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A man holding a red snapper

Gulf Recreational Red Snapper

  • Gulf recreational red snapper season is currently closed. The 2023 season will be anounced later this spring.
  • This season applies to recreational anglers fishing from private vessels in Florida Gulf state and federal waters. For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit may also participate in the season but are limited to fishing for red snapper in Florida Gulf state waters only.


Atlantic Federal Recreational Red Snapper

NOAA fisheries will announce the 2023 Atlantic federal red snapper season later this year. 

New Gear Requirements for Federal Waters

DESCEND Act measures now in effect:

  • Descending device or venting tool must be rigged and ready to use on trips in Gulf federal waters targeting reef fish

In Atlantic federal waters, new gear modifications include a new requirement for descending devices and modifications to hook requirements when snapper grouper fishing. For more information, read this Snapper-Grouper fishery in Atlantic federal waters announcement.

Fishing for snappers?

Make sure signed up for the State Reef Fish Survey

Regulations by Coast

Gulf of Mexico Regulations (state and federal waters unless specified)

Min. Size Limit

red snapper

16" TL

Daily Bag Limit

2 per person (included in the 10 per harvester per day state snapper aggregate bag limit)

Charter captain and crew: zero

 

Season

2023 open season: TBD

Season applies to:

  • Recreational anglers fishing from private vessels in Florida Gulf state and federal waters
  • Charter for-hire vessels that do not have a federal permit are limited to harvest during the recreational season in Florida Gulf state waters only

Min. Size Limit

vermillion snapper

10" TL

Daily Bag Limit

State: 10 per person (not included in the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit)                 

Federal:10/person within 20 reef fish aggregate

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

schoolmaster

10" TL

Daily Bag Limit

10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

gray snapper

State: 10" TL

Federal: 12" TL

Daily Bag Limit

State: 5 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit 

Federal: 10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit 

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

mutton snapper

State: 18" TL

Federal: 18" TL 

Daily Bag Limit

State: 5 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit 

Federal: Up to 5 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

cubera snapper

State: 12" TL

May possess no more than 2 over 30" per harvester or vessel per day, whichever is less. 30" or larger cubera are not included within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit       

Federal: 12" TL

Daily Bag Limit

10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

lane snapper

8" TL

Daily Bag Limit

State: Default bag limit of 100 pounds 

Federal: 20 under their 20-reef fish aggregate

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

None

Daily Bag Limit

Up to 10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

12" total length

Daily Bag Limit

Up to 10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Season

Open year-round

Atlantic Regulations (state and federal waters unless specified)

Min. Size Limit

red snapper

State: 20" TL

Daily Bag Limit

State: 2 per person

Federal: 1 per person

Season

State: Open year-round                               

Federal: 2023 season TBD

Min. Size Limit

vermillion snapper

12" TL

Daily Bag Limit

5 per person (not included in the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit)  

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

gray snapper

State: 10" TL

Federal: 12" TL 

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Daily Bag Limit

State: 5 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Federal: 10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

schoolmaster

State: 10" TL

Federal: None

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Daily Bag Limit

10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit 

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

mutton snapper

State: 18" TL

Federal: 18" TL 

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Daily Bag Limit

5 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit 

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

cubera snapper

12" TL

May possess no more than 2 over 30" per harvester or vessel per day, whichever is less

30" or larger cubera are not included within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Daily Bag Limit

10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

lane snapper

8" TL

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Daily Bag Limit

10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

None

Daily Bag Limit

Up to 10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Season

Open year-round

Min. Size Limit

12" TL

Special regulations apply for yellowtail snapper when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Daily Bag Limit

Up to 10 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit

Special regulations apply for yellowtail snapper when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Season

Open year-round

Return ‘Em Right

A resource for anglers interested in best release practices.

Gulf Red Snapper

Red snapper comparison

Red snapper are long-lived, early-maturing reef fish that are broadly distributed in the Gulf of Mexico. They can live to be 57. Older, larger females contribute far more eggs than younger, smaller females. To have a sustainable red snapper stock, there should be an abundance of older/larger fish to maximize the number of young fish coming into the fishery.

One 24-inch female red snapper (about an 8 year old fish) produces as many eggs as 212 17-inch females (about 5 years old).

Snapper Research