The Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) is among some of the most cooperative and best eating fish in the waters of Key West. Although the Federal government has protected this fish far beyond what most fishermen on both coasts of Florida consider responsible, we still have been given small windows of harvest. The state of Florida has been far more reasonable with an open season year around in state waters.
The Red Snapper has increased in both size and numbers that rival that of the “old days”. They are caught in high numbers throughout most of the year on bait as well as jigs and sometimes flies. Their high numbers are sometimes a problem while fishing for other species, i.e. Mutton Snapper and groupers.
These fish average 10 to 15 pounds, and range up to the I.G.F.A. world record 34lb giant landed by Kevin Lockwood. They are one of the most beautifully colored of the bottom fish and offer some of the finest eating of any fish in the waters of either coast. Their red coloration is unmistakable.
Red Snapper are a very aggressive species. They are known to attack bait without thinking twice, and are definitely not timid. If you watch our Fishing Videos you can see just how curious the Red Snapper is. Large Red Snapper are known to inhabit many different areas of the Gulf of Mexico and are commonly fished for around oil rigs.
Red Snapper are not hard to catch. Live bait, dead bait, jigs, lures and more can be used to catch Red Snapper. Their aggressive nature and fearless attitude make them an easy target for anglers. They seem to eat first and ask questions later. Red Snapper roam in large schools and once you are on the right spot it can be non-stop action catching them.
Red Snapper are fine table-fare and may be prepared many different ways. Recipes for cooking Red Snapper as well as other types of fish can be found on our Weekly Recipes page.
Red Snapper Photo Gallery
Red Snapper Fishing Locations
The Dry Tortugas is the last, great vestige of sportfishing in the northern hemisphere. This remote group of islands are surrounded by more than ten thousand square miles of fishing resources that have remained relatively untapped due to the time that it would take to cover this vast and remote area.
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico, for our purposes, begins at the North side of the flats, along the lower Florida Keys and includes a portion of the Florida Bay, continuing to the West and North of the Dry Tortugas, encompassing more than 5000 square miles of fishable water within range of our hi-tech, offshore boats.
Key West offers the sportfishing enthusiast the largest variety of gamefish in the world. Other locations will argue that they are the sportfishing capital of the world, or the best for this species or that particular fish. There are more “I.G.F.A. World Records” from the waters of Key West than the next closest, several locations combined.
Marquesas is a magical word that conjures thoughts of tropical breezes, emerald green water surrounding a tropical island paradise. A ring of islands surrounded by acres and acres of pristine water and shallow flats where giant Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish, Mutton Snappers, great Barracudas and monster Sharks of all kinds prowl the flats.