Is Galveston red snapper fishing with Texas Deep Sea Fishing Charters the best – well yes, because we manage our permits and license such that, on our boat, you may fish for and keep red snapper 24/7 everyday of the year.
Texas snapper fishing in Galveston as well as waters off of Freeport Texas has been remarkably good even fantastic recently. The red snapper has made a nice rebound in the past 10 years, or as many might say the snapper were always there the fisheries management people just couldn't count. Either way, the red snapper seems to be
quite plentiful with numbers increasing each year. And just in time to find the many new artificial reefs that have recently been deployed out of all major Texas Ports.
This paragraph may seem complicated, but all you really need to know is red snapper fishing with Texas Deep Sea Fishing Charters is 365 days per year. We fish for snapper in both Texas state waters and federal waters. Texas has no snapper season and we fish Texas in cooler months for a bag limit of 4 fish per person and a minimum length of 15 inches. The Feds have an annual
snapper season, recently June 1 thru late July where we fish for a limit of 2 fish and a minimum length of 16 inches. Texas waters snapper fishing is best when the waters cool between October and April and in recent years we are landing numerous snapper limits with some sow snapper up to 20 lbs in Texas waters. Since summer snapper fishing in Federal waters is far better than Texas waters, we relocate our Federal reef fish permit onto the boat and fish Federal waters in the summer. And, with our Federal Pelagic permit, the Federal
waters snapper trips frequently include catches of other snapper species as well as king mackerel, ling, mahi mahi and /or shark.
The NMFS website provides an extensive history of red snapper fishing https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/history-management-gulf-mexico-red-snapper check it out. Basically red snapper fishing off of Galveston Texas as well as Freeport TX has well over a 100 year history and remained unregulated until the 1980s when depletion of the snapper stock was first observed. In the 80s and 90s catch and length limits were inposed as well as
requiring shrimpers to install gear on their nets that would release juvenile snapper. These measures improved the stock but came up short of providing protection required to return the stock to sustainable levels. So in 2005 the NMFS took some extreme measures to reduce snapper mortality. First they cut commercial and recreational quotas by 45%, they implemented a recreational red snapper fishing season in Federal waters, which created extensive controversy especially when it resulted in a season that was less than 1 week. Then the Feds published a “rule” stating Federally permitted
charters boats could not retain red snapper, even in Texas waters, when the federal season was close. Did these measure get the job done or were the red snapper always plentiful? You decide, But in any case, a third party group performed a Gulf red snapper count and published the results in 2020. They found that the red snapper stocks were at least twice as much as previously report by the NMFS and Gulf Council. The fisheries management organizations appear to have accepted this much larger stock count and we expect some big changes – all positive - in the near future. Looks like we will be enjoying Texas red snapper fishing 24/7 for some years to come