Despite the short season, anglers flock to the offshore water of Georgia for the opportunity to catch the bottom-dwelling species. Red snappers are one of the most notable when it comes to taste and texture. The fishing grounds are well offshore and requires seaworthy boats and stout fishing gear. Here is how to prepare for red snapper season in Georgia. 

Know When The Red Snapper Season In Georgia Opens

Mark the calendar, take off from work and get ready ahead of time. The red snapper season is most common during the month of July in the state of Georgia. Most importantly its short!

Keep an eye out for the National Oceanic And Atmospheric or NOAA for short release of open red snapper season dates. 

NOAA manages the fishing season in addition to limits. Pay close attentention to when the season is open to avoid harvesting red snapper illegally. 

Purchase The Correct Fishing Gear Allowable By Law

As if monitoring the season isn’t complicated enough, the fishing gear used to catch red snapper is also highly regulated. Here are the gear requirements when fishing for red snapper in Georgia. 

Spear Fishing Regulations

Spearfishing is allowable in the state of Georgia without the use of a rebreather. To simplify the terms, a tank and mouthpiece is not allowed when spearfishing for red snapper. 

Rod And Reel Fishing

When fishing with a rod and reel a series or regulations are in place. Ensure to keep the following devices onboard the vessel and use only the proper gear when dropping baits.

Dehooking Device- A dehooking device is required by law to be onboard and used to release red snapper. The dehooking device reduces injury to the fish when removing lodged fishing hooks. 

Non Stainless Steel Hooks- Stainless steel hooks are not allowed when fishing by rod and reel with live or dead bait. A stainless steel hook does not decompose at a fast rate compared to other hook materials. Due to the slow rate of decomposition, it presents a danger to red snapper breakoffs occur. 

Circle Hooks- When fishing in Georgia waters, circle hooks are required when using live or dead baits. We recommend the use of circle hooks in all situations to reduce injury to fish in addition to icresing the likelihood of a solid hookset in the corner of the mouth. 

Descending Device- A descending device is required when fishing during red snapper season. The descending device must have 60 feet of line with 16 ounces of weight. 

Obtain A Georgia Saltwater Fishing License

Whenever you are fishing in Georgia waters, a fishing license is required for anglers 16 years old and above.

A Georgia fishing license is avilable for purchase on the internet or in retal stores including Bass Pro Shops and Walmarts. 

However, when completing the transaction, ensure to select a saltwater fishing license. A freshwater license will not be accepted if checked by fish and wildlife agents.

Lastly, you will not be required to obtain special permiting during the red snapper season. A saltwater license is all that is necessary. 

Prepare The Boat For The Fishing Trip

Preperation makes for a more successful day when it comes to offshore fishing. Here are some tips for preparing ahead of time for snapper season. 

Boat Maintenance

Ensure that the boat is in tip top mechanical condition. The batteries must be capable of holding a charge, oil change must be current, and the engine must run soundly to avoid unexpected issues when you are 50 miles offshore. 

Gear Preperation

Before leaving the dock ensure that you have ample fishing supplies onboard. The gear includes fresh line on the reels, ample weights, hooks, and fishing bait. 

Safety Items

Safety is critical when it comes to offshore fishing. No matter where you are boating ensure that life jackets are in good condition.

When it comes to running offshore during red snapper season EPIRB’s, signalining mirrors, life raft, whistle, and handheld VHF increase the rate of rescue in the event an unlikely sinking occurs. 

Lastly, closely monitor the weather. Thunderstorms and rough seas pop up in short notice. When danger is present return back to port. 

Food And Drinks

Never leave the dock without food and drinks. Between the run time and fishing time it makes for a long day without nourishment. 

We recommend pre ordered subs for a quick grab meal when the fish are biting. As far as drinks are concerned, we suggest water and sports drinks including Gatorade or Powerade.


Yep, its happened before, anglers have left home without ice to keep the fresh catch cold. Pack plenty of ice to maximize the freshness of red snapper. Remember, depending on the quality of the cooler, the ice melts at varying rates. 

Are You Ready For The Start Of Red Snapper Season In Georgia

Preparation makes for a more successful fishing trip during the short red snapper season in Georgia. Create a checklist to ensure the slightest details are not overlooked. Have fun catching the bottom dwelling species that are know for the sweet, mild, and moist fillets. Invites friends and family to enjoy the rare opportunity to eat freshly caught red snapper.