2018 Atlantic Red Snapper Season

Your Reported Data For

the 2018 Atlantic Red Snapper Season

Thank you to all who reported through MyFishCount during the 2018 red snapper mini-season. From your participation, we were able to gather information and insights into the private recreational fishery. The figures below summarize reported preliminary data for the both red snapper weekends with information through August 21, 2018. We will be sending monthly updates as trips are reported in MyFishCount. We are also in the process of developing a website so that you can query reported data.

Please encourage your fellow anglers to continue to report all of their catches! We are getting close to 2,000 fish being reported and over 700 users in MyFishCount after just a short time of being available as an app.

MyFishCount Reported Weekend Highlights

  • Longest red snapper was 39 inches
  • The heaviest red snapper was 25 lbs
  • The most common fish reported with red snapper was black sea bass.
  • The most common grouper reported with red snapper was gag.

Weather Impacts On Fishing Trips

Weather played a factor in the mini-season fishing trips again this year. The percentage of trips that were reported as abandoned (trips where anglers intended to fish but could not due to weather or other reasons) increased from 10% during the first weekend to 38% during the second weekend. This was due to poor weather conditions off North and South Carolina. In North and South Carolina, the percent of abandoned trips increased from 27% during the first weekend to 76% during the second weekend. In Florida and Georgia, less than 10% of the trips were abandoned

Figure 1. Species Reported Through MyFishCount During the Red Snapper Mini-Season


The figure above shows species in addition to red snapper reported during the Atlantic red snapper mini-season. As seen in the figure above, black seabass, vermilion snapper, gray triggerfish, and white grunt, were the most commonly reported species in addition to red snapper. Remember MyFishCount allows you to report all fish during a trip. It is important to log all species to the best of your ability in order for us all to learn more about our offshore fisheries and recreational reporting.

Red Snapper Catch and Release Information

Most of the trips that reported targeting red snapper, snapper, or bottom fish successful caught red snapper (93% of the trips). This supports what fishermen have been indicating, that red snapper are spread throughout the coast. Interestingly, the most common reason for release was because the fish was too small. During these mini-seasons, there is no minimum size limit for red snapper but fishermen tended to release red snapper less than 20 inches.

It is encouraging to see some fishermen using descending devices in depths greater than 60 feet. Red snapper can suffer from barotrauma even in shallow depths and descending devices are an effective way to get red snapper back to the bottom with minimal injury. These descending devices work for many species in the snapper grouper complex including sea bass, other snappers, and groupers. To learn more about barotrauma and best fishing practices click here.

Figure 2. Percent of Red Snapper Kept and Released by Length

As seen in the figure to the above, there was not a large trend in the size of kept red snapper. The majority of reported released red snapper were under 25 inches.

Figure 3. Reason for Releasing Red Snapper


The pie chart above shows the reason for releasing red snapper as reported through MyFishCount. The number in the parenthesis show the number of fish. Anglers indicated that most fish were released because they were "Too Small."

Figure 4. Release Treatment of Red Snapper Based On Depth


The figure above shows the release treatment of red snapper based on depth. Most anglers who released fish in 90 feet or more of water indicated they used descending tools or vented fish. This could be attributed to the fact that fish are more likely to experience and exhibit symptoms of barotrauma when reeled up from depths greater than 90 feet. To learn more about barotrauma and best fishing practices  here . 

MyFishCount Reported Lengths Compared to
Recent Stock Assessment (SEDAR 41)

Figure 5.  Red snapper lengths and weights reported through MyFishCount compared to red snapper length and weights from SEDAR 41.


The line in this figure represents the length and weights for red snapper from SEDAR 41 (the last stock assessment completed for red snapper in 2017). Each point represents a length and weight for red snapper reported by an angler. The SEDAR 41 line falls between the points reported by anglers, indicating the lengths and weights reported by anglers are similar to the lengths and weights from SEDAR 41.  

Download the MyFishCount app today

If you have not yet done so, download the app to report your trips this weekend! Create your own personal fishing log and share your catch and trip data with fishery scientists and managers by downloading and using the FREE MyFishCount mobile app for private anglers.

Click the above buttons to download the app today!