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ARS

No red snapper reports from the 1st weekend season?

Replies

  • capt louiecapt louie Moderator citrus countyPosts: 10,881 Moderator
    Was off CK in 64' and got one 23". Only snapper bite all day ?
    "You'll get your weather"
  • Crkr23Crkr23 MelrosePosts: 725 Officer
    Sounds like the sun is setting on small boat red snapper fishing.
  • tankeredtankered Gainesvill, FlPosts: 1,613 Captain
    Things go in cycles. 

    Back in the mid - late 90s all through to about 2010 or later we grouper fished all the time without ever seeing snapper until you got to at least 90', and the middle grounds was the only place they could be reliably targeted.

    Then they became a more common and more shallow catch until they were almost a nuisance, especially when the limits and seasons got so restrictive. Now it seems they are on the decline again. 

    Not saying I know why, just an observation. 
  • Crkr23Crkr23 MelrosePosts: 725 Officer
    That has been what we are  seeing also. Thankfully the gag grouper bite has been improving, irregardless of what the gulf council says and hopefully it returns to the way it was before that bad red tide event around 2015.
  • m9000m9000 Senior Member Posts: 2,188 Captain
    We got a 3 man limit in 80 ft with an average of 10.5 lb for 6 fish on Saturday.  Biggest fish was 14 lb and smallest was 8.  The bite was different from past years. We used to ride around over rocks in 65-85 ft looking for "snapper trees".   5 man limits were common in 30 minutes once we found fish.  This time we saw no trees and caught the 1-2 snapper per rocky spot while fishing for grouper with live pinfish on the bottom.  
  • kingkong954kingkong954 Senior Member Gainesville, FlPosts: 690 Officer
    tankered said:
    Things go in cycles. 

    Back in the mid - late 90s all through to about 2010 or later we grouper fished all the time without ever seeing snapper until you got to at least 90', and the middle grounds was the only place they could be reliably targeted.

    Then they became a more common and more shallow catch until they were almost a nuisance, especially when the limits and seasons got so restrictive. Now it seems they are on the decline again. 

    Not saying I know why, just an observation. 
    It was only .. what.. 6-7 years ago? Where we were catching them in 45!... not huge ones, but legal!
  • tankeredtankered Gainesvill, FlPosts: 1,613 Captain
    Yep about that.

    And 6-7 years prior to that they were unheard of short of the middle grounds. 
  • Crkr23Crkr23 MelrosePosts: 725 Officer
    Between 1997, when I started fishing offshore, and 2015 we probably caught less than a dozen red snapper, most barely of legal size. The first day of snapper season after the red tide event we caught a dozen red snapper in less than 15 minutes all the same size, around 20 in.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Senior Member Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,784 Captain
    We seem to have had a single year class of red snapper move into the Eastern Big Bend in 2015, the year after the red tide.  Shorts were everywhere in 45-60 ft.  Most became legal size by the following year.  Every year after that they got larger and fewer in number as they moved further offshore. We saw very few small fish since then.  We do not have a stable population. 
  • Crkr23Crkr23 MelrosePosts: 725 Officer
    I agree with the single age class on ARS. Another thing that I noticed was that the gags that we caught during this period were very emaciated looking. I guess the competition for food was great and the snapper were more aggressive. We caught fewer snapper this last year and  more grouper and both looked very healthy. Maybe everything is getting more in balance.
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