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Red snapper season kicks off Friday

The recreational red snapper season kicked off Friday.
The recreational red snapper season kicked off Friday.(WJHG/WECP)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Governor Ron DeSantis announced a popular fishing season is returning for 55 days. The recreational red snapper season kicked off Friday.

“To be able to have this longer season and for anglers to get out there and to be with each other and to enjoy catching that species, it’s just fun for the family. It’s for people to get out there and enjoy the fishing capital of the world,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Public Information Director Bekah Nelson said.

This season presents a good opportunity for anglers to get out on the water and reel in a fish most would say they enjoy. Nelson said while they can’t guess how many red snappers will be caught each season, the quota is 1.9 million pounds. Nelson said in 2020, Gulf red snapper landings totaled almost 1.5 million pounds, or 79 percent of the state’s quota. She says to make sure you have your fishing license and all necessary safety equipment on board.

“A life jacket for each person on board that fits them properly. Flares if you’re going offshore, a type four throwable device. But just make sure if you’re going out, maybe file a float plan. Let people know where you’re leaving from and where you’re going to return and what time, just so people know you’re heading out and what time you plan on going out and returning,” Nelson said.

Nelson said this season is important to our economy because people are staying in hotels, eating at local restaurants, and buying tackle and boat fuel. She adds the last two are especially important because they help support sport fish restoration, which helps FWC continue their conservation efforts such as building the artificial reefs.

“Make sure that you sign up as a state reef fish angler and that’s important because it will give the FWC more information and more data to be able to have future seasons and to set those seasons,” Nelson said.

She said the daily bag limit is two per person and the minimum size is 16-inches. Red snapper season goes until July 28th.

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