown in color, and their scales are not very heavy like other types of fish in the area.

The hogfish is a rather small fish averaging about 8 pounds. They have almost antenna-like spines just off the top of their head which makes them easily identifiable compared to other fish.

Large hogfish have a yellowish or clear belly, while smaller hogfish have a white belly, although this is more common on younger hogfish.

Hogfish can transition from female to male with the larger of the species usually being the male hogfish.

The area around St. Petersburg is well-suited for hogfish, and it has plenty of opportunities to catch them in shallow water, deep water, and near rocky areas depending on the time of the year.

Hogfish mostly dwell in the Gulf Coast region and all along the Eastern Seaboard.

How to catch hogfish 

Hogfish are easily caught with hook and line, or with a spear. You can catch hogfish by using small live bait on hooks and slowly dragging them through shallow water near reefs where hogfish congregate.

The easiest way to catch them is on a fishing charter with a well-experienced captain that knows the area and how to find them.

These unique fish can be caught year-round, with the best time to catch them being in the winter from November to the end of February.

If you need help locating hogfish or tips on what equipment to use when fishing for them, contact us. Our staff there will be happy to answer any questions about how to catch these tasty critters!

    Cooking tips for cooking up your own hogfish meal

    After catching hogfish, it's important to keep them cool as soon as possible, so they stay fresh. The best way is by keeping the fish in an ice chest with plenty of ice. Adding some saltwater to your ice makes a slushy and is a great way to cool your hogfish fast.

    Check out our favorite recipe!

    Quick and easy recipe for cooking your hogfish:

    • 1 hogfish
    • 3/4 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
    • Salt and Pepper to taste


    Heat skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil. Season hogfish with salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Place hogfish in the pan. Cook hogfish for about 3-5 minutes or until crispy on one side. Flip hogfish over and cook another 3-5 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Remove hogfish from pan and place on cutting board covered with a paper towel. Squeeze lemon juice over the hogfish. Cut hogfishes into bite-size pieces and serve immediately.


    If hogfishes are what you're looking for, St. Petersburg is the best place to find them! If you need help locating hogfish or tips on how to catch these tasty critters, contact us. Our staff there will be happy to answer any questions and give you more advice about catching hogfish in Florida waters.

    If you find yourself looking for a fishing charter in St. Petersburg, Florida area, come fishing with the best, Reel Coquina Fishing. We promise you won't regret it!
    Check Reel Coquina Fishing Charter Pricing


    For more photos of daily catches in St Petersburg, check out our gallery!

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