Anglers are gearing up to take part in the best fishing in years as the Florida Red Snapper season begins in 2022. What do you need to know about this amazing fishery? We will be describing the Gulf of Mexico regulations and Atlantic regulations that govern the season. Additionally, we will provide information on how to fish red snapper. This includes their habitat and preferred bait choices.
Each year, the regulations surrounding the Florida Red Snapper season change. What are the rules for fishing red snapper in Florida in 2022?
If you plan to fish for red snapper in the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico, you will need a Florida saltwater fishing license. You can buy a license online at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website, or at any county tax collectors office.
State vs. Federal Water
Before we go into the regulations, it’s important to remember that federal and state waters are different. Florida’s state waters stretch from the shore to three nautical miles off the Atlantic coast and nine nautical miles along the Gulf. Most federal waters extend approximately 200 miles beyond the point where state waters cease or meet with waters from other countries.
Regulations for the 2022 Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper
These regulations will apply to red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
What is the 2022 Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Season?
The season for federally authorized for-hire charter vessels (fishing within federal Gulf waters) will start June 1, 2022 and end August 19, 2022 .
The recreational fishing season will begin on June 17, 2022 and end on July 31. To get on board the recreational fishing season, book with a federally licensed charter captain!
The following weekend will see the season reopen:
- Oct. 8-9 (Sat. & Sun)
- Oct. 15-16 (Sat. & Sun)
- Oct. 22-23 (Sat. & Sun)
- Nov. 11-13 (Fri., Sat. & Sun – Veterans Day weekend)
- Nov. 25-27 (Fri., Sat. & Sun – Thanksgiving weekend)
This applies to recreational anglers who fish from private boats in the Florida Gulf and federal waters. For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit may participate in the season, but they are only allowed to fish for red snapper in Florida Gulf state waters.
The bag limit remains at two fish per person.
When fishing with natural bait, circle hooks are required.
Red snapper must measure at least 16 inches in length if you are considering of keeping them.
Regulations for the 2022 Atlantic Red Snapper
These regulations will apply to red snapper fishing in the Atlantic.
What is the 2022 Atlantic Red Snapper Season?
Red Snapper that you catch in state waters can be kept all year.
Federal water snapper season has yet to be announced. All red snapper caught within federal waters must be immediately returned to the water.
2 fish per person per day is the limit for Red Snapper fishing in the Atlantic states.
These fish must measure at least 16 inches in length if you are considering of keeping them.
Red Snapper Fishing In Florida
You can find red snappers in warm waters around the globe, including the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean. You can find them in reefs, wrecks and other structures at depths between 50 and 200 feet.
Red snapper are opportunistic feeders. They will eat any type of baitfish, squid or crustaceans. Red snapper usually preys on live and frozen pilchards as well as menhaden, herring, pilchards, and menhaden. You can also use cut bait, especially when you are fishing near structures.
It is important to use heavy tackle when targeting red snapper. Red snapper can weigh up to 50 pounds and put up a great fight. It is best to catch red snappers by bottom-fishing with rigs that have circle hooks. This prevents deep-hooking.
Different Types of Bait
Red Snapper bait comes in a variety of options. They are a gape-limited predator and can only eat what is in their mouths. This basically proves that “big bait catches large fish”. For most Red Snappers, dead bait is a good choice. Snook, Grouper, and Tuna are larger Red Snappers and find Sardines and Mullet, Eels and Pilchards difficult to resist. For red snapper bait you can use pogies, squid, or cigar minnows.
Live Pinfish and Tomtate, also known as Ruby red lips, are good options for larger fish. Ruby Red Lips also work well. Bonita strips are the best bait for Red Snappers, according to many experienced Gulf Coast anglers. Smaller fish will not eat large pieces of meat. You can eliminate the irritating pecking of tiny reef fish by using larger strips. If you charter an area boat for the day, it will be the best bait for snappers.
How to Rig Bait for Red Snapper
The way you bait the hook can make a huge difference in how you catch fish or not. For trolling, you can pass the hook through the fish’s lips, nose, and eyes. If the bait is alive, you can pass the hook through the base of the tail. For frozen baits, such as Cigar Minnows and Sardines, the hook should pass through the eyes and back. It might surprise you how quickly the bait softens after it has thawed. If you’re on a charter, your crew can show you how to rig the bait.
Red Snapper Food Quality
Red snapper is a high-quality fish that’s firm and has a rich taste. These fish is commonly used in fried fish dishes. It can also be baked, broiled, or grilled. Using lemon juice, black pepper or lime juice, onion powder, garlic, paprika, and/or onion powder on red snapper gives it a mild flavor. When cooking sushi, ceviche, fish tacos and other dishes you can also use red snappers. It’s easy for seafood lovers and anglers to appreciate the many culinary uses red snapper has.
Whether you are a leisure fisher, or a fisherman who takes fishing in Florida very seriously, Salty Knots Fishing Charters is packed with the knowledge that you need. Our services include Offshore Deep Sea Charters. Salty Knots Fishing Charters also offers beautiful sunset cruises along world famous St. Petersburg beach!
Book Your 2022 Red Snapper Trip
A federally licensed charter captain is your best bet for getting fish in the cooler, despite the short season and complicated regulations. Red Snapper are most popular on the west coast of florida in cities like St Petersburg and Tampa. Salty Knots Fishing Charters and Capt Avery Hughes have been catching monster Red Snapper for years in the gulf of mexico. Book your next adventure now!