Red Snapper Season


The official federal Red Snapper dates for 2023 have been released! Anglers will be able to fish in the federal waters as of June 1 through August 25th.

Let’s discuss the difference between State vs. Federal waters seasons. In the Gulf of Mexico, every state oversees the first nine nautical miles of sea. After that, you hit Federal waters. Texas Red Snapper Season 2023 State waters will be open throughout the year! Once a state reaches its quota, the season will be closed.  Daily bag limits for Texas in state waters is 4 fish per person with a 15-inch minimum length. Federal Red Snapper season starts June 1st through August 25th. In federal waters, the bag limit is 2 fish per day per person with a 16-inch minimum length.

Like most species of fish, the bigger fish are found in deeper waters. Red Snapper are no exceptions. If you want to reel in a trophy fish, Federal waters will be your best place to fish. Red Snapper is generally found at 30 to 620 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Although Red Snapper range all over the Caribbean and along the Atlantic Coast, they are more common and abundant in the Gulf of Mexico.

Red Snapper can grow to about 40 inches and weigh up to 50 pounds and live more than 50 years. The largest Red Snapper caught in Texas was a Cubera Snapper, which is the largest of the Snapper species weighing in at 137 pounds back on June 11, 2022. There are over 100 species in the Snapper family (Lutjanidae) fish. Multiple Snapper Species happen to be red in color, which include the Vermilion Snapper, Silk Snapper, Queen Snapper, Black Fin Snapper, Wenchman Snapper, and the Cubera Snapper being the largest of the species.

Red Snapper as old as 57 years old have been reported in the Gulf of Mexico. Red Snapper is popular in the fishing industry for their flavor and for being a prized offering at restaurants. Economically, Red Snapper are among the most valuable fish in the Gulf.  In 2021 commercial industry from the five Gulf States landed 7.7 million pounds and sold for $33 million. Known for their taste, there are more than one million recipes online for Red Snapper.

In 2021 Anglers landed 10.3 million pounds of Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico according to NOAA fisheries. Harte Research Institute (HRI) led a project called the Great Red Snapper Count to determine how many Red Snapper were in the Gulf of Mexico. The project ran between 2017 and 2019.  They concluded that there were 118 million Red Snapper swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. This is triple NOAA’s previous estimate that stood at 36 million. NOAA is analyzing HRI’s data and should be finished by 2023. The upcoming season could be impacted with positive changes.

In the late 80’s the Snapper population reached its lowest point. Through science and strict fishing regulations, the Snapper population has increased. People are reeling in bigger fish in water and places that have not been seen before. The best time to fish for Snapper is from May through the begging of September. The ideal water temperature for red snapper is 58 – 62°F. Red snapper bites well at dawn and at dusk. Low tides, high tides, full moon and new moon also play a factor when fishing for certain Snapper species. Red Snapper actively feeds at night providing overnight fishing trips a very productive night.

Schedule your trip today! When selecting a fishing Charter for your Red Snapper experience, make sure you select a charter that has a federal permit that can fish federal Red Snapper fisheries. Galveston based Charter, Up Above Adventures has Captains and crew that are professional and experienced for your next Red Snapper fishing trip. Let Up Above Adventures be the ones that help you reel in the next state recorded.

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