If you fish in Alabama waters and you like eating red snapper, there’s some great news. Governor Bentley along with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced Thursday, June 26, 2014 that they will allow red snapper fishing for 12 days during July.
Coming off of the extremely short, nine day federal red snapper season this year, many anglers got but only a tease. The latest news out of Governor Bentley’s office may be just what they need to get their fix. Each weekend in July, starting on Friday and ending on Sunday, anglers can legally catch and keep red snapper and gray triggerfish caught inside of state waters.
“It’s good to let people catch fish and do good because they’ve been enjoying it and if there’s enough fish then that’s fine,” said local angler, Rennie Hendrix.
Alabama’s waters only go out three miles from shore which limits the number of places to catch fish. You are still only allowed two fish per person and they must measure up to the federal standard. That’s 16 inch total length for red snapper and 14 inch fork length on the triggerfish. Commercial charter captains will see little or no benefit from the extra state season, but recreational anglers are excited about it.
“I’m really glad that he done it. There’s a lot of local guys that have small boats that can only go out three miles,” said inshore angler, John Merren.
“I love that. That gives us more time to get out there and try and catch some more,” said Christa Drake of Shreveport, LA. I mean, we love eating them and love catching them so that’s nothing but fun for me.”
One group that’s having fun of a different kind, if you want to call it fun is the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR) Board. With the new season came the decission to add red snapper to the list of fish to catch.
“As soon as we heard the announcement, we knew that we were going to do something for the rodeo…for our anglers,” said ADSFR spokesperson, Kevin Maurin. “It was something that needed to be done. It was something they wanted for years and we haven’t had the opportunity.”
The problem is, 4,000 programs had already been printed without red snapper on the list. A decision has not yet been made on how to address the issue.
“We’re going to have a special deal just for the snapper. It’s not going to be your typical first through third typical categories that we have for every rodeo, but it’s going to have its own special deal and right now the Board is working around the clock to figure
out what that’s going to be,” Maurin explained.