Florida adds dates to fall red snapper fishing season in the Gulf

Red Snapper
Red Snapper (wjxt)

Private anglers and for-hire fishing operations in the Gulf will be able to reel in red snapper on more dates this fall, the governor’s office announced Wednesday.

Red snapper season is now open on Nov. 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29.

During the extra days of the season, private recreational anglers may harvest red snapper in state and federal waters of the Gulf, but state for-hire operations are limited to fishing for red snapper in Gulf state waters only.

“Gulf Red Snapper Season is one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news release. “I’m pleased to offer these additional fishing opportunities so close to Thanksgiving weekend, which is a great time to reconnect with family and friends and take advantage of Florida’s abundant coastline.”

Eric Sutton, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, pointed out that Saturday, Nov. 28, is also a saltwater license-free fishing day.

"A great time for Florida’s residents and visitors to try out fishing in Florida without needing a license,” Sutton said.

Florida officials said the State Reef Fish Survey, which was developed to provide more robust data for management of red snapper and other important reef fish, allowed the FWC the change to manage Gulf red snapper in state and federal waters, leading to the expansion of the red snapper season.

If you’re planning to participate in the fall season, state wildlife officials ask you to do your part and register to ensure the continued success of the State Reef Fish Survey.

All anglers over 16 years old fishing from private recreational vessels must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler to target red snapper and several other reef fish in state and federal waters, even if they are exempt from fishing license requirements. Sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler at no cost at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or by visiting any location where you can purchase a license.

State Reef Fish Anglers may receive a questionnaire in the mail regarding their reef fish trips as part of Florida’s State Reef Fish Survey. If you receive a survey, please respond whether you fished this season or not or whether you’ve submitted data via other methods.

To learn more about the recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters, including season size and bag limits, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers,” which is under the “Regulations by Species – Reef Fish” tab.

The federal season for for-hire operations with federal reef fish permits was June 1 through Aug. 1.

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