2022 Florida Red Snapper Season: Dates and Bag Limits


Anglers holding a Red Snapper

The Florida Red Snapper season is set to begin in 2022, and anglers are already gearing up for the best fishing they’ve seen in years. But what do you need to know about this awesome fishery? In this article, we outline both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic regulations associated with the season, and also provide some information about how to fish for red snapper, detailing their habitat and bait preferences.

The regulations surrounding the Florida Red Snapper season are constantly changing year over year. So what do you need to know if you're planning on fishing for red snapper in 2022?

For starters, you'll need to have a valid Florida saltwater fishing license if you're planning on fishing for red snapper in either the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic. You can purchase a license online through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website or at any county tax collector's office. Many for-hire charter services in Florida will also hold a license that covers any anglers on the vessel.

State vs. Federal Water

Before we get into the regulations, it is important to note that state and federal waters are regulated differently. Florida's state waters extend from the shore to 3 nautical miles on the Atlantic coast, and 9 nautical miles on the Gulf. The federal waters in most areas cover approximately 200 nautical miles past where state waters end, or where other country's waters begin.

2022 Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Regulations

If you're fishing for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, you'll need to abide by the following regulations:

When is the 2022 Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Season in Florida?

The season for federally permitted for-hire charter vessels (fishing in federal Gulf waters) will begin on June 1, 2022, and close on August 19, 2022

The recreational fishing season is set to open on June 17, 2022, and close on July 31. Book with a federally permitted charter captain to get in on the action before the recreational season opens!

The season will reopen for the following weekends:

  • Oct. 8-9 (Sat. & Sun)
  • Oct. 15-16 (Sat. & Sun)
  • Oct. 22-23 (Sat. & Sun)
  • Nov. 11-13 (Fri., Sat. & Sun - Veterans Day weekend)
  • Nov. 25-27 (Fri., Sat. & Sun - Thanksgiving weekend)

This refers to recreational anglers fishing from private boats in Florida Gulf and federal waters. For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit may participate in the season, but they are only allowed to fish for red snapper in Florida Gulf state waters.

The bag limit will remain at two fish per person.

You must use circle hooks when fishing with natural bait.

Red snapper must be at least 16 inches long to keep.

2022 Atlantic Red Snapper Regulations

If you're fishing for red snapper in the Atlantic, you'll need to abide by the following regulations:

When is the 2022 Atlantic Red Snapper Season in Florida?

Red Snapper caught in state water are able to be kept year round.

The federal water snapper season is yet to be announced. All red snapper caught in federal waters must be returned to the water immediately.

Atlantic state water Red Snapper catches are limited to two fish per person per day.

Red snapper must be at least 20 inches long to keep.

Fishing for Red Snapper

Red snapper are found in warm waters throughout the world, including the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. They typically inhabit reefs, wrecks, and other structure in depths of 50 to 200 feet.

Red snapper are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of baitfish, squid, and crustaceans. Some of the most common baits used to target red snapper include live or frozen sardines, pilchards, herring, menhaden, and mullet. Cut bait can also be effective, especially when fishing around structure.

When targeting red snapper, it's important to use heavy tackle. These fish put up a good fight and can reach weights of up to 50 pounds. Bottom-fishing rigs with circle hooks are the best way to target red snapper, as they help to prevent deep-hooking.

Red Snapper Food Quality

Red snapper is considered to be a high-quality, firm fish with a rich flavor. It's commonly used in fried fish dishes and can also be broiled, baked, or grilled. Red snapper has a mild flavor that works well with seasonings like lemon juice, black pepper, lime juice, garlic, onion powder, dill, and paprika. It's also commonly used in fish tacos, ceviche, and sushi. With such a wide range of culinary uses, it's easy to see why red snapper is one of the most popular saltwater fish species among anglers and seafood lovers alike.

Book Your 2022 Red Snapper Trip

With a short season and somewhat complex regulations, your best chance at getting fish in the cooler is with a federally permitted charter captain. Fishing aboard a federally permitted for-hire vessel will also allow you to get in on the Red Snapper action before the season opens for recreational anglers on private vessels. Top destinations for Red Snapper include panhandle cities such as Destin, Panama City, and Pensacola. Find the perfect trip on FishAnywhere.com, and book your next adventure with confidence!


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