Good news for red snapper enthusiasts - the NOAA Fisheries Service has announced that the commercial and recreational fishers in the Gulf of Mexico will have 11 million pounds of red snapper to catch this year. Red snapper season begins on June 1st, and should last between 38 and 42 days, according the National Marine Fisheries Service.
This upcoming red snapper season is longer than it has been in previous decades. The red snapper's deliciousness has played a role in its undoing ? the FDA has carefully monitored the dwindling population since the 1980s. Previous federal limitations restricted the season to 21 days. Happily, recent studies have shown that the red snapper has had a bit of a comeback. In the past year or so, local Gulf fishing authorities have deemed a month-long fishing season sustainable. This gives you extra time to book one of our Gulf Shores rentals or Orange Beach condos and get out there!
How to Catch 'Em
When you're out on the water, keep in mind a few basic tricks to reeling in your prize-winning snapper. For pickup artists and red snapper fishermen, the same rules apply: don't use a line that's too obvious. Red snappers catch on quickly to the dangers posed by big hooks and visible lines. (And since red snappers can live several decades, no doubt the larger ones have learned a thing or two about avoiding fishermen.) Try a daintier, circular hook to increase the odds of a bite when you're fishing for red snapper.
Location, location, location. Red snapper like to swim close to the bottom, and the biggest typically reside in deeper waters. Sunken ships and reefs will harbor many a satisfying catch. If you want to try fishing nearer the surface, experts recommend throwing chum overboard to coax the red snapper toward your boat. To reel in the biggest specimens, use sizable bait. A six-inch mullet or cigar minnow should do the trick.
Once you feel a nibble, exercise caution. Because red snappers take such dainty bites at first, you'll have more success if you wait for your snapper to take a more confident chomp. With a circle hook, a red snapper can get a good mouthful with no need for you to jerk the line and risk scaring the fish away. Simply start reeling it in to ensure the hook does its job.
Seafood lovers are so eager to snap up red snapper, some seafood distributors have gone to devious lengths to stretch the supply. In 2008 a Stanford University study detailed the widespread practice of labeling a lesser whitefish as red snapper. So if you want the job done right, do it yourself. With a longer red snapper fishing season, and plenty of time to plan ahead, there's no reason to miss out on catching the tasty red snapper of your dreams. Book one of our Gulf Shores condos or Orange Beach rentals during red snapper season today!