Red Snapper Season 2023: Details & Where To Go

What Is a Red Snapper?

Red snapper is one of the most highly sought-after game fish in the Gulf of Mexico. These fish are a blast to catch and the delicious filets are a delicious reward. Red snapper can be found as shallow as 50 feet but more often they are found near reefs and offshore rigs in deep water. Snapper also reach formidable sizes of up to 40 inches long and 50 pounds.

As one of the most sought after fish in the Gulf, Red snapper were victims of overfishing from the end of World War II to the mid 1990’s. This was due to a combination of increased commercial harvest and recreational participation. A fishery rebuilding plan was implemented in 2005 with the goal of building the red snapper population back up by 2032. This plan includes bag limits, size restrictions, and specific fishing seasons which make red snapper the most heavily regulated species in the gulf.

Red Snapper Fishing With Captain Chase

What Is the Difference Between State and Federal Waters?

State waters and federal waters differ in terms of regulations (which can mean different seasons, different bag limits, and different size limits), so it can be crucial to know where you stand. Across most of the U.S., state waters extend to 3 nautical miles (just slightly over a normal mile), but in the Gulf of Mexico state waters are extended a little further, to 9 nautical miles. This means that for Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Gulf Coast of Florida, a recreational angler can head out 9 nautical miles and still fall under state regulations.

As mentioned above, these boundaries will impact what an angler can catch but lesser known is the impact on guides - federal reef fish permits in the Gulf of Mexico can be harder to obtain (and more expensive). New permits haven’t been issued since 2003, which means the total number of guides is capped. Federal waters are more productive but it’s harder to find a guide.

2023 Gulf of Mexico Federal Water Red Snapper Season

The 2023 for hire red snapper season in federal waters will open June 1st and run until the quota is met. Anglers must still comply with the bag limits set by state wildlife organizations. The 2021 federal red snapper season was 62 days long for chartered trips and 63 days for private trips in the summer, and then reopened for 22 days in the fall.

2023 Alabama State Water Red Snapper Season

The 2022 Alabama red snapper season opened May 27th, and is set to close December 31st. Fishing is only allowed on weekends Friday through Sunday. The seasons have been running longer over the last few years with anglers taking longer to reach the annual quota. The 2023 dates have not been released yet but we can expect it to be similar.

2023 Louisiana State Water Red Snapper Season

The 2022 Louisiana red snapper season opened Friday, May 27th with fishing only allowed on weekends. The season closed September 19th when the quota was met. The 2023 dates have not been announced yet but we can expect it to be similar.

2023 Mississippi State Water Red Snapper Season

The 2022 Mississippi red snapper season opened Friday, May 27th and closed July, 10th. Fishing was allowed seven days a week with a daily bag limit of 2 fish per person. The 2023 dates have not been announced yet but we can expect it to be similar.

2023 Florida State Water Red Snapper Season

The 2022 Florida Gulf recreational red snapper season opened June, 17th and closed July, 31st 2022. The daily bag limit is two fish per person with a minimum size of 16 inches. The season will reopen for Veterans Day Weekend (November 11th through the 13th) and the weekend after Thanksgiving (November 25th through the 27th.) The 2023 dates have not been released yet but we can expect the season to be similar.

2023 Texas State Water Red Snapper Season

The 2022 Texas red snapper season opened on January 1st and will close when the annual catch quota is met for state waters. In years past, Texas state water red snapper season has been open year round with the exception of last year. Texas Federal waters opened June, 1st and closed September, 2nd after a temporary regulation delayed the season to preserve the quota. Daily bag limits are set at 4 fish per person in state waters and 2 fish per person in federal waters. The 2023 dates have not been released yet but we can expect it to be similar.

Texas Red Snapper Fishing

2023 Gulf of Mexico Federal Water Red Snapper Limit

The 202w federal water red snapper limits for recreational anglers were 2 fish per person per day over 16 inches. The 2023 dates have not been released yet but we can expect it to be similar.

2022 Alabama State Water Red Snapper Limit

The Alabama red snapper bag limit is 2 fish per angler (not including the guide or crew) at 16 inches minimum length.

2022 Louisiana State Water Red Snapper Limit

The Louisiana red snapper bag limit is 3 fish per person (not including the guide or crew) with a minimum length of 16 inches.

2022 Mississippi State Water Red Snapper Limit

The Mississippi red snapper bag limit is 2 fish per angler (not including the guide or crew) at 16 inches minimum length.

2022 Florida State Water Red Snapper Limit

The Florida daily red snapper bag limit is 2 fish per angler (not including the guide or crew) at 16 inches minimum length.

2022 Texas State Water Red Snapper Limit

The Texas daily red snapper bag limit is 4 fish per angler (not including the guide or crew) at 15 inches minimum.

Red Snapper Bottom Fishing

Where Can I Catch Red Snapper Near Me And What Red Snapper Guide Should I Use?

Because of catch limits and the shortened season, red snapper fishing is hard to come by - there are only a few guides licensed to head out to federal waters, there are only a few days a year to head out, and the season can be further shortened if catch limits are reached early. This means if you want to go fishing for red snapper you need to book a guide further in advance than you normally might for another fishing trip.

The Best Alabama 2023 Red Snapper Charters and Guides

Check out some of the top Captain Experiences red snapper charters in Alabama below, or search all red snapper trips in Alabama here.

The Best Louisiana 2023 Red Snapper Charters and Guides

Check out some of the top Captain Experiences red snapper charters in Louisiana below, or search all red snapper trips in Louisiana here.

The Best Mississippi 2023 Red Snapper Charters and Guides

Check out some of the top Captain Experiences red snapper charters in Mississippi below, or search all red snapper trips in Mississippi here.

The Best Florida 2023 Red Snapper Charters and Guides

Check out some of the top Captain Experiences red snapper charters in Florida below, or search all red snapper trips in Florida here.

The Best Texas 2023 Red Snapper Charters and Guides

Check out some of the top Captain Experiences red snapper charters in Texas below, or search all red snapper trips in Texas here.

Atlantic Red Snapper Season 2022

The recreational red snapper season in federal waters is open for two days in the Atlantic. The season opens at 12:01 am July 8th and will close at 12:01 am on July 10th.