Red snapper fishing in deep waters. This fish species likes to hang out in schools near reefs, oil rigs, and shipwrecks. 

You stand a greater chance of catching tasty snappers when you head out to deep waters using your boat, or you can book one of the multiple fishing charters offered by Florida. 

A Snapper is arguably the most coveted variety of reef fish you can catch on one of our fishing charters. Some of the better-known Snapper are Cubera Snapper, Red Snapper, Mullet Snapper, Mutton Snapper.

Is Red Snapper a Saltwater Reef Fish?

You may be wondering whether a snapper is a saltwater fish or freshwater fish since you can find these fish species in various habitats. 

This type of fish is classified under the perciform family of fishes. There are up to thirteen species of the perciform family, and their body shape appears like a perch. They are primarily found in subtropical and tropical regions all over the world. 

So, is a snapper a saltwater fish? Those species inside the snapper family also consist of food fish species essential for human consumption. One of the most famous food fish is the red snapper species. However, since various types of snapper are available in this family, it is essential to note that they live in multiple habitats. 

Most of the fish species in this family live in the ocean; thus, they are saltwater fish like the red snapper, the most popular one.

But, some fish types in the family prefer estuary habitat where they can feed by going to the freshwater.

How to Catch Red Snapper?

Snapper are aggressive feeders and can be caught by a wide variety of rigs. These types of fish can even bite trolled lures meant for kingfish and kahawai.

The best rigs for snapper are the Kiwi and Aussie versions of stray line and dropper rigs.

Flasher rigs also perform well at anchor but specifically on the drift over sandy locations. Yellowtail snapper can be line shy and difficult to catch at times.

Soft plastics or soft baits are also proving phenomenal in terms of their efficiency in red snapper fishing.

Stray Line Rigs

Stray line rigs are usually used in shallow waters where minimal weight is needed for the bait to sink. The weight you use should be free running on the trace above the hocks.

These rigs usually are cast away from the shore or boats and slowly sink towards the bottom during red snapper fishing.

They are fishing shallow inshore waters, particularly for mangrove snapper. Sometimes during a full moon, the baitfish can be very finicky and difficult to catch.

Fishing using large tray-lined baits is the traditional way of catching large snapper, particularly in a reefy location.

Dropper and Flasher Rigs

Flasher and dropper rigs consist of one or more hooks branching off from the mainline with a suitable sinker towards the bottom, which is usually where the big Snapper is.

During fishing with these rigs, weight is adjusted to match water depth, current strength, and drift speed. 

Adequate weight is required to maintain the baits close to the bottom where snapper mainly feed.

Flasher rigs are also made using the same concept but with flashy items tied to the shanks of the hooks to compel a fish further to bite. They can be used with or without bait.

Other Methods

Other techniques you can use to catch a snapper are rigs such as metal jigs and saltwater flies. 

You can fish jigs using conventional tackle and work best when bounced up and down about the bottom from a drifting boat.

Flies, on the other hand, require specialist fly fishing tackle. 

What is the Best Rig and Bait to Catch Snapper?

When it comes to the best rig and bait for snapper, freshness is crucial. To narrow down some of the best baits for red snapper, you should take a keen look at the local food chain of a location.

Snappers eat almost everything when they are feeding. But, the best bait for snapper includes items like fresh kahawai, fresh mackerel, pilchards, squid, skipjack tuna, mullet, shellfish, and crabs. 

You can try live squid, live mackerel, or live kahawai if they are not overused near the bottom for a huge snapper. Jigs, soft baits, and flasher rigs are also very effective on snapper. 

The best rigs for snapper include stray line and dropper rigs. Snapper is also one of the top targets of all anglers along the Florida Panhandle.

What is the Limit for Snapper in Florida?

Given the red snapper value, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has state and federal law rules, and restrictions have been put in place. Previously, new laws and regulations have offered a more extended and fruitful red snapper season for hire vessels while putting more restrictions on private vessels. Also, even if you are exempt from fishing license requirements, you must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler

State Reef Fish Survey shows that the red snapper species have been subjected to overfishing because of their inherent value. Different lawmakers in Florida have since come up with specific regulations to help grow the population back to its usual capacity. 

It is important to note that there are different restrictions for the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The minimum size limit below is strictly based on laws created to fish red snappers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Fishing Regulations The state of Florida uses an aggregate bag limit of ten snappers per person.

Minimum size limits are put in place to protect the juvenile snapper from any harm and allow them to grow and reproduce in the off-season. 

The minimum size limit on red snapper is 16 inches. 

There are no limitations on the weight of red snapper, but if you are looking to break records, you can weigh the snapper you catch on a fish scale to see if you get to 46lb (current record in Florida)

Experience the Best Snapper Fishing in Fort Myers with Caloosahatchee Cowboy Charters

Experience the snapper fishing of a lifetime in Fort Myers with Caloosahatchee Cowboy Charters! Get in touch with the experienced captains with excellent equipment and extreme knowledge of the waters. 

The captains allow you to catch the bait, which is usually a favorite chore for most visitors, and explains the lay of the waters in the area. Red snapper is a rare species, so you need to find a location that hasn’t been fished for a long time.

The knowledgeable personal guides know precisely where the redfish are. You will enjoy catching some giant fish and enjoying the recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters.

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