Red Snapper Observation
Fished the Reeling For Kids Tournament a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to share an observation. Red Snapper were still out of season so the target species was Gags, Reds, Mangrove Snapper and kingfish. The first several "grouper" holes we stopped at were loaded up with Red Snapper which is fine. Long story short, it's my job to jig up bait and keep the kingfish flat lines up and running, and at the spots that were ate up with Red Snapper, I couldn't jig up a bait to save my life. Nothing. I used 3 different sized Hayabusa Sabiki's and nothing. We couldn't get a frozen bait past the snapper either. We did catch several nice grouper both Reds and Gags at these spots, but all on hardware. We put the king rigs out to troll at one spot and had an immediate double header, both Red Snapper on ribbon fish and a Stretch 30. I put what must have been a 3 pound Jolthead Porgy on a balloon for a shot at a big king and it got crushed by what looked like at least a 25 lb Red Snapper. Several of the grouper stomach's were bulging and when I cleaned them I found nothing but crabs and one tiny Blue Striped Grunt. My question/observation is are there now too many snapper on these spots and are they wiping out the available bait fish ? This is not a we need longer season, bigger harvest post, I'm not a bottom fisherman and only make one or two trips like this per year so these regulations have no real bearing on me. I'm just curious because I pride myself on keeping the bait well filled and it was really difficult to get anything off the areas where the Red Snapper were thick. Areas where they weren't, it was easy.