A reel sport fishing for Red Snapper

The day’s catch of red snapper.

Vicki Baker

Vacationers don’t just go to Galveston for the sandy beaches and warm waters. They come to catch red snapper, one of the true gems of Texas deep sea fishing. Heavily concentrated in areas within 20 to 40 miles off the coastline, they are one of the most popular game fish in the Gulf of Mexico. In years past, the waters were over-fished and the snapper population significantly declined. However, with the introduction of conservation measures, fishing has again opened up.

Taking advantage of the snapper season (June 1 to July 21) and the summer weather, the RR Fishing Club traveled to Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico to catch this popular sport and table fish. Summer is the ideal season as the fish are plenty hungry while in the peak of their spawning season and the seas are at their calmest making for great offshore fishing.

We teamed up with a charter fishing boat guaranteeing a successful fishing adventure by finding the right depth and ideal waters for snagging this beauty. Our boat was equipped with all of the required safety gear, a very good a/c system throughout the vessel to keep us comfortable, bathroom and comfortable seating.

We fished near the barely visible offshore oil platform rigs at a depth of 50 to 55 feet, a popular hot spot for snapper. Snapper are bottom dwellers and found at a range from 30 to nearly 200 feet. They are typically seen around such underwater structures except when on the move to another spawning site.

The snapper’s distinctive look (solid red body with a white belly and throat) is matched only by the thrill of fishing this magnificent creature. Known for their aggressive nature, this hard-fighting fish uses strong, head-shaking tactics rather than long runs. They have excellent eyesight and teeth! Because of that great eyesight, wire leaders are completely out of the question, as no snapper is going to bite a bait with a big piece of clearly visible metal sticking out of it. We used fluorocarbon line (monofilament or braided line) which is very resistant to abrasions and cuts from teeth and also nearly completely invisible in the water. Live bait was used as a school of snapper will always go after a big shiny cigar minnow.

With the waters cooperating, within a few short hours we caught our legal limit of two fish per angler ranging from 16 to 24 inches (minimum legal size 16 inches). We couldn’t wait to get back home and toss our catch onto the backyard grill.

Interested in dropping a line? Plans are always in the works for local fishing destinations to Lake Texoma (striper, catfish and bass), Lake Ray Roberts (crappie and bass) and Lake Tawakoni (catfish) among others. The RR Fishing Club meets the second Wednesday of each month at the Wildhorse Grill Boardroom at 5:00 p.m. For more information, inquiries or suggestions contact [email protected] or Scott Baker 214-334-7664.