With almost a week of the season gone, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of the signature fish of the Emerald Coast — the red snapper.
Red snapper season for the federally permitted vessels in federal waters, which is from 9 miles out to 200 miles, opened June 1 and the charter boats and anglers have hit the ground running sort of speak.
Many of the charters have been doing double trips or either one really long trip. But either way, they are all snapped up on the docks with the brilliant bright red fish taking the center nail and then some.
Anglers from Lake Charles, Louisiana, who were fishing aboard the Fish N Fool with Capt. Casey Weldon on Wednesday, pulled in some big red snapper.
Tennessee anglers on the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill and first mate Jordan Colson came in with a huge snapper, plus more and an Almaco Jack.
“That big one was the first of the day,” Colson said.
On the rod was 15-year-old Shelby Hubbard.
“It pulled hard, but it didn’t take as long as I thought it would,” she said.
Her snapper weighed 20-plus pounds and almost everyone on the boat got a snap shot with the snapper.
Capt. Judah Barbee on the Stelluna and his group from Tennessee came in with a good catch of grouper, red snapper, white snapper, mingo and a mahi mahi.
St. Louis anglers on the Sweet William III with Capt. Bill Watson put a huge wahoo on the racks to go along with their red snapper. Capt. Watson said they snagged the wahoo on the way out.
“I’m always fishing,” he said, noting they always have a line in the water.
Capt. Jason Hallmark on the Sea Fix and his group pulled in their limit of red snapper and a few white snapper on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Hallmark and his group pulled in a 68-pound grouper. Now that’s a lot of grouper sandwiches.
New Mexico anglers on the Silver King with Capt. Alex Hare filled the racks with red snapper, black snapper, grouper and mingo on Wednesday.
Louisiana anglers on the Backdown 2 with Capt. Phillip Blackburn loaded up on the red snapper as did the group on the Windwalker II with Capt. Bernie LeFebvre. The Windwalker had a couple of black snapper and Almaco Jack in the mix as well.
Texas anglers on the Kitchen Pass with Capt. Travis Ream had a couple of big red snapper on the boards, one that weighed 19-pound gutted, to go along with the others.
Capt. Ken Bolden and his group aboard the Just B Cause brought in a limit of red snapper, a couple of Almaco Jack, grouper and a few mahi mahi.
Anglers on the Reel Legend with Capt. Chip Godwin got their red snapper along with a few king mackerel and mingo on Wednesday.
Alabama and Nashville anglers on the Outta Line with Capt. Trey Windes teamed up for a big catch of red snapper, black snapper, three scamp and Almaco Jack on Wednesday.
Oklahoma anglers fishing with Capt. Justin Destin on Wednesday aboard the Un Reel filled the racks with red snapper, grouper and Almaco Jack.
Fishing is good, now if we can just get the rain to slack off.
However, Destin said the rain doesn’t much matter to the fish. They’re already wet.
Don’t forget red snapper season goes until Aug. 1 for federally permitted charter boats. For the recreational vessels and those charters with just a state permit, season opens June 11 and goes until July 12.
Fishing is really fixing to get busy.
See you at the docks.