Offshore bottom fishing off Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are excellent for various species, including grouper and snapper. The red snapper is frequently found on menus in seafood restaurants, unlike the mutton snapper. What is the difference between a mutton snapper and a red snapper?

What Is The Range Of The Mutton and Red Snapper

When it comes to bottom fishing for snapper, the range is highly dependent on the species. As a result, anglers may be required to travel to different states to catch the fish of preference. 

Red Snapper

The red snapper is far more limited in range in contrast to the mutton snapper. Nevertheless, anglers can catch this particular type of snapper off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. However, the fish rarely pushes north of North Carolina. 

Mutton Snapper

Muttons extend much further to the north than the red snapper. Of course, the populations thin as you move farther north, but the fish extends up to Massachusets. Expect to find a healthy number of fish in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Is Red Snapper The Same As Mutton Snapper

Despite the two fish having a similar appearance, the red and the mutton snapper are not alike. Despite the two sharing the same family, over 100 other snappers also join in the familial mix. 

Red Snapper Identification

When identifying the red snapper, there are distinct differences that help anglers differentiate them from a mutton.

The younger red snapper is rose in color before darkening to red as they age. Remember to keep your hands clear while peering into the mouth and take a close look at the canine teeth. The red snapper canines are smaller in size. Lastly, look for a triangular anal fin and red eyes. 

As far as size is concerned, the fish will grow to 50 pounds but is more common between a couple of pounds up to twenty. 

Mutton Snapper Identification

The most crucial identifying feature to determine the difference between a mutton and a red snapper is a horizontal blue line that extends from the face towards the tail.

In addition to the line, the mutton snapper is far more colorful than the nearly solid-colored red snapper. Beyond the long blue line, numerous small blue lines begin near the mouth and end sporadically along the side.

Lastly, the upper portion is green while fading to red towards the belly of the fish. 

Is Red Snapper Good Eating

Red snapper is regarded as one of the best-tasting fish in the family. The fillets have little to no fishiness and are mild, lean, firm, sweet, and medium-sized flakes when cooked. 

As a result of the taste and texture, the fillets can be cooked in a variety of ways. However, one of the preferred methods is to prepare the fish whole. Check out these red snapper recipes.

Are Mutton Snapper Good Eating

Like the red snapper, the mutton is also noted as being lean, firm, sweet, and mild to the taste buds. One notable difference is that the mutton contains a pink hue before being cooked. 

Although the fillets are comparable, the red snapper is known to be a better eating fish. As a result of the flesh being thick, consider grilling mutton but remember to avoid overcooking. 

What Methods Are Used To Catch Red and Mutton Snapper

Fortunately, you will not need to purchase gear specific to each snapper. Anglers can utilize the same equipment, and for this reason, it helps save money. 

What Size Rod And Reels Are Necessary

Remember that the snapper is bottom feeders, and therefore they will need to be pulled from the seafloor up to the surface. 

The best combination rod and reels are medium-heavy rods with reels in the 8000 size range. Feed 50-80 pound fishing line onto the reel to avoid breaking fish off during the fight. Keep in mind, break-offs will occur from snagging bottom on reefs and rocks. 

What Bait And Rigs Work To Catch Mutton and Red Snapper

When it comes to targeting red and mutton snappers, remember that they live in different depth ranges. The red snapper sits in deeper water between 100 and 300 feet, where the mutton hangs shallow between 60 and 150 feet. 

The best success of catching snapper is utilizing long 60 pound leaders up to 30 feet in length. Tie a circle hook on the end of the leader line and use enough lead to hold the bottom. The amount of lead is highly dependent on the current flow. Bounce live grunts or cut bait, including mullet, goggle eyes, or ballyhoo. 

Should You Go Fishing For Mutton Snapper And Mutton Snapper in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia

 Anglers in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina should venture offshore to catch both snapper. Keep in mind, the run times are long because deep water is found well offshore. Ensure to have a boat capable of rough seas and changing weather. Lastly, follow the regulations closely, particularly for the red snapper as they are highly regulated.