OTHER NAMES: North
American Red Snapper, Genuine Red, Snapper, Pargo, Colorado.
RANGE: A temperate fish
rather than tropical, the Red Snapper is rare in South Florida, although
caught occasionally. It is standard bottom-fishing fare, however,
offshore of the Atlantic Coast from about the center of the Peninsula
northward, and in deep waters of the northern Gulf.
HABITAT: Along the
Panhandle, Red Snappers are sometimes found in fairly shallow water off
the beaches, and even in deep holes of the larger bays. Off the
Peninsular Gulf Coast, however, few Red Snappers are found close enough
to shore to merit a one-day effort; most offshore Snappers along that
part of the coast are Grays.
DESCRIPTION: Overall rosy
red. Canine teeth less prominent than those of most other Snappers. Red
eye. Anal fin is triangular. The Caribbean Red Snapper, is very similar
in appearance and is found in the northwest and central Caribbean.
SIZE: Common from a pound
or so to about 6 or 8 pounds. Usual maximum is about 20 pounds, although
the Red Snapper can rarely run as high as 30 or 40 pounds. World record
50 pounds, 4 ounces.
RECORD : 46pounds, 8 ounces.
FOOD VALUE: Excellent at
GAME QUALITIES: A
hard-fighting fish that uses strong, head-shaking tactics rather than
TACKLE AND BAITS: Some Red
Snapper spots in fairly shallow water, say up to 50 or 60 feet, permit
the use of light ocean tackle, or even heavy spinning and bait casting
tackle. Much Snapper fishing, however-trips from Panhandle ports
requires deep drops in strong currents. This means that only very heavy
rods and strong lines of 50- or 80-pound test can handle the heavy
weights needed to do the job. As for baits, dead Cigar Minnows,
Pilchards or cut fish and squid do well at times, although in heavily
fished spots (which most are these days) it will probably be necessary
to use live small baitfish to coax bites from Snappers of decent size.
TECHNIQUES: Casting; Drifting;