The last day to harvest red snapper in Gulf state and federal waters for private recreational anglers is July 25.
The current season also applies to for-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit but they are limited to fishing for red snapper in Gulf state waters only.
To learn more about the recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters, including 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.
If you plan to fish for red snapper in state or federal waters 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). If you already have a valid Gulf Reef Fish Angler designation on your license, this will meet the statewide requirement until your designation expires. To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/SRFS. Sign up at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.
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 data for the management of red snapper and other important reef fish, and have allowed 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. Learn more about fish handling at MyFWC.com/FishHandling.