Scientific Name

Pristipomoides aquilonaris

Stock Status

Overfishing – No

Overfished – Unknown

Stock Assessment


Recreational Regulations

Federal Regulations

  • Open year-round

  • 10 Bag Limit
  • 10 Aggregate Limit
  • Minimum Size: None
  • Gear Description: Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks.

  • Notes: Anglers required to have a venting tool or descending device rigged and ready to use when fishing for reef fish species in Gulf of Mexico federal waters. For more information, see NOAA Descend Act.

    To see commercial regulations, download Fish Rules Commercial App for iOS devices or Android devices.

Commercial Regulations

Harvest Limits

Sector Annual Catch Limit
Stock   Complex ACL for silk, queen, blackfin, and wenchman snapper – 166,000 pounds

Additional Information


Wenchman is a snapper found from North Carolina to Florida, including the Gulf of Mexico, extending down to the Caribbean Sea and Brazil. This fish is a reddish to pinkish color on the top and sides and a pinkish to silvery color below. The fins are mostly semi-transparent with a light pink color, except for the yellow outer edges of the dorsal and tail fin. Wenchman has large eyes compared to its body size.

Maximum observed age:  14 years1

Age at maturity:  ~ 2 years2

Maximum weight:  4.38 pounds (1.99 kilograms)3

Maximum length:  22.05 inches (56 centimeters)4

Life History and Distribution

Within its range, wenchman prefers to reside in deeper water over hard bottom habitats, including reefs.  Little is known about the life history characteristics of this species.  Thus, more research is needed on all life history aspects of this fish.5


  1. Anderson, Brenda & Lombardi-Carlson, Linda & Hamilton, Alonzo. (2009). Age and Growth of Wenchman (Pristipomoides aquilonaris) from the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute. 61. 210-217.
  2. Farmer, N.A., Malinowski, R.P., McGovern, M.F. and Rubec, P.J. (2016), Stock Complexes for Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Coastal Fisheries, 8: 177-201. doi:10.1080/19425120.2015.1024359
  3. IGFA All Tackle Record, Bahamas
  4. SEDAR 49 Final Stock Assessment Report: Gulf of Mexico Data-limited Species, 2016