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July 9-11 Atlantic Red Snapper Season Announced

Atlantic Red Snapper Season kicks off next weekend, be prepared

A beautiful red snapper caught on Boston mackerel in 65 feet of water aboard Capt. Gabrielle Barnes vessel in the Florida Panhandle during the 2021 Gulf Red Snapper Season.

Note to employers on the east coast of Florida: Don't count on a full crew on Friday, July 9. That's opening day of this year's three-day Atlantic red snapper season. Odds are good at least one (if not all) of your staff will be on the water before sunrise. Saturday and Sunday will be pretty much a wash, too.

NOAA Fisheries announced the three-day season via Fishery Bulletin dated June 4. The July 9-12 season is one day shorter than last year's. It opens 12:01 a.m. July 9, closes at 12:01 a.m. on July 12. Bag limit is one per person. No minimum or maximum size. The dates and limits apply to federal waters in NOAA's South Atlantic region. Off the east coast of Florida, federal waters begin three nautical miles offshore and extend out 200 miles.

Photo credit: Peter Sils

A commercial season opens on July 12 with a 75 pound trip limit; NOAA will announce closing time for the commercial fishers based on when the fleet reaches its allotted 12,854 fish. The recreational “sector” is allocated 29,656 fish. (If these numbers sound a bit obsessive compulsive, we agree.)

For a good account of a typical midsummer Atlantic red snapper trip, see the June 2021 issue of Florida Sportsman, on newsstands now. Writer Peter Slis offers tips and tactics in his feature “Rig Heavy, Travel Light,” page 38. You can also read the full feature online, click here.

Getting an early start is a must.

For license requirements, gear rules and other details on Florida snapper fishing, click here.

For the NOAA South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin announcing the Atlantic season opening, click here.

Gulf of Mexico red snapper season is ongoing—this year's recreational season runs June 4-July 28.

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