Red Snapper Season Off The Treasure Coast

Fishing for red snapper in Ft. Pierce during the short season

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After being closed for three years, NOAA Fisheries opened red snapper season for a few weekends in the South Atlantic. I took this opportunity to ride along with my father, Captain Glenn Cameron, on a couple of charters aboard the_ Flo Rider_ in Fort Pierce, Florida. Conditions were a little rough, which deterred the weekend warriors from heading offshore. So we had the whole area to ourselves. First, we headed out to the 120-foot line and got no action. Then, we headed back in to about 90 feet, and the rods were bending almost all day long.Glenn Cameron Jr
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First mate Shawn B. and Ashley Sudderth with a little red snapper she just reeled in. The crew referred to these snapper as "genuines."Glenn Cameron Jr
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We caught a few triggerfish during our outing. On the second day, we fried some one up, and it was one of the better-tasting fish I have ever eaten.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Capt. Glenn Cameron and Rhonda Roddenberry with a nice red snapper.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Often when you pull a bottomfish up from the deep, its air bladder will fill up. When you release these fish, they float on the surface. To help them swim down, we usually poke a small hole in their air bladder to help vent it.Glenn Cameron Jr
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On the first day, we caught a few mutton snappers in addition to a lot of other species. Here, Joe Godfried and Shawn show one off.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Fort Pierce City Marina at sunrise is a beautiful sight.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Two red snappers caught by Bruce Neondros on a chicken rig.Glenn Cameron Jr
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We caught an inordinate amount of sea bass. Here, you can see angler Mike Koenig with three on the same line.Glenn Cameron Jr
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When the bite got hot, Atlantic sharpenose sharks would move in on us. When this happened the snapper bite would turn off so we would have to move to a different rock.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Close-up of a triggerfish.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Capt. Glenn Cameron searches for a rock to anchor us up on.Glenn Cameron Jr
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The best bite was in 90 to 95 feet of water.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Mates work hard all day long. Here, Shawn scrubs the blood and guts off the fish box as we move to a different rock.Glenn Cameron Jr
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When you're bottom fishing there is no telling what you will catch. Here Shawn and Rhonda jokingly show off a lizardfish.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Red snapper have many small, sharp teeth.Glenn Cameron Jr
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We saw a bunch of bonito, and they made great cut bait for our chicken rigs.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Seas were 4 to 6 feet all weekend. Here is one of the few boats we saw during our time on the water.Glenn Cameron Jr
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A perfectly hooked red snapper, which are sometimes referred to as "genuines."Glenn Cameron Jr
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View from the bridge.Glenn Cameron Jr
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We found a scattered weedline on Saturday.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Rhonda fighting a nice size genuine.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Rhonda and Shawn with the genuine red snapper.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Rhonda hooked up to another fish.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Moving to another rock.Glenn Cameron Jr
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We used Mustad Ultra Point 6/0 and 7/0 hooks, 6- and 8-ounce weights along with 50-pound Ande fluorocarbon leader. Snapper have good eyesight so fluorocarbon is necessary. There was no current, but if there had been, we would have increased the size of our weights.Glenn Cameron Jr
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The bottom rig.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Our bait station consisted of a cutting board for our bonito and chopped-up baitfish. We'd chop up some of the baitfish to chum for the snappers. We also had our livewell the cutting station.Glenn Cameron Jr
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We had a mixture of everything in our baitwell. Greenies, sardines, blue runners, grunts and pinfish made up the majority. The fish were mainly biting on pinfish and grunt plugs.Glenn Cameron Jr
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A close-up of our cut bait.Glenn Cameron Jr
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A close-up of one of our bait reels.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Ashley and Shawn with another red snapper.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Scott Briggs and Shawn with a triggerfish.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Ashley and Captain Glenn about to land a fish.Glenn Cameron Jr
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This commercial boat trolled by us looking for kings.Glenn Cameron Jr
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One of the duties of a mate is to take care of line tangles. Here, Shawn works on a big cluster.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Yet another pesky little shark. We must have caught at least 30 of these over the weekend.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Me at the helm after a good weekend of bottomfishing.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Daryl and Ashley Sudderth with some of the red snapper they caught.Glenn Cameron Jr
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Rhonda with a couple of fat genuines.Glenn Cameron Jr