State’s red snapper season reopens Monday

Amberjack season opens Aug. 1

Mississippi’s coastal fishermen will have more opportunities opening in the next week — the state’s red snapper season opens Monday (July 29) and the amberjack season will open next Thursday (Aug. 1).

The snapper season had closed July 8, after the Independence Day holiday, to slow the harvest and conserve quota for the recreational anglers. Fishing can resume at 12:01 a.m. Monday, with fishing allowed out to 200 nautical miles.

Mississippi’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) said the season will remain open until either the assigned recreational quota is reached or the Gulf-wide quota is reached, or until 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 2.

Labor Day weekend

“I really hope the quota doesn’t come into play because my family is all coming to the coast for the Labor Day weekend and we’re hoping to take everyone out to the rigs for snapper on Saturday and Sunday for our big meal on Monday,” said George Gray of Biloxi. “We made a few trips in the first segment of the season but we’ve eaten all that snapper … heck it was gone within a day or two of each trip.

“It’s our favorite fish to eat, so it’s a big deal for us every Labor Day. There were a few years recently when we couldn’t do it, because of short seasons. Now, that we’ve got a chance, I hope we get to go.”

Amberjack gives another opportunity.

“That’s back-breaking work, but it’s really good that the two seasons are open together because where you find snapper, you can often find AJs either on those rigs or ones nearby,” Gray said. “It doesn’t take many 50-pounders to feed a bunch of people, that’s for sure. Thankfully, we’ve got enough young guys to do the grunt work and reel those big suckers in.”

Tails n’ Scales program

Fishermen are reminded that to be legal in Mississippi waters, snapper anglers must register each trip prior to departure with DMR’s Tails n’ Scales program. It is available through a smartphone app, a website and a call center. Anglers must have a trip number when they are out on the water and close out that trip before creating a new one. All red snapper harvested must be reported. If there is an app issue or any other trouble when signing in to register a trip, call 228-234-9109 or 228-697-5762.

While it is not required, DMR is asking that snapper fishermen report the number of amberjack caught when settling their Tails n’ Scales trip reports. It is voluntary for AJs but provides the agency with a better track of harvest numbers.

Bobby Cleveland
About Bobby Cleveland 1190 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.