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Florida’s Gulf red snapper fishing season starts this week

Federal Atlantic red snapper season starts in July

Stephanie Freed vents a red snapper. Photo taken on an FWC tagging day, off the coast of Panama City.
Stephanie Freed vents a red snapper. Photo taken on an FWC tagging day, off the coast of Panama City.

Anglers will be excited to learn the 2020 Gulf red snapper season starts Thursday in Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a news release the season runs from June 11 to July 25 for all private fishing.

For-hire operation red snapper fishing began June 1 and runs until Aug. 1 this year.

This year, all anglers on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of Florida who intend to fish for certain reef fish, which includes red snapper, will need to obtain a State Reef Fish Angler designation. This replaces the Gulf Reef Fish Survey, according to FWC.

“State Reef Fish Anglers will help improve recreational data for several reef fish species such snapper, grouper and hogfish,” according to FWC’s website. “The process is easy, no-cost and will help the FWC paint a clearer picture of how many people are targeting reef fish like red snapper and gag and what they are seeing and harvesting on the water.”

Signing up for the State Reef Fish Angler designation is free and sign up begins July 1 and will be available anywhere FWC saltwater fishing licenses are sold or at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

In July, the Atlantic federal red snapper season opens in federal waters on July 10, 11, 12 and 17.

Fishing for red snapper in state waters, which is 3 nautical miles from shore, is open year-round, according to FWC.