The red snapper is one of the most popular catches in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions, especially in Southern Florida. There are a few snappers; the dog snapper, emperor snapper, red snappers, the gray/mangrove snapper, the red and white Indo-Pacific snapper, and the yellowtail snapper. These carnivorous fish eat other fish and crustaceans, have giant mouths with sharp teeth, elongated bodies, and can reach up to 3 feet long. Some have even been reported to reach 50 pounds!
Red snappers are some of the most valuable fish in the United States and are a hot commodity for commercial fishers. Unfortunately, they have been highly overfished in the Gulf region, having sanctions placed on their species to manage their conditions and promote population growth.
This fish also has different sanctions based on the region you are fishing in. Miami deep sea fishing sits in the Atlantic region (state waters are from shore to 3 miles into the ocean). Federal Atlantic regulations start snapper season on July 9. However, since the snapper season is announced and changed by NOAA each year to preserve the species, this year, the season will only last until July 11 for recreational fishing.
2021 is under a limited open season, meaning there is only a total annual catch limit of 42,510, with recreational catches only able to amount to up to 29,656 fish. The bag limit for recreational Miami fishing is one red snapper per person per day for both private and charter boat vessels.
Florida regulations mandate that whether you are fishing in the Gulf or Atlantic regions, all those who intend to fish for red snappers must get a State Reef Fish Angler designation.