Red Snapper, one of the Gulf of Mexico's signature fish, offer a great light tackle fight and their meat is so good that they are a favorite of restaurants all across the country... and our Galveston, Texas, fishing charter guides can take you right to them.
The Red Snapper is the most common and the most aggressive of all the snappers that thrive in the Gulf. They are bottom dwellers, and the preferred places to find them are wrecks, seamounts, oil rig platforms, coral and artificial reefs, ledges, and drop-offs.
Red Snapper are not migratory; instead sometimes living for years near the same structure. Red Snapper are commonly caught in water from 60' to 300' feet deep, but this doesn't mean that they will be on the bottom. It's a good idea to start fishing shallow since they will often be only 30 feet deep although they are in water much deeper. They often move to shallower waters in the winter.
Red Snapper can grow to about 40 inches, weigh up to 50 lbs. and live more than 50 years. Adults average 2-4 lbs.
Bait and Tackle
Popular baits to use when going after Red Snapper are squid, cut cigar minnows, live shrimp, live pinfish, and live scaled sardines. They respond well to chum such as chopped shrimp or ground menhaden.
Hand line, manual reels, and electric reels are commonly used, all equipped with heavy weights and multiple hooks.
How does the Red Snapper get its color?
The Red Snapper has a diet of small fish and crustaceans; its preference for shrimp is what gives its scales their signature rosy red color.
A tasty fish
Red Snapper is a firm-textured fish with moist, white flesh and a sweet, nutty flavor which lends itself well to a wide variety of cuisines and spices. Because of its versatility in recipes, it is a favorite of restaurants, which consistently buy considerable amounts from fish markets.
Red Snapper is well known as an excellent fish for frying and grilling. If grilling, you can either grill the fish whole, or cut into fillets. It can be served broiled, baked, steamed, or poached. It's so versatile, there are over one million recipes for Red Snapper online!
Regulations on catching Red Snapper
Red Snapper fishing is regulated by the State of Texas within the first nine nautical miles from shore. That season is not closed and regulations for fishing within state waters are found on this site. However, in federal waters, Red Snapper fishing is regulated by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Red Snapper season in federal waters varies from year to year but typically opens June 1 with the duration determined annually based on Annual Catch Limits. (Editor's Note: State regulations can change at any time, so please contact your guide prior to booking a trip in the event these regulations are changed or updated.)
Recommended Galveston Charter Fishing Guides
We are proud to recommend these qualified guides and charters for your next guided fishing trip:
Captain Greg Ball, Wave Dancer Charters, Galveston, TX
Family friendly; Winner 2015 "Best of the Island", one of two Texas charters that has two federally permitted boats
Captain Mike Short, Get Hooked Charters, Galveston, TX
Offering high adrenaline shark fishing excursions to spear fishing trips to overnight tuna trips
Captain Jason Woods, Rod Bending Charters, Galveston, TX
Several boats, groups welcome, family friendly
Captain Dan Green, Fishin Addiction Charters, Galveston, TX
Fishing the back bays for trout, near shore for sharks and bull reds
Captain Kevin Roberts, Captain Kevin Roberts Guide Service, Galveston, TX
Corporate and large party trips can be accommodated
A little further southwest, but still on the Texas coast:
Captain Jack McPartland, Treble J Charters, Rockport, TX
10% discount on full-day trips for active military
25 Reasons to Hire A Fishing Guide
Galveston - where the fish are biting!