Red snapper season finishes big and strong

Easton Gray, 11, of Dalton, Ga. pulled in the largest red snapper on the Backdown 2 on Monday with Capt. Gary Jarvis. His catch weighed 24 pounds and measured 35 ½ inches long. This was Gray’s first time deep sea fishing.

There was a lot of red up and down the docks Monday as red snapper season was winding down.

Tuesday was actually the last day to catch red snapper in federal waters, but folks were getting an early start on Monday and making sure they got their allotment of snapper.

Anglers could keep only two snapper each and they had to measure 16 inches.

However, that wasn’t a problem for junior angler Easton Gray of Dalton, Ga.

The 11-year-old, on his first-time ever deep sea fishing trip, caught the largest snapper of the day on the Backdown 2 with Capt. Gary Jarvis.

Gray’s snapper weighed 24 pounds and measured 35 ½ inches long.

“It was hard. It took me a good bit,” to reel in, the young man said.

Gray explained that he let his bait go down to the bottom and it was only there a minute before the snapper took the bait and bent the rod over.

“I thought it was going to break in half,” Gray said of the rod.

After some tugging and reeling, Gray got his snapper.

His snapper wasn’t the only one caught on the Backdown 2, the group from Georgia filled the racks with several red snapper, mingo and white snapper.


Earlier in the day, Jamie Chisolm of Savannah, Ga., came in with a 17-pound red snapper on the Outta Line with Capt. Trey Windes. Again they had plenty more snapper on the boards, 10 to be exact, which was all the law would allow.

Capt. Steve Haeusler on the First Light and his group of anglers from Huntsville, Ala. brought in a limit of red snapper, along with a grouper and a scamp.

Texas anglers aboard the Game On with Capt. Eric Thrasher came in with red snapper and king mackerel.

King mackerel was the catch-of-the-day for the anglers aboard the Lucky Lina with Capt. Steve Lathi. Word is, it was the first time deep sea fishing for the Georgia anglers.

Tennessee and Alabama anglers on the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill came in from a six-hour trip with a limit of red snapper and one king mackerel.

Anglers on the Sweet William II with Capt. Bill Watson filled the nails  with red snapper, mingo and white snapper.

Georgia anglers on the Windwalker II with Capt. Bernie LeFebvre came in Monday with red snapper, mingo, black snapper and a few white snapper.

Arkansas, Texas and  Colorado anglers on the Sea Winder with Capt. Chris Couvillion brought in a smorgasbord. They had king mackerel, mingo, black snapper, red snapper, white snapper, amberine, a few Key West porgey and a hogfish. A hogfish looks similar to a snapper, but much smaller and has yellow markings on his back.

Capt. Stan Phillips and his group came in on the Destination with a load of red snapper, mingo, a big lane snapper, white snapper and a scamp.

Mississippi anglers on the Mary Lou with Capt. Rusty Gilber brought in red snapper, mingo, white snapper and a couple of king mackerel.

Arkansas anglers on the Huntress with Capt. Mike Graef got their share of red snapper. They pulled in the limit, along with mingo, white snapper, grouper and a king mackerel.

Louisiana and Georgia anglers on the Fifth Amendment with Capt. Chuck Turbanic loaded the board with red snapper, mingo, white snapper and scamp. Word is the big one got away due to a dolphin.

But the anglers had a good attitude about it, saying “they’ve got to eat too.”

Tennessee anglers on the Blue Runner II with Capt. Tommy Carter pulled in with red and black snapper and one big king mackerel. Zoe Woods of Memphis pulled in the king.

“It  was hard, but we got it,” she said.

Fishing is not always easy, it can be hard. But Zoe, just like 11-year-old Easton Gray who thought his rod was going to break, got their fish.

See you on the docks.