Snapper beware, your day has come

TINA HARBUCK | The Log
Capt. Brad Biggers and his group from Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois on the Vengeance reeled in a pair of blackfin tuna, amberjack, big mingo and a blacktip shark.

The docks should be seeing a touch of red over the Memorial holiday weekend as red snapper season opens Saturday in state waters, from shore out to nine nautical miles.

A few of Destin’s charters carry state permits, however, those that hold a federal permit which allows them to fish beyond nine miles will not get their chance at the red snapper until June 1.

And not to worry, the red snapper are definitely out there and hungry. As a matter of fact, Megan Schaefer of Indiana pulled in a 20-pounder Thursday while fishing with Capt. Jason Steele on the Barracuda.

FOR PHOTOS FROM WEDNESDAY, CLICK HERE.

FOR PHOTOS FROM THURSDAY, CLICK HERE.

“It was exciting … it was the biggest fish I ever caught,” she said.

After a few photos, they released the red snapper. But they did keep a limit of king mackerel, along with some mingo, white snapper and a lane snapper.

Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee  anglers on the Destination with Capt. Stan Phillips came in with a rack of kings along with a few mingo and white snapper.

King mackerel was the catch-of-the-day aboard the First Shot with Capt. Mike Dates.

Capt. Brant Kelley and anglers from Tallahassee and Ohio “played nice together” and pulled in a great catch on the Relentless. They reeled in six amberjack, Spanish mackerel and several king mackerel.

Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois anglers on the Vengenance with Capt. Brad Biggers pulled in a couple of blackfin tuna, some big amberjack, big mingo and a blacktip shark.

The fishing was just as good Wednesday.

Capt. Alex Hare on the Silver King took a group from Pennsylvania out for a good catch of king mackerel.

A group of all ladies from North Carolina had a big time on the Dawn Patrol with Capt. John Tenore. They reeled in a pair of amberjack and a limit of king mackerel.

Tennessee, Missouri and Indianna anglers on the Sea Winder with Capt. Chris Couvillion landed an amberjack along with some big mingo and white snapper.

Capt. Robert Hill on the Twilight and crew came in with a pile mingo and white snapper along with a few king mackerel.

Anglers on the Un Reel with Capt. Paul Dale Wagner filled the racks with king mackerel and Spanish mackerel.

“We got as many as we could get … and the dolphin got theirs,” he said.

King mackerel was the catch-of-the-day on the Fish-N-Fool with Capt. Casey Weldon.

Mississippi anglers on the Reel Deal with Capt. Josh Glidden reeled in a few king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, mingo and white snapper.

Arkansas anglers on the Sunrise with Capt. Kelly Windes filled the racks and then some with nine amberjack, scamp, tilefish, big mingo and white snapper.

As for the red snapper, recreational fishermen and those not holding a federal permit will get their chance to keep a few starting Saturday through July 12. Remember, only two fish per angler and they must be 16-inches long. State waters will open back up for all of Labor Day weekend (Sept. 5-7) and finish with Saturdays and Sundays throughout the rest of September and all of October, with the last day of harvest being Sunday, Nov. 1.

For  those boats holding a federal permit, there season opens June 1 and goes for 44 days.

Let the fishing begin.

See you at the docks.