61ºF

2017 Red Snapper mini season opens Friday

Recreational anglers asked to help by reporting catches

Capt Don Dingman, of Hook The Future TV, shows off a red snapper which was released healthy after this photo.
Capt Don Dingman, of Hook The Future TV, shows off a red snapper which was released healthy after this photo.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Red snapper mini season was approved for 2017, giving anglers the chance to catch and keep a red snapper for the first time in over a year. The season starts Friday November 3rd- Sunday Nov 5th, and a second three day weekend on Friday November 10th through Sunday November 12th. There is no minimum or maximum size limit and the limit is one fish per person. 

Forecast

The forecast looks a little bumpy for the first weekend of the snapper mini season, especially if you are headed well offshore in search of one of the big mule snapper. 


Friday

Out to 20 nautical miles:
North northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Dominant period 7 seconds. Inland waters a moderate chop.
20 to 60 nautical miles:
North northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet with occasional seas up to 6 feet. Dominant period 9 seconds becoming 4 seconds in the afternoon.


Saturday

Out to 20 nautical miles:
North northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Inland waters a moderate chop.

photo

20 to 60 nautical miles:
North northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet with occasional seas up to 6 feet. A slight chance of showers.

Sunday

Out to 20 nautical miles:
Northeast winds around 10 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers.
20 to 60 nautical miles:
Northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 4 to 5 feet with occasional seas up to 6 feet. A slight chance of showers.

Research

Federal officials are asking for recreational anglers for help. You can aid by reporting your catches as detailed below, or you can even donated your fish carcass after its been cleaned in some locations. 

Studies are ongoing, here is the result of one which you could estimate the age of your red snapper based on the length of the fish from the Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction Program of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. 

photo

The chart shows a 23 and a half inch red snapper (600mm) is roughly 5-7 years of age based on age tested fish caught in the Atlantic. A 31 inch red snapper (800mm) would range in age from 10-12 years, showing that the length of these fish generally levels off in the low to mid 30s".

How you can help

Recreational fishermen gearing up to take advantage of the red snapper mini-season this year will also have the opportunity to voluntarily report their catches and releases of red snapper via a new pilot reporting website at MyFishCount.com. The recreational season will open in federal waters of the South Atlantic for two consecutive 3-day weekends, November 3rd through 5th and November 10th through 12th.

After hearing the requests of anglers across the region, the Council and the Snook and Gamefish Foundation in partnership with Elemental Methods, have teamed up to make recreational electronic

photo

reporting a possibility for the 2017 red snapper mini-season through MyFishCount.com. The type of catch information anglers can record on MyFishCount.com include fish length, photos, depth fished, release method, and more.

To log catches on MyFishCount.com, anglers need to first register for an account on the website. Once registered, the easy-to-use website will allow each user the opportunity to create a trip log, enter catch information, and view past trips from one convenient location. The website is accessible from any internet-enabled device while in cellular range. To collect information while fishing offshore out of cellular range, anglers can download and print a log sheet to record catch information to later be entered into MyFishCount.com. The downloadable form will be available for the mini-season and available on the MyFishCount.com website and the Council’s website under the Red Snapper Reporting page.

 

Using MyFishCount.com during the mini-season is an opportunity to collect information about the current red snapper fishery and can provide information to inform the development of future recreational reporting platforms. “We saw a unique opportunity to involve anglers in testing this pilot program with this year’s red snapper mini-season,” explained Chester Brewer, recreational fisherman and member of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council from West Palm Beach, Florida. “Fishermen have been telling managers about the increasing numbers of red snapper as the stock continues to rebuild. This pilot project gives them the opportunity to help document what they are seeing.” Brewer noted that this type of data collection effort may be useful in the future management of red snapper. 

photo

“It is also imperative that anglers use best fishing practices as they take advantage of this opportunity to catch red snapper,” said Brewer. “The use of descending devices and other best fishing practices will be highly beneficial in reducing fishing mortality as this stock continues to rebuild.”

Additional information on the pilot program, best fishing practices, and other items of interest for the upcoming red snapper season is available from the Council’s website here... 

We want to see your big fish pictures, share them with us on Stormpins


About the Author: