Anglers are seizing the moment – which is about how long the red snapper season is open – to catch the tasty pescados – to reel in red snapper.
The season that started June 1 ends Monday, June 9.
Wyatt Hickman at Fisherman’s Wharf said anglers are weighing in limits of red snapper as well as vermilion snapper. He said kingfish are starting to show up, as well as ling, shark and a few grouper. Bay guides are having good luck using menhaden to bring in a lot of redfish, Hickman said.
Guides are still catching their limits of redfish and sand trout back in the flats, according to Sharon Keehlisen at style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 10.5pt; font-style: inherit;">Woody’s Sports Center. Anglers on the Island Queen are weighing in gafftop, sand trout, a few redfish and large shark. She said pier anglers are hooking large gafftop, sand trout and whiting. And, she said, “If you can get to water on the beach (through the seaweed), they’re catching speckled trout using live shrimp.” Offshore anglers were having luck catching red snapper, kingfish, shark and lots of amberjack.
“Lots and lots and lots of (red) snapper,” was the word from Brenda Owens at Deep Sea Headquarters. When they’re not catching red snapper, they’re catching their cousins, vermillion snapper, as well as a few grouper. Also coming in have been some nice wahoo, about one a day in the past week, two that were over 50 pounds. Just a few kings have been caught, but they’re nice size, Owens said. Anglers also are still catching shark and ling. Private charters are weighing in dog snapper and red snapper.
In the bays, guides are scoring with good trout and redfish. Black drum catches have slowed a bit, Owens said.
At Dolphin Dock, Crystal Oestreich said, “We are totally loaded: day and night trips and long trips.” Catches include red snapper and vermilion snapper. Even the five-hour trips are catching their limits of red snapper, she said. Kingfish are starting show up and, thought a little spotty, some ling are being caught.
One bay angler landed a 186-pound stingray, she said.
At Horace Caldwell Pier, Blake Wallingsford, who works at Keepers, a shop on the pier, said shark are biting when the water is clear. A couple of them were six-feet long. Also, bigger redfish and trout bite when the water is clear. Also taking bait are Spanish mackerel, pompano, gafftop and hardheads.
But, “right now, it’s 50 shades of brown out there,” Wallingsford said, referring to the seaweed that has been washing ashore. The weed is common at this time of year, but the amount this year is more than usual. That is expected to diminish over the next few weeks, however.