Shortest snapper season in history comes to a close

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) – Monday, June 9, was the last day of the 2014 Red Snapper Season.

This marks the end of the shortest season in history, only nine days.

Fishermen told FOX10 they made the most of their limited season, with only one bad weather day to rain on their parade.

But as they watch the season come to an end, they said there is no reason for it to be over so soon, because there are plenty of Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

“They’re overpopulated, there’s too many out there, they need to be thinned out some, we need to catch some more of these fish, I hope we get a longer season next year, or something to benefit us somehow,” said Gary Goodwin, a charter fishing boat captain at Zeke’s Landing in Orange Beach.

This shortened season is the product of a lawsuit from commercial fishermen complaining that charter fishermen were fishing too far over their limits.

Regardless of the politics,Tom Steber, General manager of Zeke’s Landing, told FOX10 it was a great nine days of business for the marina.

He said nearly every day, some 70 charter fishing trips were taken to fish for Red Snapper.

Many boats were even making two trips in one day to make the most of Red Snapper season while it lasted, fishermen call it derby fishing.

“With the limited season, it forces you to Derby Fish, we call it, it means you’ve got to try to get every minute you can in,” said Steber.

Steber explained this non-stop derby fishing that overworked charter fishermen this week was all a product of the few nine days handed to them.

Fishermen said, however, even if snapper season is over, there are still plenty of other species of tasty fish out there ready to be caught.

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