Gulf Red Snapper Season Underway
By: Kyle Grammatica
A great way to enjoy Florida’s oceans is through fishing, and with the 2019 gulf red snapper season officially underway, what better time to go?
The 2019 gulf red snapper season opened June 11th and will last through July 12th. It may reopen in the fall if there is enough stock available. The minimum size required to bag a red snapper is 16 inches. The daily bag limit is two per person. If you’re fishing in the Gulf, you must follow Florida’s reef fish gear rules. You must use non-stainless steel and not offset circle hooks if using natural bait and bring a dehooking device. If fishing for red snapper in the Atlantic, the size required for bagging is 20 inches, but the bag limit is still two per person.
In addition to a normal saltwater fishing license, recreational anglers that are fishing from a private vessel will need to get the Gulf Reef Fish Angler certification on their license. Anglers who are exempt from fishing license requirements may still need this certification. The only people exempt from this are those under the age of 16, fishing from a charter boat or other for-hire vessel, and anyone who does not intend to keep any of the designated Gulf reef fish. Getting the certification is easy to do and costs you nothing. To get the certification, complete the Gulf Reef Fish Survey by signing up here.
After signing in, follow these steps to get your license:
- Click “Purchase a License.”
- Scroll down to Saltwater Fishing and click the “Add to Cart” button next to “Gulf Reef Fish Angler.”
- Print a copy of the license.
- Carry this paper with you when you are fishing.
Many participants will be asked to fill out a survey about their fishing activities. Even if you have not gone fishing, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) asks that you still complete the survey since it will help them know how many people are fishing during each month.
The iAngler app
If you are interested in a way to track your fishing trips and share information with FWC, you can download the iAngler app on your smart phone or tablet. You can log information about your catches, such as the species, and whether you kept or released it. You can also take a picture and record any other observations. The app will also allow you to create trips to help you organize your logs, mark your favorite locations, and share trip summaries with your friends. By logging your trips and catches through the iAngler app, you can provide important information about population numbers, sizes and health of fish, and the number of people fishing.
To preserve Florida’s fisheries and outdoor heritage, donate here.