2018-06-01 / Fish Stories

Finally, it’s Red Snapper season!

Private recreational season is June 11 through July 21 in state and federal waters

The time has come and Red Snapper season is here. Although this is a local favorite, the Pensacola Red Snapper is known throughout the world for its beautiful red color and very tasty flavor.

These delicious eating fish were determined by the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1994 to be the most over-fished species in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 24 years later, the Red Snapper population is no longer in danger of being over-fished. Due to strict regulations, these snapper have rebounded tremendously.

This year the recreational fishing sector has been divided into two user groups. These groups are the private recreational angler and the for-hire recreational angler. As a result, there will be two totally different seasons.

The private recreational season will begin on June 11, 2018, and continue through July 21, 2018. This season is not only in Florida State waters but also in Federal waters this year. State waters extend from shore out to nine nautical miles.


John Freeman with a Warsaw Grouper. John Freeman with a Warsaw Grouper. Then the federal for hire vessels, which include larger charter vessels with federal reef fish permits, will have a different season. Their season will open on June 1, 2018, and extend through July 21, 2018.

Regardless of where you fish, the daily bag limit is two fish per person per day per angler. The minimum size limit is 16 inches total length, but it is really hard to find one that small this day and time. The average fish caught today ranges in size from eight to 15 pounds.

Along with the Red Snapper, you can also catch your limit of Vermilion Snapper. They, too, are red in color, but they are somewhat smaller in size. The limit is 10 per person per day, and they eat just as well.

The inshore trolling is heating up, with a lot of King Mackerel and a few mahi mahi. The natural bait for these sporty fish is a cigar minnow. They work both dead and alive, but catching your own live ones around the buoys will produce two and tuna are being caught near the 100-fathom curve. The oilrigs between 65 and 100 miles to the southwest are producing some really nice Yellow-fin Tuna.

A two-day trip is required to have the travel time to get nearly 100 miles offshore for the marlin and swordfish, unless you can find a fast boat. The daytime swordfish bite has been great for the few guys doing it. This is fairly new in the Gulf of Mexico, but Capt. Chaz Heller on the GotEm has been very successful.

It’s time to get out and wet a hook. Check us out on the web at www.entertainercharter.com and let us arrange a fishing trip for you. As we always say aboard the Entertainer “may the good fishing be yours!”

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