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Red snapper season is winding down

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
The Destin Log

Red snapper season is coming to a close, and sooner for some.

For the recreational fisherman, fishing off his private boat or on a state boat without a federal permit, the last day to haul in a red snapper in Gulf state and federal waters is July 25.

As for the charter boat that holds a federal permit, which is the majority of the Destin fleet, the last day to land a snapper is Aug. 1.

But until then, red snapper is still on the catch list and continues to grace the racks along Destin harbor.

Atlanta anglers fishing on the Sea Fix with Capt. Jason Hallmark found a trio of big red snapper, each weighing more than 20 pounds. In addition to the huge snapper they had several more plus a gag grouper on Monday.

Anglers from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Monday pulled in a rack full of red snapper and one big king mackerel. Amber Helton of the Summer Slam fishing tournament gave them a courtesy weigh on the mackerel. It weighed 29.8 pounds.

Texas anglers on the Fish-N-Fool with Capt. Casey Weldon pulled in a limit of red snapper, mingo and white snapper. Weldon said on the shorter trips the snapper are getting a little harder to find.

Arkansas anglers on the High Cotton with Capt. TJ George got their limit of red snapper, two per person, plus a king mackerel.

Capt. Ken Bolden and his group from Ohio on the Just-B-Cause pulled in red snapper, mingo and white snapper.

The Texas fishermen on the Backdown 2 with Capt. Phillip Blackburn got their red snapper and a couple of Spanish mackerel.

“It was a great day,” one of the Texas guys said, noting they had a good time fishing.

Auburn, Alabama, folks on the Mighty Fine with Capt. Bud Miller got their snapper, some mingo and a bonus fish. Owen Lee hauled in a 56-pound cobia.

“It’s the only cobia I’ve ever caught and the biggest fish I’ve ever caught,” Lee said. “It put up a fight ... it didn’t want to come in.”

Local anglers from Freeport aboard the Windwalker II with Capt. Bernie LeFebvre reeled in a gag grouper to go along with their red snapper and black snapper as did the Auburn folks on the Only Way with Capt. Pat Meyer.

Mississippi and Louisiana anglers combined on the Wahoo with Capt. Steve Regan for good catch of red snapper and black snapper.

Again don’t forget the snapper dates. It’s getting close, so get out there and catch one while you still can.

See you on the docks.