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4 day Red Snapper Season For South Atlantic

June 30, 2020

The 2020 recreational season for red snapper in Atlantic federal waters will be open July 10, 11, and 12, and July 17. Atlantic state waters are from shore to 3 nautical miles. The season is open year-round in state waters of the Atlantic, but this 4-day season opens up the opportunity to catch a lot more – and bigger- Snapper in the deeper (federal) waters beyond 3 miles from shore. The daily bag limit is 1 fish per person. There will be no minimum or maximum size limits.

  • Why is the recreational season shorter than last year?
    • Last year, the recreational season was open for 5 days.
    • In 2019, recreational landings exceeded the recreational annual catch limit.
    • Since NOAA Fisheries estimates the season length based upon catch rates from the previous year, this year is shorter by one day to reduce the likelihood that the recreational landings would exceed the recreational annual catch limit in 2020.


    What are some Best Fishing Practices while fishing for red snapper?

    • The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council identified the following best practices to reduce release mortality and further protect the population as it rebuilds:
      • Avoid areas likely to have red snapper if you already have met your recreational bag limit.  If you are approaching your commercial vessel limit, move to a different area.
      • When red snapper are out of season, avoid areas where they are common.
      • Use single hook rigs since the recreational bag limit for red snapper during the proposed limited fishing seasons will be one per person per day.  This will potentially reduce the number of red snapper that are caught on one drop.
      • Use non-offset circle hooks while fishing in areas where red snapper are common.
      • Use a dehooking device to remove the hook.  Keep fish in the water if you plan to release them or return them to the water as quickly as possible.
      • Use descending devices when releasing fish with signs of barotrauma.
  • For more information go to NOAA Fisheries.

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