How Hogfish Taste Best: Preparing Florida’s Favorite Fillet

By Debbie Hanson

Jan 11, 2022

Learn about what hogfish taste like, list of cooking suggestions for Florida hogfish, simple recipe ideas for hogfish, information on hogfish fishing methods

Many chefs and restaurateurs agree that hogfish taste positively delectable, although finding them on a menu isn’t always easy because Florida hogfish are most often caught by spearfishing, which can limit availability. While they are often referred to hogfish snapper or hog snapper, don’t let the nickname fool you. They are technically not a snapper at all, but rather a species of wrasse that is native to the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to the northern coasts of South America and appearing most abundant in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

1. Know Hogfish Regulations

Because of the high demand for hogfish, they have suffered from the consequences of overfishing. Hogfish populations are now carefully regulated to ensure the species survival. If you plan on targeting hogfish using hook-and-line, get your saltwater fishing license, check the fishing regulations and know the open hogfish season dates for Atlantic state waters, Gulf state waters, and federal waters.

2. What Does Hogfish Taste Like?

If you’re wondering, what does hogfish taste like? A hogfish fillet has a mild flavor that is an ideal combination of flavor and texture because they are sweeter than grouper and have a flakier texture than mahi mahi. Since hogfish primarily feed on crustaceans, the fillets take on a taste that is reminiscent of scallops or lobster.

3. Best Hogfish Recipes

Is hogfish good to eat? You now know that the answer to this question is yes, but you might be wondering how to prepare it. First, keep in mind that hogfish taste sweet and delicate, so you won’t need much in the way of seasonings or sauces. Keep your preparation methods simple using basic ingredients like butter, lemon, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Second, hogfish fillets are light and flaky, so baking is generally best unless you grill the fish on top of foil.

Hogfish is a seafood delicacy in Florida, but don’t take everyone else’s word for it. The next time you have the opportunity, try it for yourself.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.