Red snapper season set to start in Gulf state and federal waters off Florida

Red Snapper School of Fish – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by SergeUWPhoto

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fl. – It’s time to catch some red snapper.

The recreational red snapper season will begin on June 17 in Gulf state and Florida federal waters and stay open through July 31 with 12 days during the fall. 

The season will reopen in the fall for the following weekends:

  • Oct. 8-9 (Sat. & Sun)
  • Oct. 15-16 (Sat. & Sun)
  • Oct. 22-23 (Sat. & Sun)
  • Nov. 11-13 (Fri., Sat. & Sun – Veterans Day weekend)
  • Nov. 25-27 (Fri., Sat. & Sun – Thanksgiving weekend)

This year’s 57-day red snapper season is the largest since the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission began managing the season in federal and state waters.

“Snapper season is one of the most exciting times to be fishing in Florida, and I am excited to announce the longest season since the state took over management of red snapper,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “People travel from all over to enjoy the recreational opportunities we have in Florida that can’t be found anywhere else. Florida is proud to continue providing access and opportunities to all who want to experience the Fishing Capital of the World.”

Even if you are exempt from fishing license restrictions, you must register as a State Reef Fish Angler if you plan to fish for red snapper from a private recreational vessel in any state or federal waters off the coast of Florida (annual renewal required). is a great place to start. Visit for additional information.

State Reef Fish Anglers may receive a questionnaire in the mail regarding their reef fishing trips as part of the state of Florida’s State Reef Fish Survey. These surveys were created specifically to provide a better understanding of recreational data for the management of important reef fish, including the red snapper, and have allowed the FWC the ability to manage Gulf red snapper in both federal and state waters.

Visit and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers” under the “Regulations by Species – Reef Fish” link to discover more about the recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters, including season size and bag limitations.

Gear Requirements for Federal and Atlantic State Waters

Anglers targeting reef fish like snapper or grouper using hook-and-line with natural baits from a vessel in Atlantic state waters must use non-stainless steel, non-offset circle hooks north of 28 degrees north latitude (around Melbourne) and non-stainless steel hooks south of 28 degrees north latitude.

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