Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus)

Photo of red snapper


Other Names
Pargo, Snapper, Pensacola Snapper
Regulated nongame species - see bag & size limits

Red snapper are a deep rosy red color, with a dark fringe around the dorsal and tail fins. Adults average 2-4 pounds but can reach over 50 pounds.

To avoid misidentifying small red snapper as lane snapper, note that red snapper have an angular anal fin and 14 soft dorsal fin ray. Lane snapper has a rounded anal fin, 12-13 soft dorsal fin ray and 8 narrow yellow stripes that fund the length of the fish.
Life History
Spawning occurs from June through September when adults are about 2 years old. Juveniles are widely distributed over muddy or sandy bottom and are caught in great numbers during shrimping operations. Growth is fairly fast, reaching 8 inches in the first year and gaining 3-4 inches each year thereafter.
Although as young fish, they may be found on muddy bottoms or inshore, adult red snapper are located primarily near structure in deeper water. They feed on crab, squid, shrimp and small fish which they find near artificial reefs, oil rigs and other underwater structures.
All Gulf waters
How To Catch
Red Snapper are caught from reefs, rigs and banks along the entire Texas coast. Hand line, manual reels and electric reels are used, all equipped with heavy weights and multiple hooks. Bait with fresh squid or cigar minnows; live pinfish or pigifsh will catch larger snapper. This is the most sought-after offshore fish, representing an important recreational and commercial fishery.
Where To Catch
Reefs, rigs, snapper banks offshore are the best places to catch red snapper.
How To Eat
The flesh of red snapper is excellent and snapper throats are classed as a delicacy.
Photo of two very large red snpper