American Red Snapper Season Open

American Red Snapper season is upon us, though for just 9 short days.

Make sure to know the state and federal regulations before heading offshore. The below information is taken directly off the FWC website:

State and federal regulations require all commercial fishers and recreational anglers fishing for any reef fish species to have and use certain gear. Reef fish species include groupers, snappers, amberjacks, triggerfish, porgies, sea bass, hogfish and tilefish.

State Waters of the Gulf of Mexico Required Gear

  • Circle Hooks(Must be non-stainless steel and not offset)
  • Dehooking Device
  • Venting Tools  –  At the November meeting, the FWC Commission eliminated the requirement to have and use venting tools when targeting reef fish in state waters. This change went into effect Jan. 24, 2014.

State Waters of the Atlantic Required Gear

  • Dehooking Device
  • Note: In federal waters of the Atlantic north of 28° latitude, circle hooks are required when using hook and line gear and using natural baits – see map below.

Circle Hook Map Line

Circle hooks are made so that the point is turned perpendicular to the shank to form a circular or oval shape. Research has found that circle hooks are 90% more likely to hook fish in the mouth instead of in the esophagus or stomach. This reduces internal harm to the fish by decreasing de-hooking time for the angler, and decreases the chances of a hook getting lost in the fish. Non-offset means the end of the hook is in line with the shank of the hook – rather than being angled sideways away from the shank.

The 2014 Gulf of Mexico red snapper recreational season will be 9 days, opening at 12:01 a.m., June 1, 2014, and remaining open through June 9, 2014, closing June 10, 2014. The daily bag limit will remain 2 per person.

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