Snapper Fishing Gets 72 Hour Season

red snapper fishing
The 2017 red snapper season has been set to last just three days.

Usually, setting a record in the fishing world is a good thing; a bragging rights moment that makes people happy in a high-5 sort of way. Sadly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gets no such love from private recreational anglers — the folks royally screwed by the shortest ever federal red snapper season, which runs from — don’t blink — June 1 through June 3.

Three days.

Seventy-two hours.

Four thousand, 300 and 20 minutes.

We’ll spare you the seconds count, because you’re probably feeling the deeply intended sarcasm.

To frame this, the total recreational sector comprises private individuals and for-hire vessels (charter boats). The latter group gets a 49-day season (June 1 through July 19). The commercial sector — a highly contentious topic we’ll save for later — operates on “catch shares”; essentially, the privatization of a public resource.

Crazy thing is that most who fish the Gulf — and actually see what’s out there — believe there’s more than enough snapper to justify longer recreational seasons. Increasingly tighter harvest restrictions of shorter seasons and the two-fish per person daily bag limit (minimum 16 inches)…

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