Red Snapper Fishing

Red Snapper Fishing

Red Snapper

Red Snapper
  • Size 5 to 20lbs
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

(Lutjanus campechanus)

Every year, anglers line up to go fishing for Red Snapper. And it’s no wonder why! These fish are highly sought-after in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast on account of their excellent flavor, distinctive looks, and game qualities.

You’ll have to wait patiently to get your hands on them, though. Red Snapper are heavily regulated to curb overfishing. Most states keep their seasons short and their catch quotas strict.

How Big?

This species averages between 3–10 pounds, but can get much bigger. Fish in the 20-pound range are considered trophies. Very rarely, you’ll come across fish in the 30–40 pound range.

When and Where

Red Snapper are temperate fish. You’ll find them exclusively in the Gulf of Mexico and along the southern Atlantic Coast. Locations off the Florida Panhandle, including Destin, Panama City, and Pensacola, are considered some of the best for fishing. Texas is another great alternative, with Galveston and Port Aransas hosting impressive numbers.

The peak season for Red Snapper fishing is summer, which is reflected by the open seasons most states keep. Open and close dates vary from state to state, however. These also change annually, so make sure you’re staying up to date.

How to Catch Red Snapper

Red Snapper are classic bottom fishing fare. Sometimes, you’ll find them in waters as shallow as 50 feet. More often, you’ll need a strong current and depths reaching 600 feet.

In these cases, heavy rods and 50–80 lb test lines are necessary. As for bait, squid or cut fish are good choices. Jigs also work well, just make sure to keep them slow moving.

Good to Eat?

Yes! They taste great at any size and are some of the best eating fish you can catch. Just make sure you’re within bag and size limits.

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