Targeting Snapper from the Fishing Capital of the World

Targeting Snapper from the Fishing Capital of the World
We in the Sunshine State are blessed with waters teaming with fish. From ponds, streams, lakes, in-shore, close to shore, off-shore, and deep-drop, Florida has earned the title of the Fishing Capital of the World. With 4,755 International Game Fish Association (IGFA) records, Florida has far more records than any other state. The second highest state is Alaska with 1,354.
What is fishing for snapper in the Fishing Capital of the World like? Let's take a look.
First up, the deep water Queen snapper:
Snappers are a family of predatory fishes that can be found in most tropical & subtropical waters as well as many estuaries where they feed in fresh water. The snapper family includes some 113 species. Snapper can even be kept in aquariums, however, most grow too fast to be popular aquarium fish.  Members of the snapper family can be found in depths from a few feet up to over 300 feet of water. Some species, such as the Queen snapper, are found up to 1,500 feet deep. Queen snapper, a very deep water species, are common in Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. This deep water species is seldom caught in waters shallower than 400 feet. Most are caught in 600 feet and deeper. The Queen snapper is bright red on its upper and lower sides, and shaped more like the Yellowtail. It has silver sides and a deeply forked red tail that continues to lengthen as the fish grows. The eyes are very large and yellow. Queen snapper reach maturity when one year old. Spawning occurs during April and May.
The

all tackle world record Queen snapper, 28.0 pounds,  was caught off Long Key, Florida, by Captain B. Walter. Queen snapper are both fun to catch and great to eat. Check out the Mighty Queen 12 seconds into the video at the end. 








Replies

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,700 Captain
    Next, the American Red snapper:
    The Red snapper name has been used on more red in color fish than any other fish in the seafood industry. But there is only one true American red snapper with its red skin and red eyes. American red snapper are found in the waters from North Carolina to Florida and coastal waters off Louisiana and Texas. The common market size of American red snapper is 4 to 6 pounds, although some can be as large as 35 pounds. The American red snapper record is 50 pounds, 4 ounces; the Florida record is 46 pounds, 8 ounces. The American red snapper's aggressive nature and excellent food value make it a prime target for recreational anglers; a prime target for the Florida Fisherman ll:










    Mutton snapper... The Mutton looks very similar to the American Red snapper:
    Mutton snapper can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, and are particularly common in the Caribbean. Muttons can reach a length of 37 inches, but most do not exceed 20 inches. The greatest known weight recorded for Mutton snapper is 34 pounds.





  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,700 Captain
    The Mangrove snapper:
    The Mangrove (Gray) snapper is one of the most common species of snapper in warmer regions. This species of snapper is native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. The Mangrove snapper can be found from canals to grass flats, as well as open water. They are caught at depths from 16 to 591 feet. However, most are caught in waters less than 160 feet.
    The Mangrove (Mango) snapper can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including brackish and fresh water. Mango snapper can reach a length of 35 inches, however, most do not exceed 16 inches. The greatest recorded weight for mangrove snapper is 44 pounds. Mangrove snapper aggregate at near-shore and offshore reefs for spawning during the summer months from June through September. They are very 'tricky' and hard to catch.
    The Mangrove snapper:











  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,700 Captain
    The Cubera snapper:
    Similar looking to the Mangrove snapper, the Cubera snapper is a species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to the Amazon River in Brazil, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Cuberas can be found in depths from 59 to 180 feet. The Cubera snapper can reach a length of 63 inches, however, most do not exceed 35 inches. The greatest recorded weight is 126 pounds. The Florida record Cubera snapper is 116 pounds caught off Clearwater:





    The Vermilion snapper (Beeliner) is a species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina to Bermuda including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to Brazil. The Vermilion inhabits waters from 130 to 980 feet, but  are rare in depths over 330 feet. They can reach a length of 24 inches, however, most are around 14 inches. The greatest recorded Vermilion weight is 7.1 pounds. The Vermilion snapper is often sold as Red snapper.

    The Vermilion snapper:

    Yellowtail snapper
    The Yellowtail snapper is native to the western Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Although they have been found as far north as Massachusetts, their normal range is along Florida south to the West Indies and Brazil. Yellowtail snapper can be found in depths up to 590 feet. Most Yellowtails do not exceed 16 inches. The IGFA world recorded weight is 11.0 pounds. The Yellowtail snapper is the only known member of its genus.
    The Yellowtail snapper:




     What is fishing for snapper in the Fishing Capital of the World like? The answer is simple... Fantastic!

    Check out the action packed snapper video:

    https://youtu.be/BQOpeJ48RTs



    Thanks to Mr. John Longo for providing technical assistance & proofreading.

  • SuperMutuSuperMutu Posts: 169 Deckhand
    44lb mango?
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,700 Captain
    'The greatest recorded weight for mangrove snapper is 44 pounds. '   Good point! 
    Bet here is that it was a Cubera. 
    I have been Mango fishing for well over 1/2 a century. I have caught, and seen some really big ones caught. But NEVER anything close to 44 pounds. 

  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 596 Officer
    Caught a 21# grover on the east coast (was definitely a Grover) that ate a live beeliner half way down as I was dropping. Was a beast.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,700 Captain
    Great!  Have never seen one that big. Would love to see pictures. Thanks for sharing. 
  • NitzeyNitzey Posts: 106 Deckhand
    Thanks for the interesting summary.  The only thing I would quibble about is vermillion snapper.  We could regularly catch in as shallow as 45', but they were more plentiful at say 70' and deeper.  This is off Pensacola.  If you wanted quality vermillion, though, we would go to The Edge.  Which is the edge of the continental shelf, 180' and a steep drop-off from there on out.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,700 Captain
    edited September 15 #10
    Thanks... Very interesting!   On the Florida Fisherman ll we catch Vermilions in 125 feet on the Florida Middle Grounds; on the Elbow in 150. For the really BIG boys we fish from 175-200. Not too familiar other than that. 
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