Red Snapper

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Culinary Details

Food Rating : 8.5

Excellent at all sizes. Also known as the Short Tail Red Snapper, these fish are usually caught feeding near Onaga grounds in 700 to 1000 feet of water. They are sought after for their delicate white fillets that are delicious steamed, baked, broiled or saute'd.
Nutritional Values:
Service Size 100g / 3.5oz (raw)
Calories 109.0
Fat Calories(g)
Total Fat(g) 1.0
Saturated Calories(mg) 0.0
Cholesterol (mg) 40.0
Sodium (mg) 48.0
Potassium (g)
Protein (g) 22.0
Omega-3 (mg)
Flavor Profile:

Seasonality, Forms, Yields, Shelf Life & Quality Control

Availability & Seasonality

Product Forms & Yields

Shelf Life & Quality Control

Average Weight/Length

10 - 15 lbs. Common from a pound or so to about 6 or 8 pounds. Usual maximum is about 20 pounds, although the Red Snapper can rarely run as high as 30 or 40 pounds. World record 50 pounds, 4 ounces; Florida record 46 pounds, 8 ounces.

Other "Popular" Names for this Fish

Short Tail Red Snapper, North American, Red Snapper, Genuine Red, Snapper, Pargo Colorado

Location Habitat

Red snapper are generally found at depths between 30 and 620 feet along the eastern coast of North, Central, and northern South America and in the Gulf of Mexico. They are rare north of the Carolinas. Larval red snapper swim freely within the water column. Juveniles live in shallow waters over sandy or muddy bottom habitat. Adults live on the bottom, usually near hard structures on the continental shelf that have moderate to high relief (for example, coral reefs, artificial reefs, rocks, ledges, and caves), sloping soft-bottom areas, and limestone deposits. Adults are found over rocky bottoms. Juveniles inhabit shallow waters, common over sand or muddy bottoms. Feed mainly on fishes, shrimps, crabs, worms, cephalopods, and some planktonic items including urochordates and gastropods. Marketed fresh and eaten steamed, broiled and baked. Heavily exploited in American waters where it is now closely protected; shrimp fishing, accused of destroying young snappers, is currently restricted.

Biology & Physical Description

Red snapper in deeper waters tend to be redder than those caught in shallower waters. They have a long triangular face with the upper part sloping more strongly than the lower. Their jaws are equal, with the lower one sometimes slightly projecting. They have enlarged canine teeth, which is why they’re called “snappers.” Red snapper grow at a moderate rate, up to about 40 inches long and 50 pounds. They can live a long time—snapper as old as 57 have been reported in the Gulf of Mexico and as old as 54 in the South Atlantic. Females are able to reproduce as early as age two. Males and females spawn from May to October, depending on their location. Red snapper feed on fish, shrimp, crab, worms, cephalopods (for example, octopus, squid, etc.), and some plankton (tiny floating plants and animals). Young red snapper are food for the large carnivorous fish that share their same habitat, such as jacks, groupers, sharks, barracudas, and morays. Large marine mammals and turtles also eat snapper. Dorsal spines (total): 10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8 - 9. Scale rows on back rising obliquely above lateral line. Specimens under 30 to 35 cm with large dark spot on the upper sides, located below the anterior soft dorsal rays.

Geographic Species Map ( Map)

Summary of Distribution: Western Atlantic: Gulf of Mexico and eastern coast of the USA extending northward to Massachusetts, coasts of Florida, but rare north of the Carolinas. Throughout Gulf of Mexico. This species has been referred to as Lutjanus aya by previous authors, but Rivas (Ref. 6409) proved that Bodianus aya Bloch, 1790 is not a lutjanid, but probably a sciaenid.

Note: Distribution range colors indicate degree of suitability of habitat which can be interpreted as probabilities of occurrence (

Sport Fishing Techniques

Kite Fishing (Rig)

A Kite Fishing Rig is....

Kite Fishing (Trolling)

Kite Fishing Trolling is when you are....

River Drift

River Drift means to use the....


Trawling is when....

Commercial Fishing Techniques

Vertical Hooking

Vertical Hooking is when....

Tackle & Baits

Some Red Snapper spots in fairly shallow water, say up to 50 or 60 feet, permit the use of light ocean tackle, or even heavy spinning and baitcasting tackle. Much Snapper fishing, however-trips from Panhandle ports requires deep drops in strong currents. This means that only very heavy rods and strong lines of 50- or 80-pound test can handle the heavy weights needed to do the job. As for baits, dead Cigar Minnows, Pilchards or cut fish and squid do well at times, although in heavily fished spots (which most are these days) it will probably be necessary to use live small baitfish to coax bites from Snappers of decent size.

Game Rating

Game Rating : 8/10

Game Description :

A hard-fighting fish that uses strong, head-shaking tactics rather than long runs.

Food Rating

Game Rating : 8.5/10

Game Description :

Excellent at all sizes. Also known as the Short Tail Red Snapper, these fish are usually caught feeding near Onaga grounds in 700 to 1000 feet of water. They are sought after for their delicate white fillets that are delicious steamed, baked, broiled or saute'd.

Picture (Fish)

Picture Mount

Product Specs

Available Sizes: 12 - 38 in. Details: Fired-Enamel Glass Eye Product Options: Wood Plaque, Custom Base, 360°