First Weekend of Atlantic Red Snapper Fishing Off SLI

I got out 11/3 and 11/5 for the ARS mini-season. We started out at the sand pile, both days and got both livewells full of bait. Friday was red hot with limit of red snapper (biggest 24") and 4 keeper red grouper (biggest 28"). We got a little cocky and threw back an 18" and 19" red snapper, wanting to keep only over 20". We ended up keeping 3 that were around 16-17". We released all fish with any sign of barotrauma with a descending device, which worked great. Until a shark took it and probably the fish I was descending as well. Then I made one with a 24 oz. bank sinker which also got taken by a shark. At that point it was way past time to leave that spot as we had lost a few fish and a bunch of gear to the man in the gray suit... We had to go back to the venting tool at that point, but it seemed to work fine. I hope all 15 or so released fish survive to be caught another day.

Everyone who fishes deeper water, especially for red snapper should use a descending device to release fish. Here is the link if you want to buy one:
It is cheaper and pretty easy to make one using a bank sinker and a piece of really heavy rigging wire or similar and some electrical tape.

On Sunday the bite was a bit slower. We got five red snapper to 19", a nice 22" mutton and a 30 pound cobia. My homemade descending tool worked great, releasing at least 8 ARS. Sharks got a few nice fish... Gary put his GoPro down with a sinker and captured some images.


  • Osprey45Osprey45 FT Pierce/ Boonton Twp NJPosts: 966 Officer
  • area52area52 Posts: 513 Officer
    Friendly looking fella'.
  • BacDocBacDoc Posts: 676 Officer
    Solid catching and dedication for going out 2 days in a row in rough steep short period seas.

    We fished Thursday and hoped to get out one day for the season. Thursday was best seas and even that was rough. 3' at 5 seconds and 4' swell at 8 seconds with wind N over 15 when we quit early that afternoon. Checked 20 mi bouy Saturday and Sunday and 4'-5' seas at 5-6 seconds was way too rough for us.

    Glad you scored! What size boat were you fishing? Besides the big head boats I don't think seas allowed most small boats to run 12-18 miles offshore.
  • Nauti DogNauti Dog Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    I have a Bluewater 2850 with twin 300 ETECs. Actually Friday wasn't that bad out of SLI. The forecast was worse than the conditions. That and the rain probably scared a lot of people away. When we went past Sandsprit boat launch at 9:00 am I was amazed that there were only three trailers sitting there. I guess most people weren't as excited as we were that Red Snapper opened up finally. I found the spots we fished this summer and we had been catching the heck out of them. It sure was nice to finally keep some. The four groupers were an added bonus. My boat has never caught four groupers in a day... except in the Bahamas, of course. We are going out this Friday on Daymaker. Captain Pat will put us on some fish for sure. He always does. Weather in the morning is supposed to be very nice with wind and seas bulding in the afternoon. Saturday and Sunday look horrible for fishing with 8 to 10 ft seas.
  • EagleEagle Posts: 118 Officer
    That is one of the best catches I have seen in a long time, would please let me know if you were north of the power plant, Thanks, Eagle.
  • Nauti DogNauti Dog Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    Eagle wrote: »
    That is one of the best catches I have seen in a long time, would please let me know if you were north of the power plant, Thanks, Eagle.

    Nope. Not too far north at all.
  • walleyworldwalleyworld Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    Great trips Poul. It was great fishing with you Friday and Sunday. We had a blast fishing all those days and a lot of fillets. Seas were sporty but we got it done. The cobias were a major bonus. I was hoping to do a repeat with you and pops this weekend but wind gusting to 30mph is not doable. Heard you had a shorter than expected trip with Pat today. Having an unknown guy on a boat is always iffy.

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