Red Snapper fishing as we know it is a national disaster thanks to the regulations put in place by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) is the office appointed by NOAA to do research, make recommendations on rule implementation based on results. NOAA has the final say on what is finally implemented. Its all smoke. Neither entity has the slightest clue about red snapper populations, or truthfully any fish population for that matter, but they force rules on us anyway. Red Snapper has been closed for over 10 years now.
For 2020 we got 4 days to catch red snapper. The first 3 days were July 10, 11, 12. Snapper can be caught using several different techniques. All the techniques I’m about to describe, I use daily when fishing for them. The most common is bottom fishing using a 3-way swivel. The main line is tied to the swivel, a loop for your sinker, and a leader. My leaders are 4-5ft long and I use from 80-150lb mono or fluorocarbon leader, and a VMC 8/0 circle hook. They will bite a variety of baits from live bait to dead bait. A few of the baits I use are Boston mackerel, Spanish sardines, cigar minnows, threadfin herring, grunts, pigfish, and pinfish. Live or cut will work. You can fish then on bottom, above the bottom, and you can even chum them up to the boat by creating a chum line of cut baits. Drift a bait back behind the boat in your chum line to hook big fish. The big ones like to roam above the bottom, and will even come to the surface to feed. So the 3 common ways to fish red snapper are on the bottom, above the bottom, and drifting baits back behind the boat in as chum line. Here’s some pics from red snapper season 2020 aboard the Team Buck Rogers boats.