FLORIDA — Red snapper season in Florida has officially begun.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation's popular recreational season runs from June 11 to July 12.
This season will apply to those fishing from private recreational vessels in state and federal waters and to charter vessels that do not have a federal reef fish permit and are limited to fishing in state waters only, accordinig to FWC.
In the first few days of the season, Annie's Bait & Tackle in Cortez told us they're selling out of pinfish, a popular bait for red snapper.
"With the closures, people are anxious to get out there to fish, because they can't do it for so long during the year," said Kim Shepherd of Annie's Bait & Tackle.
Red snapper this year are plentiful. In fact, they're so plentiful that the problem for many fisherman isn't finding them out in the deep waters — it's avoiding them when you're out for other fish.
"You can't get past the red snapper to catch anything else," said Capt. Brian Alcorn with Double Trouble Fishing Charters.
If you plan on participating, here are some things you need to know:
- Anglers fishing from private vessels must get the Gulf Reef Fish Angler designation on their license.
- For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit and are limited to state waters only for red snapper fishing must get the State Gulf Reef Fish Charter designation on their license.
- Snapper are managed differently in the Gulf versus the Atlantic and in state versus federal waters.
- Gulf state waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles.
- Atlantic state waters are from shore to 3 nautical miles.