Regardless of your fishing prowess or experience, there is something satisfying about being able to wrestle in your very own red snapper; one of the “signature fish” found right off the coast of Panama City Beach in the Gulf of Mexico. Snapper season is upon us and here’s a little info about this year’s season and some of the legal stuff you need to know as a local and a visitor to fish for Snapper and other great sport-fish!
The red snapper is popular among both recreational fishers and commercial businesses and is often considered a prized offering when found at seafood markets and restaurants. The red snapper is a top predator found in the Gulf ecosystem, can weigh up to fifty pounds and can live longer than fifty years.
What You Need to Know:
2016 State Snapper Season
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has set the recreational Red Snapper season for 2016 which will begin May 7th 2016 on Saturdays and Sundays. From May 28th 2016 onward, the season will be continuously open until July 10th 2016. If you are unable to make it down for the summer fishing season, then you can fish on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October. There are 78-days in total available for fishing in the Gulf state waters which only stretch up to nine miles from the shore. Perfect timing for all of our faithful visitors searching to land the big one (like the one to in the pic!) while visiting our beautiful beaches!
2016 Snapper Season Dates
- May: 7/8th, 14/15th, 21/22nd, 28/31st
- June: the whole month
- July: 1-10th
- September: 2-5 (Labor Day included), 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30th
- October: 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28-30th
It is important to note however, that the private recreational season has not been set yet for the red snapper, but will range between 6-9 days. If you are planning to take part in the season off the coast of Panama Beach Florida, then make sure to follow the guidelines that are set out for fish size, bag limit, gear rules and vessels. The minimum size limit is 16 inches on the red snapper and circle hooks that are stainless steel and not offset must be used when using natural bait. You must also use a de-hooking device.
To see more about the guidelines and to get all of the necessary licenses, please visit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission here: FWC.