Captain Chad Starling
Red Snapper Season 2019 is upon us.
Watching the storm over in the Gulf, it appears we dodged a weather bullet, but we could still get substantial rainfall. We just don't know because the behavior of the storm is kinda’ unpredictable.
Our Red Snapper fishery is as healthy as ever, with a lot more Red Snapper in our waters than there needs to be to maintain other healthy fisheries of Black Sea Bass, Grouper, Vermilion Snapper, etc.
With so many Red Snapper out there, guess what they’re eating? All those fish I just mentioned, along with numerous other species! Nevertheless, the government was gracious and generous (sarcasm) enough to give us 5 days and as a kicker, one of the weekends they give us coincides with the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament! Brilliant!
In any case, we get to catch red snapper this weekend, so let’s talk about how to catch them!
Red Snapper are a voracious species that can be caught on a variety of baits including live, dead, cut, and even artificial. The most popular baits are usually live bait such as Spanish Sardines, Cigar Minnows, and Thread Fin Herring.
Among the favorite dead baits are Spanish Sardines, Cigar Minnows, and Boston Mackerel. Artificial baits include Gulp Shrimp, Butterfly Jigs, and other types of Jigs with either plastic tails or feathered tails. You can even chum them up to the boat if you cut chunk baits and periodically pay it out behind the boat. They will eventually show themselves to you!
You need to have particularly heavy gear for Red Snapper or otherwise they will break you off in the bottom if you can't get them away from it. My preference on tackle is 80 lb. mainline with 80-130 lb. leader. You want to use a pretty heavy circle hook (Federal requirement) so the big ones don't straighten it out.
You want a reel with a pretty hefty drag such as a Penn 113H with a heavy-duty rod that can really put some pressure on the fish. Tighten the drag and send the bait on down to the bottom. Then buckle your seat belt!
Pound for pound the red snapper can stack up against almost any fish out there for power!
Hopefully we will see you out there trying to catch one!!!
Captain Chad Starling
Team Buck Rogers Fishing Charters