MANATEE -- The 52-day recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters opens Saturday and will remain open through July 14.
This season was set at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meeting in April. Opening the season the Saturday before Memorial Day will provide recreational red snapper fishing opportunities through an important holiday weekend, helping attract more visitors and bringing economic benefits to our coastal communities, according to FWC officials.
The nine-day federal season starts June 1 through June 9.
Florida state waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. Federal waters extend from where state waters end, out to about 200 nautical miles.
The daily bag limit for red snapper will remain two per person in Gulf state and federal waters. The minimum size limit is 16 inches total length. There is a zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew of for-hire vessels.
Recreational anglers targeting reef fish such as red snapper in Gulf state and federal waters are required to use dehooking devices and non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing with natural bait. These devices are designed to help increase the likelihood a fish will survive if it is released.
Venting tools are no longer required when targeting reef fish. This requirement was removed to allow fishermen the freedom to use the methods or tools of their choosing when releasing reef fish.