Fish Flash: Red snapper apparently do come in XL
The red snapper fishing the past few days has been great along the Emerald Coast, with most every charter boat that goes out bringing back its limit.
The limit for red snapper is two per angler and must measure at least 16 inches to keep.
The average weight of a 16-inch snapper is about 3 pounds, according to Tim Broom of Half Hitch Tackle.
However, most of the red snapper hitting the docks in recent days are 5- to 8-pounders with no question that they are keepers.
Some have even reached the XL size: 20 pounds or more.
Amber Helton, weighmaster at the Boathouse Summer Slam fishing tournament, said she’s weighed about a dozen red snapper this week of more than 20 pounds each.
Kyle Williamson of Texas hauled in one of those XL red snapper. Williamson landed a 24.7-pounder while fishing on the OSeaD with Capt. Bobby Marek on Wednesday. He and his buddies had several other snapper and a few king mackerel as well.
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Capt. Eric Thrasher and his group from Kansas City came in with a rack of red snapper and a few Spanish mackerel on the Game On.
South Carolina and Ohio anglers on the Sweet William III with Capt. Bill Watson filled the racks with medium-sized red snapper on Wednesday.
Capt. Steve Regan and his crew on the Wahoo filled the racks with red snapper, as did the group on the Just-B-Cause with Capt. Ken Bolden.
Ohio anglers on the Kitchen Pass with Capt. Travis Ream mixed it up a bit Wednesday. They got their limit of red snapper, a gag grouper and an almaco jack.
Texas and Arkansas anglers on the Only Way with Capt. Pat Meyers had some big red snapper, pushing the medium to large size. They also had a gag grouper on the nails.
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Texas folks on the Backdown 2 with Capt. Phillip Blackburn brought in their limit of red snapper, a big mingo and a black snapper.
Anglers on the Mighty Fine with Capt. Bud Miller had a mighty fine day, pulling in red snapper and king mackerel.
Tennessee anglers on the Cuttin Up with Capt. Cam Hardin put some red snapper, scamp and mingo on the racks.
Capt. Alex Hare and his group from Ashville, North Carolina, came in with a limit of red snapper and three king mackerel.
Red snapper was the catch of the day aboard the Backlash with Capt. Chris Kirby. Most of the snapper were in the medium range.
Fish, like most things, come in different sizes. But one thing is for sure: whether the one you pull over the rail is a S, M, L or even an XL, it tastes pretty good going down.
See you on the docks.