FISH FLASH: Watch out, Mr. Snapper

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
The Destin Log

Red snapper season is on – across the board.

Thursday marked the opening of red snapper in state waters for those recreational and charter boats that do not have a federal permit. So it is now on, and the red snapper doesn’t stand a chance.

The limit for red snapper is two per person and they must measure 16 inches to keep.

But from what this reporter has seen the last couple of days, landing a snapper is no problem.

Capt. Chris Mitchell of the Cinnsational, a state boat at East Pass Marina, went out and got his limit of red snapper on opening day.

The state licensed and recreational boats have 45 days to catch snapper while the federally permitted charters have through Aug. 1 to catch snapper.

And Mr. Snapper was showing up everywhere on the docks.

Capt. Casey Weldon and his group on the Fish-N-Fool had a limit of red snapper and one gag grouper on Thursday.

Oklahoma anglers on the Sea Winder came in with a some big red snapper, a gag grouper and several mingo and few white snapper.

Mississippi anglers on the Just-B-Cause with Capt. Ken Bolden pulled in a good grade of red snapper, a red grouper and a scamp.

“The current was running this morning and it was a little choppy ... but then it got nice,” Capt. Bolden said.

The Sea Bandit came in with some fish to weigh in for the Summer Slam at the Boathouse Oyster Bar. They weighed in a grouper and a snapper caught by a couple of junior anglers from Santa Rosa Beach.

The Summer Slam will be going on all summer until Aug. 9 at the Boathouse.

DeFuniak Springs anglers on the Maximus hauled in some big red snapper.

Capt. Jeremy Ruskowski and his group from Oklahoma on Back Country Outfitters had some big red snapper on the racks along with some black snapper and white snapper. One of the red snapper was pushing 25 pounds.

Anglers on the Al-Lin with Capt. Harold Staples went out and caught enough fish for dinner and released the rest. They came home with a gag grouper, a couple of red snapper and a black snapper.

Capt. Travis Ream on the Kitchen Pass and his group from Tennessee hauled in a pair of big red snapper weighing in the 20s, plus several more snapper, a king mackerel and a gag grouper. Jim Brisentine of Memphis hauled in the largest on the racks.

“It’s the biggest one I’ve seen, much less caught,” Brisentine said.

All those gathered around were guessing the weight of the big snapper, with numbers like 24 to 26 tossed out there. However, once it was gutted and put on the scales it weighed in at 21.8 pounds. Not too shabby.

Ohio anglers aboard the Game On with Capt. Eric Thrasher pulled in Thursday with a limit of red snapper, several amberine and a pair of bonito. Capt. Thrasher said it was great day on the water.

Wednesday saw some big fish hit the docks as well.

Kentucky anglers on the High Cotton with Capt. T.J. George came in with a limit of red snapper and a few mingo.

Texas and Missouri anglers on the Mighty Fine with Capt. Bud Miller pulled in some big red snapper and mingo.

“It wasn’t too bad this morning, but it’s supposed to get bumpy this afternoon,” Miller said.

Some of the affects of Tropical Storm Cristobal were still lingering around early in the week.

Oklahoma anglers on the Champion Ship with Capt. Matthew Champion limited out on red snapper and caught several mingo.

Arkansas anglers on the Screamn’ Drag with Capt. Bryan Kelley landed some of those big red snapper plus several mingo.

Capt. Brady Bowman and his group from Kentucky came in Wednesday aboard the Bow’d Up with a big load of fish. They had big snapper, grouper and white snapper. Matthew Hart landed the biggest grouper on the racks, weighing 25-plus pounds.

“It took a hot minute to get it in,” Hart said.

Indiana anglers on the Destination with Capt. Stan Phillips filled the racks with some big snapper, mingo and one grouper.

Anglers from across the southeast, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama combined on the One of a Kind with Capt. Chris Michelson for a good catch of red snapper and mingo.

The party boats got in on the action as well. Capt. Jim Green on the New Florida Girl’s American Spirit pulled in with four tubs filled with fish on Wednesday. His 50 anglers reeled in some big red snapper, several mingo and a few white snapper.

Fishing is heating up and folks are getting in on the action. Come on down and book a trip and get in on some of the red snapper action.

See you at the docks.