One of the most highly regulated species off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, is the red snapper. This type of snapper likes to spend its time near the bottom of the water column in relatively deep waters.  For most anglers, the red snapper fish is a prized catch because of the short seasons and strict seasons and limits. Just what is the red snapper, and why is it so regulated. 

How Do You Identify a Red Snapper Fish

The red snapper is much like the name. Red snapper is a bright red-colored fish on the upper parts of the body and the face, tail, and eyes. They have a prominent set of teeth, but the canines are smaller than others in the same family. 

How Big Do Red Snapper Grow

The red snapper is relatively large compared to many in the snapper family. They are most frequently caught between two pounds and ten pounds but do grow much bigger. Many anglers catch them around the twenty-pound mark, but they do grow up to fifty pounds. 

Where Can You Find Red Snapper

Anglers catch red snapper in offshore waters on reefs and wrecks. They are generally found in depths of water between one hundred and two hundred feet. When fishing off of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, the run times can be long to reach this depth. Occasionally they are caught in more shallow waters, but those of size will be farther offshore. 

In What Habitat Do Red Snapper l Live

The red snapper seeks shelter around structure that is found on the seafloor. Human-made shipwrecks, natural reefs, and artificial reefs constructed of concrete are places where the red snapper seeks refuge. When they feed, they ambush prey as it passes by them. 

Methods For Catching Red Snapper

When it comes to methods for catching red snapper, it requires expensive gear and boats. The craft must be capable of making long runs, so it should have twin engines and greater than 25 feet in length if the seas kick up. 

What tackle is best

As a result of dropping deep to the bottom, heavy rods and reels with 50-80 pound test line are essential for wrestling these fish up to the surface. Wrecks and reefs are what anglers like to call sticky, which means the line can be cut easily by sharp objects below. 

What type of lures and bait do red snapper eat?

Red snappers have a diet for many types of baitfish. They will bite readily on pilchards, cigar minnows, cut-up fish, and even squid. As for live bait, anything small will do the trick. 

Some anglers prefer a sinker, hook, and bait. When it comes to artificials, a jig is about all that is needed. Keep in mind that the jig is tipped with dead bait. 

How good is red snapper to eat?

When it comes to choosing a snapper to eat, the red snapper is a leader. They, like other snappers, can be cooked in various ways, including grilled red snapper, broiled, baked, panfried, and more. 

The fishing season for red snappers is extremely short because of regulations put in place. Red snappers are so highly regulated because they have been overfished through the years, so the population is now monitored closely. 

Is it worth fishing for red snapper?

The answer to this question can be complicated. While it is a delicious tasting fish, it is challenging to catch because you have to be available during the short season. The season is limited because red snapper was overfished, so the population is now closely monitored. When it comes time to run offshore, you’re going to be out for the full day because of the time it takes to get to and from the snapper grounds without even dropping a line. You can choose to go to the fish market but expect to pay top dollar. It is worth the effort for a diehard but be prepared ahead of time for any obstacle you may face.