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Mutton Snapper

Mutton Snapper

The Mutton Snapper

The Mutton Snapper, Lutjanus analis

Color varies widely with size and habitat. Juveniles in shallow water are very bright, with an overall rosy appearance and mostly red fins. Adults are greenish above and red on the lower sides and underside. All sizes show blue lines in the gill cover and along the back, with a single black spot near the dorsal fin about three-quarters of the way to the fin.Vague vertical bars may be present. Anal fin is pointed.


Inshore average is 1-2 pounds. On reefs and in deeper water, the average is 5 pounds or more, with individuals up to 15 pounds not uncommon. Maximum is probably around 35 pounds.World and Florida records 30 pounds, 4 ounces.




Muttons are strong fighters in deep water, and can be dazzling ones in shallow water or atop the tailing flats, getting off long runs and then resisting with strength and broad sides.


For reef fishing, light ocean tackle is ideal and the best baits are live Pinfish, live Pilchards, live or cut Ballyhoo, big live shrimp and fresh cut baitfish. Light spinning or baitcasting tackle is an excellent choice inshore, when tossing jigs and plugs in channels or over grass beds and rocks. In shallow water, Muttons smash surface plugs readily. When encountered on sight-fishing flats, the same tackle is used as for Permit or Bonefish. Live crabs make the best bait here, with live shrimp also acceptable. Permit jigs and flies will also do the job, if presented well.


Still Fishing; Casting; Drifting.


Juveniles inhabit inshore grass beds, coral patch- es and channels. Adults are primarily inhabitants of the deeper reefs, although many are found in nearshore deep channels and passes of South Florida, the Keys and the Bahamas. Big Muttons even sneak up on certain “tailing flats” occasionally, to forage in the manner of Bonefish and Permit. 


Muttonfish Reef King Pargo


The Mutton Snapper more or less takes over for the Red Snapper in South Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean. On the Atlantic Coast of Florida, Muttons are common on the reefs as far north as, roughly, Fort Pierce, but gradually give way to Red Snapper after that. In the Gulf, few Muttons are caught north of the Keys, although they turn up now and then in the bags of offshore bot- tom fishermen all along the Gulf Coast.

Double Muttons

Two happy anglers show off their mutton snappers caught on the patch reefs of Islamorada.

Tortugas Trip

Forum member Gary M with a nice mutton

Mutton Snapper

Mutton snapper caught by FS forum member the BEAST.


FS forum member Miami Mutton holding up to good size muttons while fishing with his buddies.

South Florida Mutton

Mutton snapper

FS member Aggravated-A-Salt's buddy holding up a mutton that he had just caught.

Mutton Snappers

Another picture of CNTDR with his son and friends all holding up their freshly caught muttons.


Florida sporstman forum member CNTDR and his son fishing for some mutton in Settlement Point Bahamas for Father's Day!

Nice Mutton

Nice Mutton taken by spear in the keys.

Stuart Snapper

Casey Wallace caught this mutton snapper off Stuart, Florida

Abaco Muttons

FS member choppy led these young anglers to an impressive catch of mutton snapper.

Keys Mutton

FS member Captain Easy guided this angler to a beautiful mutton snapper off Islamorada.

Sarah's Mutton

Sarah Wright of Key Largo Florida shows off a 8'ish lb mutton snapper caught on the reef with a live bait

Mutton Snapper Special

Florida Sportsman member, Redrunner34, and his crew headout out the inlet; one of the many fish they caught was this mutton snapper.

Mutton Snappers on Sardines and Squid

FS member, Bit Short, caught these mutton snappers with sardines and squid during an early morning fishing trip; the larger mutton is ten pounds.

Last Drift Catch

On the last drift of the day, FS member Action88, caught this mutton snapper -his personal best- on a pinfish in 210' , in weighed 19.5 pounds on the marina scale.

Grand Total!

FS member, Miami Mutton, took a trip to the keys for some good mutton snapper fishing and caught a total of 29 with another five yellowtail snapper thrown in.

Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member, Bone, caught his largest mutton snapper while fishing offshore of the Keys with his family.

Mutton Snapper

FS member Bite My Bait, caught this mutton snapper while fishing on the Yankee Capts.

Keys Mutton Snapper

FS member Captdallas2's son, Elijah, caught this mutton snapper during a fishing trip in the Keys.

Palm Beach Snapper

Paul Levins caught this mutton snapper off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida.

Southeast Mutton

Paul caught this colorful mutton snapper while bottom fishing in the southeast region.

Mutton Snapper

This colorful mutton snapper will make a great dinner for someone!

Miami Mutton

The satisfactory grin of landing a nice mutton snapper for dinner.

Cinde's Mutton

Cinde Santner of Atlanta, GA outfished her native fishing partners in Marathon, FL with her 15 Ib mutton

Keys Mutton Snapper

Florida Sportsman member Got TA Go shows friends with a couple mutton snapper catches in the Keys.

Mutton Snapper

Mayport Mutton Snapper

FS Member seanhev77 posted this mutton snapper caught off Mayport.

Palm Beach Mutton Snapper

Florida Sportsman member nick c landed this huge mutton snapper off Palm Beach.

Islamorada Snapper and Grouper

FS Member Captain Easy brought this catch of snapper and grouper back to the docks in Islamorada.

Fish Quest Mutton Snapper

FS Member Tipbone posted this mutton snapper photo, caught on Fish Quest Charters.

Mutton Snapper Keys

The clean waters of the Florida Keys are home to tasty mutton snapper. Head for the nearshore reefs.

Ocean Reef Muttons

Florida Sportsman member action88 posted this pair of mutton snapper, caught on the Ocean Reef patches.

Miami Mutton Snapper

Florida Sportsman member Cudaman posted this mutton snapper, caught on the Reward Won off Miami.

Yankee Capts Mutton Snapper

FS Member snappersnatcher posted this mutton snapper caught on the Yankee Capts off the Dry Tortugas.

Dry Tortugas Mutton Snapper

FS Member duke6543 posted this photo of a mutton snapper, caught on a Marquesas/Dry Tortugas trip.

Snapper Combo

FS Member duke6543 posted this photo of a snapper combo, caught on a Marquesas/Dry Tortuga trip.

Dry Tortugas Mutton Snapper

FS Member duke6543 posted this photo of a mutton snapper, caught on a Marquesas/Dry Tortugas trip.

Yankee Capts Mutton Snappers

FS Member snappersnatcher posted this mutton snapper doubleheader, from a Yankee Capts Tortugas trip, out of Key West.

Bahamas Mutton Snapper

Shallow Bahamas waters hold loads of mutton snapper.

Grand Cay Mutton Snapper

Florida Sportsman member JerseaGirl had a nice trip to Grand Cay and landed this mutton snapper.

Mutton Snapper Pair

This pair of muttons were landed off South Florida.

Outlaw Cape Horn Mutton

Forum member Outlaw Cape Horn with a great mutton snapper caught in the keys.

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