Snapper Season on the Gulf Coast

Posted by Rachel Kelly on Thursday, July 19th, 2018 at 12:11pm.

Red Snapper Fishing with Gulf Rebel Charters out of Orange Beach, AL 

The season for recreational red snapper fishing officially kicked off the beginning of June in state and federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Orange Beach AL is famously known as the "Red Snapper Capital of the World" and home to one of the largest artificial reef programs in the United States. Red snapper is a prized saltwater species and a delicacy among the Gulf Coast admired for its sweet nutty flavor and fresh (non-fishy) taste. Whether it's tropical fish tacos, delicious ceviche, or pan-fried in lemon butter sauce, freshly caught red snapper is a treat no matter how it's cooked!

Where do you find these delightful fish? Large populations of snapper are commonly found offshore near banks and underwater structures including oil rigs, shipwrecks, and artificial reefs.  Vacationers spending the week at Gulf Shores or Orange Beach condos can book with fishing charters from numerous marinas out of the city's back bays such as Terry Cove and Cotton Bayou. If you own a boat, the area offers several public boat ramps to use including Boggy Point and Cotton Bayou which are the closest launches to Perdido Pass. Prefer to stay on land? Other great fishing spots include the boardwalk along Perdido Pass, Gulf State Park fishing pier, or alongside the Four Seasons Orange Beach fishing pier (only guests of the resort can access the pier). During open season, the bag limit is 2 fish per person at a minimum length of 16 inches.

Due to ideal weather conditions and larger than average-sized fish harvested, the seasonal quota of 984,291 lbs is expected to be reached by the closure date. In accordance with the Alabama Recreational Red Snapper Exempted Fishing Permit issued by NOAA Fisheries, the season will conclude on July 22 - six weeks earlier than scheduled.  Alabama, along with Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana were given exempted fishing permits for 2018 and 2019 seasons allowing each state to manage recreationally caught red snapper and monitor landings through data collection methods.

Along with red snapper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, and gag grouper are popular game-fish with designated fishing seasons throughout the year. Recreational fishing has a major impact on the Gulf Coast's economy bringing billions in revenue and generating thousands of local jobs. Each year, millions of people fish recreationally in the Gulf of Mexico whether it's for sport or to reel in dinner in the form of snapper, tuna, wahoo, grouper or mackerel.  Find more information on fishing regulations for state and federal waters, open seasons, and closures at NOAA Fisheries.

Perdido Pass Bridge, Orange Beach AL - Offshore fishing charters headed out during sunrise.


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