With red snapper back on the docket in October, local captains look to make the most of it for the Destin Fishing Rodeo.
"Hopefully it will mean more business," said Capt. Steve Regan of the Cutting Edge. "We've got customers right now waiting on the call.
"It's going to be incredible," Regan said. "We're going to see some big ones. We should see some 30-pounders at the rodeo without a doubt."
As a matter of fact, Regan said, "I think I know where one lives."
In recent weeks, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved an Oct. 1-21 supplemental recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters which is from shore to nine nautical miles in the Gulf.
This week the National Marine Fisheries Service took it a step further. Regional Administrator Roy Crabtree told The Log anglers should get a 14 day supplemental season in federal waters, which extend out from where state waters end to about 200 nautical miles.
"It's not a done deal," Crabtree said Tuesday. "But you ought to go ahead and plan accordingly."
What this means for fishermen is they will get a chance to enter red snapper in the October Destin Fishing Rodeo.
Charter boats will have from Oct. 1-14 to enter red snapper in the rodeo, while boats entered in the private boat division will have Oct. 1-21 to weigh in red snapper.
The reason for the difference in days is charter boats, which hold federal permits, have to abide by federal fishing regulations if they conflict with state guidelines.
The last time the red snapper was eligible for weigh-in at the rodeo was 2010 with the largest tilting the scales at 22 pounds. It was caught by Norm Hall of Destin aboard the under-25 private boat Young Hooker.
Capt. Ken Bolden of the Just-B-Cause is glad to hear of the catch days for snapper in October.
"It's more than I thought we would get," Bolden said. "It should mean a few more trips, weather permitting."
And he said there is no shortage of red snapper.
"There's plenty of snapper out there," Bolden said.
"It's going to be nice to be able to keep some," said Capt. Brady Bowman of the Perfect Shot.
It will also be nice not to see the frown on anglers’ faces when they have to go back, Bowman said. "I'll be glad to have the pole bent over."
Capt. Phillip Blackburn of the Un Reel is just glad to have any days for snapper.
"It's better than nothing," he said. "It will be a bonus because we are so used to not keeping them."
Red snapper days for Rodeo
• Charter boats will have from Oct. 1-14.
• Private boats will have Oct 1-21.