Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snapper Fishing

One of the most prized types of saltwater fishing in Florida is snapper fishing. This is because there are so many types of snapper out there to catch, and almost all of them are edible. Almost anywhere around Florida where there is saltwater there can be snapper swimming around. This includes docks, piers, bridges, deep sea, or the open flats. Although they do tend to hang around rocky surfaces or anywhere that there might be some obstruction, such as ship wrecks. The Internal Game Fish Association holds all tackle records for the following types of snapper fish.

Yellowtail Snapper – 8 pounds 9 ounces, they can be found primarily off shore all around Florida, especially in the south, and they will hang out in almost any depth of water down to 300 feet. In my opinion these are one of the best tasting snappers there are. They are easy to tell apart from other species of snapper because of their yellow tail, they love to feed on shrimp.

Mangrove Snapper – 17 pounds, they can be found inshore almost anywhere, especially around mangroves, hence the name. They can also be found offshore, to about 300 feet of water. You can use light tackle to hook up with them when snapper fishing.

Cubera Snapper – The largest of the snapper family, the all time record in Florida is 121 pounds 8 ounces. They love to hang around rocks and obstructions from about 40 feet to 300 or so. You will definitely want some heavy duty bottom rigs to catch these monsters.

Red Snapper – These types of snapper can get huge, and they are commonly found fishing offshore, although time to time you can get them fishing from piers and bridges, such as the skyway fishing pier. The world record for the red snapper is 50 pounds 4 ounces. The minimum size for red snapper fishing must be 16 inches on the gulf side, and 20 inches on the Atlantic coast.

Lane Snapper – All time record for the lane snapper is 7 pounds. They can be found around coral reefs and also inshore. They do not get that big so using some light tackle to hook up with them is a must. The minimum size for lane snapper is 8 inches. They are excellent to eat.

Silk Snapper - 18 pounds 5 ounces is the all tackle record for the silk snapper. They can be found all around Florida in very deep waters, I have never caught one of these, so I cannot tell you if they taste good or not.

Mutton Snapper – Biggest one caught weighs in at 28 pounds 5 ounces. If you are snapper fishing for the Muttons, a good place to do so would be in the Florida Keys around reefs that permit fishing. They are also very commonly found inshore around mangroves, canals and flats that have grass beds.

The bag limits for all snapper in Florida are 10 per fisherman per day, except for the Lane and vermilion snappers. This means that you can only get to keep 10 when snapper fishing, mixing the species of snapper that are caught. There is no closed season for snapper fishing except the Red snapper, and that is from November 1st through April 14th, on the Gulf side only.

Due to the bag limit regulations changing all the time, and records being broken some of the information may be a bit out of date. If you notice something wrong please leave me a comment or shoot me an email and I will update the page with the correct information.

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