Summer is Here and So is Red Snapper Season!


By Pam Anderson

Red Snapper season officially opened June 1 for the Federally Permitted Charter and Headboats and we are all looking forward to taking you on a fun family experience in the Gulf of Mexico. Treasure Island, Pirates Cove, Lighthouse Marina and, of course, Capt. Anderson’s Marina all offer great fishing experiences.

Capt A Img 0756 (2)On the shorter headboat trips, many families are teaching their children to fish – no IT gadgets here! Deckhands provide bait, show you how to use it, give you a quick lesson on deep-sea fishing, and then it’s all up to you. You drop your line straight down to the bottom, take a couple of turns on the reel to get the slack out of the line and you are set. Smaller fish nibble at your bait, and thus steal it, so be sure to check your bait every now and then. When you get a bite, set the hook (pull up hard on your rod) then reel up quickly. If you don’t, you may lose the fish or it will run into the reef below and cut your line. While reeling, let your deckhand know you have a fish on so he will be ready to assist. He will take the fish off your line and put it on a stringer with your ‘fishing spot’ number on it. (Your spot number is on your fishing ticket. You will need that later to claim your fish at the dock.) In the meantime, all the fish caught are kept in a common ice box until the end of the trip.

On the longer trips, the more serious anglers are able to get out into deeper water. Although on both trips you have opportunities to catch fish, the longer the trip the more fishing time, of course. Also, as the saying goes, the deeper the water, the bigger the fish – not always true, but typically it is. The same fishing techniques apply in the deeper water.
Each trip has captains who have decades of experience; they will get you to the fish. The fish may not be hungry, but thankfully, they usually are.

Other tips you may consider: since fish don’t care for sunscreen or perfume, be sure to wash your hands of these things before handling your bait. Otherwise, wearing sunscreen is a very good idea, and we do not want to discourage you from protecting yourself from the sun.

Each trip has its perks… Early mornings right after sunrise all is quiet on the Gulf except the occasional seagull asking for your Cheetos – yes they love them! Be careful though, what goes in, comes out.

The later morning and mid-day trips give you a chance to ease into your day. No matter the time, you can usually see dolphins playing, an occasional turtle easing by, or a flying fish – yes they skim the top of the water for long distances.

The evening trip is special in that you can catch the sunset as you travel to the fishing grounds each night. It’s always a favorite for that reason and that it is cooler in the evening.

Red Snapper is not the only fish in the sea worth keeping, even though it is probably the most popular in our area. Gag Grouper season opens June 1, also; Red Grouper will remain open. And, even though it may not be as famous a fish, Vermilion snapper is available year-round and is a delicious mainstay of the local fishery.

Summer dates are booking quickly at the beautiful Event Center overlooking beautiful Grand Lagoon. Be sure to check out our new J’s Brewhouse with breakfast, sandwiches and drinks, Souvenir Shop and The Sugar Shack with Dippin’ Dots, dockside at the marina.

Signing off from,
Capt. Anderson’s Marina…Where the fish are always biting and the kids are always smiling.