Florida Snapper Fishing
Undeniably, fishing in itself is a pleasure that is hard to top. Being able to eat your catch, too; now there is a true experience that dates back to caveman days: “I catch….I eat”. When in Florida, snapper fishing is a must do trip that will cap off your Florida vacation.
Florida waters are home to several varieties of snapper. Some snapper prefer shallower waters, 200 feet and less, while others are deep water dwellers, found in waters from 500 to 1000 feet in depth. One common thread of the snapper species is their bottom living habits, so fishing for snapper is a bottom fishing experience. Within the species, each has their own habits which must be learned in order to successfully locate and reel them in. Some prefer rocky crevices on the ocean bottom in which to troll, others take up habitation in wrecks and yet others stick to reefs, canals and mangroves.
Shallow water snapper varieties include yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, lane snapper, school master and mangrove snapper. Some of this category also can be found along reef lines, such as school master, yellowtail and lane snapper.
Among the deeper water snapper families are the yellow-eye, cubera, queen, and vermilion snapper. Many of these will be located in large numbers in and around deep water wrecks, along with other varieties of Florida fish.
Another key to having a great Florida snapper fishing experience is to know the snapper’s feeding preferences. Chum works very well with certain varieties like the Mangrove and School Master, while others will turn up their noses (figuratively speaking, of course) at chum yet feast voraciously on shrimp and squid.
The type of fishing equipment you use should be appropriate to the variety of snapper, as well. Some of these snapper put up a pretty good fight. Once an area has been identified as a “hot spot” for the bottom dweller, bumping the bottom with your line achieves great results. Generally, it will take only a few minutes in a hot spot to get your first strike. Patience is the key in reeling in a large snapper, some of which, like the Red Snapper, can weigh in at more than 50 pounds, although average sizes are 5 to 25 pounds. You will want to be aware of legal size limits before your fishing venture begins.
Different varieties of the snapper species spawn at various times of the year, conveniently creating a long Florida snapper fishing season. Two of the earliest are the yellowtail snapper and the mutton snapper, with the best times of angling being spring and early summer. One of the latest varieties is the vermilion snapper that spawns in the winter.
After your Florida snapper fishing trip is over, the enjoyment will continue as you feast upon your catch. Grilled, fried, baked, or even raw, snapper is just plain good eating. No one in your family will complain about your fishing habits when you bring home results like this! So be sure to include a snapper fishing trip in your next vacation to Florida.