The Rules and Regulations of Red Snapper Season
The Gulf State and Federal waters for the Red Snapper summer season opened up on June 11th, 2018 and will last until July 20th, 2018*. Gulf State waters include the stretch of water starting at shore to 9 nautical miles out. Federal waters begin after those 9 nautical miles. The daily bag limit for Red Snapper in the Gulf is 2 per person. They must be 16” or larger.
Recreational fisherman must have “Gulf Reef Fish Angler” on their fishing license before angling for Snapper legally in the Gulf. Don’t worry though, adding this title to your license is free of charge. All you have to do is call the provider of your license and state that you would like to add the title of “Gulf Reef Fish Angler” to your license. This label will have to be renewed annually if you would like to keep fishing for Red Snapper off the gulf. If you would like to help the “Gulf Reef Fish Survey” while having a blast, you can download the iAngler Gulf Red Snapper App to your phone and upload an image with your catch, the location, water depth and other cool info. iAngler is great for Florida fishermen that like to keep track of their trends and to learn from their previous catches and trips. Once signed-up, you can use the app or website as your own personal tracking and logging system.
The Tips and Tricks to Catch Red Snapper
During the summer season, Red Snapper makes for great fishing. If you are looking to travel up north towards the panhandle, you can find Snapper in various habitats. Fishing just off the shore in shallow waters normally yields great outcomes. If you’re on a boat, take a trip out to deeper waters to catch some larger reds, upwards of 8-10 pounds. If you are near some reefs, these fish are notorious for hanging around a well-endowed habitat for lengths of time before moving on. Stick to waters at depths of 60-200 feet near structures during the summer for the best chance to find these great red fighters.
BAIT AND TACKLE
Red Snapper normally offer a large first pull and then follow with several harsh head yanks and motions; to be sure they don’t break the line, use anything between 30-80 lb test. This, of course, can depend on the depth of water and the heaviness of the currents. Whether you use spinning tackle or conventional tackle for bottom fishing, just be sure to judge the usage based on how close to structures or reefs you may be. If close to a structure, it is easier for them to pull you right in if you use spinning tackle, conventional tackle will allow you to pull them away a bit easier. If you are fishing in deep waters, it is recommended that you use fish and squid as your bait. If you are looking for live bait, mullet or pinfish are recommended. They can be caught personally or can be bought at most bait and tackle shops.
Sea to Table
Known as one of the most delicious fish around Florida, Red Snapper is a highly regarded fish to enjoy. Adult Snappers’ diet of shrimp, squid and octopus make them a hearty fish. They are normally sold and cooked whole due to their lovely red skin; however, you can never go wrong with filleted Red Snapper that has been cooked with butter, lemon and other seasonings. Blackened and grilled is another no-fault recipe that is beyond delicious. This fish is one of the simplest fish to prepare and it’s almost impossible to mess up. Whether you broil it, bake it, fry it, grill, sauté it or even BBQ it, you can’t go wrong.
Red Snapper Haven
Lucky for us, Florida is haven for fish of all species, year-round. On the east side of Florida, Red Snapper can be found and fished for all year long but here on the west side, the Gulf’s peak season is summer. Nothing’s better on a summer night than drinking a few cold ones while cooking up some fresh Red Snapper caught by your own hook and line. Ingman Marine wishes you a fun and bountiful fishing season this summer!