The recreational red snapper season will start June 17 in Gulf state and federal waters off Florida and remain open through July 31 with 12 days in the fall.
“We are excited about Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent announcement of this year’s 57-day Gulf red snapper season, which is the longest we’ve had since the FWC began managing the season in state and federal waters,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Chairman Rodney Barreto.
For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit may also participate in the season but are limited to fishing for red snapper in Gulf state waters only.
If you plan to fish for red snapper in any state or federal waters off Florida from a private recreational vessel, even if you are exempt from fishing license requirements, you must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal required). Sign up at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/SRFS.
State Reef Fish Anglers might receive a questionnaire in the mail regarding their reef fish trips as part of Florida’s State Reef Fish Survey. These surveys were developed specifically to provide more robust recreational data for the management of red snapper and other important reef fish and have allowed the FWC the unprecedented opportunity to manage Gulf red snapper in state and federal waters. If you receive a survey in the mail, please respond whether you fished this season or not.
When catching red snapper and other deep-water fish, look out for symptoms of barotrauma (injuries caused by a change in pressure), such as the stomach coming out of the mouth, bloated belly, distended intestines, and bulging eyes. When releasing fish with barotrauma, use a descending device or venting tool to help them survive and return to depth.