Offshore recreational anglers get four more days of red snapper fishing in September, and then….
“Who knows when or if we ever get to go back again,” said Johnny Carter of Biloxi. “This red snapper deal has been crazy for years, and each year just gets crazier and crazier. This one though, 2017, it takes the cake.
“We started with a three-day recreational season in federal waters, then created a longer (non-compliant) season in state waters, and then threw all that away with an agreement in June to have weekend seasons Friday through Sunday through the summer in both state and federal waters.”
The final weekend season begins Friday, Sept. 1 and ends on Monday, Sept. 4, since language in the agreement allows fishing on Labor Day.
It took intervention by several Congressmen from Gulf Coast states to negotiate the extended season with federal fisheries managers, who earlier had set the three-day, June 1-June 3, recreational season in federal waters.
The federal for-hire season ended at 12:01 a.m. July 20.
Recreational anglers still are required to participate in MDMR’s reporting program for red snapper, “Tails n’ Scales.” This program is available through a smartphone app, a website and a call center. The app is available in iTunes and Google Play. The website is tailsnscales.org. Fishermen also can call 1-844-MSSNAPP (677-6277) to speak to a representative 24 hours a day.
Anglers must create a profile and start a trip. They must have a trip number when they are out on the water. They must report their catch and close out one trip before creating a new one.