PRO’S CORNER: It’s Red Snapper Time! Are You Ready?

Recreational anglers get ready for red snapper action like this June 11 thru July 20.

The coveted red snapper will be open to harvest for a whopping 40 days this year. This means that, starting Monday, June 11, and running through Friday, July 20, you can harvest two red snapper per day should you be lucky enough to find any.

From what I can tell, finding them shouldn’t be a problem; I’ve been releasing them with regularity when out fishing reefs. The trick on many reefs will be getting your bait past the trigger fish and to the snapper. When fishing reefs you think, or know, are loaded with triggers, I suggest using a heavier than usual lead weight on your rig. Depending on depth, that could be 10 ounces or bigger. The goal is to get your live bait, like a cigar minnow, to plummet to the bottom as fast as possible. One can burn through a lot of live bait in a day feeding triggers.

Rigging options are easy and I recommend a simple chicken rig. This consists of a swivel at the top of your leaders attached to your main line and two or three loops on your leader about 12 inches apart. The bottom loop is for your weight and the loop or loops above that, are for your circle hooks. This rig works great for live or cut bait.

Blackened snapper is awesome! When paired with some homemade tartar, it’s hard to beat. I use a big flat iron skillet that’s been sitting on a hot grill for about 20 minutes. Throw your filets, seasoned with Cajun’s Choice Blackening seasoning, on there and cook for a minute or less per side. Drizzle some lemon and enjoy.

I hope your snapper season is a fruitful one.

~ Capt. Randy (C-note) Cnota