March Islamorada fishing report

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Snapper fishing in Islamorada is one of the most productive fisheries. A day on the reefs catching snappers is action packed. It is a great fishery for families as it will keep the kids busy all day. To book a trip call us at  1-855-GOT-BAIT

There are 250 species of snappers worldwide.   There are about 15 species that are in North America.

Snappers in the Atlantic are limited to 10 per person per day regardless of type. Each type also has its own limit. All snappers are open year round in the Atlantic.  Gulf regulations are more restrictive. All boats fishing the reefs must have a dehooking device.

Red Snapper 

Red Snapper are one of the most prized fish. That is one reason that the limits are so strict. They have a high commercial demand and recreational fishermen love them. They are excellent eating. As an aside they are the fish most often substituted by persons committing seafood fraud.

Atlantic limit 2 per person  Open year round inside 3 miles, closed outside 3 miles (Federal Waters) . 20 inch total length minimum in state waters. The seasons in the Gulf are much more restrictive and have been changing every year.

red snapperThe world record was caught in the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. It weighed 50lb 4oz and was caught by Capt Doc Kennedy. Th Florida state record is 48lb 8oz caught near Destin, Fl. Adults may live as long as 20 years.

Red snapper are found in the Gulf of Mexico and along the eastern seaboard. They have been found as far north as Massachusetts, but are rarely seen above the Carolinas. They are not found in the Bahamas or the Caribbean.

Young reds are found in shallow water over sandy or muddy bottoms. Large adults tend to live offshore in 60 to 400 feet of water. they feed on crustaceans and other fish mostly.


Cubera snapper 

Cubera snappers are the largest of the snapper family. It is not unusual  for them to reach 100lbs.. The world record Cubera Snapper was caught at Garden Bank, Louisiana. The fish weighed 124 lb12oz.  the Florida record is 116lb, caught near Clearwater.

Cuberas are found in the Western Atlantic from Florida to Brazil. They are often known as Cuban Snapper. They are dark brown or gray in color with a tinge of red. They may have a blue tinge in the fins.

They are considered to be a good food fish, but the flesh in the larger fish may be somewhat coarse.

Juveniles are found inshore in grass beds.  The adults are in  water from 3 feet to 120 feet. The inhabit reefs and other structure such as reefs and ledges.

10 per person. May only have 2 over 30 inches per vessel.  12 inch minimum

Lane snapper

10 per day with an 8 inch minimum. The world record is 8lb 3oz caught at Horseshoe Rigs, Mississippi. Florida record is 6lb 6oz caught near Pensacola.

The fish are Silvery pink to reddish in color with pink and yellow irregular lines on the side. They have a black spot on the side about the same size as the eye.


Grey snapper aka  mangrove Snapper  

They are one of the most abundant species of snapper. The appear in the Atlantic from Bermuda to Argentina. They are present in the whole Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. The IGFA spells it “Grey Snapper” and Florida FWC spells it “Gray Snapper”

They are found in many areas from the backwater mangrove lagoons and grassy seabeds to offshore reefs and wrecks. The larger fish are found in the offshore areas.

The world record is 18lb 10oz caught in Cocodrie, La.

Atlantic Limit  5 per person (but only 10 snappers of all species total)  10 inches minimum


Mutton Snapper

The world record is 30lb 4oz caught in the Dry Tortugas. This is also the Florida record. It is one of the most common members of the snapper family. It can be found in the Atlantic from Massachusetts to Southern Brazil.

Mutton snapper are an inshore species associated with grassbeds, mangroves, and canals. Larger adults are occasionally found on offshore reefs. Normally associated with reefs, wrecks, holes, and channels, they are nevertheless occasionally found on the flats. They are orangish to reddish yellow in color with small blue streaks all over. They may be olive green on the back and sides.  They also have an oval black spot on their flanks.

They are considered to be excellent food fish.

The Florida limits are 5 per person, included in the 10 snapper total. Minimum size is 18 inches.

Yellowtail Snapper

The world record is 11lbs caught in Bermuda. The Florida record was caught in Fort Myers and was 8lb 9oz.  Yellowtail snapper fishing in Islamorada is excellent. We catch many large snapper locally called flag yellowtails.

Islamorada snapper fishing yellowtail

They are found in the Western Atlantic from Massachusetts to Southern Brazil. They are also found in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.The largest populations are in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Small juveniles are found inshore in grassy seabeds. The adults are found both inshore and offshore in sandy areas next to the reefs. They inhabit depths up to 300 feet and are often found suspended well above the bottom.

It is rare to catch one over 5lbs and 30 inches. The body is olive or bluish gray above with olive-yellow spots and blotches. It has a prominent, brilliant yellow stripe running from the tip of the snout through the eye to the tail; the dorsal fin is also mostly yellow . The deeply forked tail is bright yellow.

They are often caught by chumming using a variety of baits and lures.

Many people consider them the best eating of all the snappers.


Vermillion snapper   

10 per person (not counted in the 10 total) 12 inch minimum.”, 

The world record is 7lb 3oz caught in the Gulf at Mobile , Alabama. Florida does not keep records for Vermillion snapper.

They are reddish in color with irregular lines on the body. Some blue diagonal lines and yellow streaks. They are found over rocky areas and reefs offshore in mid depths. They feed on small

crustaceans and mollusks and may grow to 24 inchs, but they are slow growers.

Other snapper in Florida

These all have a limit of 10 per day included in the 10 overall snapper limit.

Blackfin snapper, Dog snapper, Mahogany snapper, Queen snapper, Schoolmaster snapper, yellowtail snapper and silk snapper.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”Let’s Go Snapper fishing in Islamorada” txt_align=”center”]

Call us to go snapper fishing in Islamorada. 1-855-GOT-BAIT. It is fun for the whole family with plenty of action.


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