May June Are For Snappers

Mutton Snapper Mike holds up a nice mutton snapper

May 28th 2018 – Now that the rains are gone its time to get re-focused on the meat on the reef. By that, I mean the snappers.

This last week here in the Florida Keys has been exceptionally soggy. With the massive late season push of sail fish that came through just before Sub Tropical Storm Alberto made his early hurricane season appearance. We may have lost our minds – er I mean – focus on the meat on the reef in the for of tasty snappers. Yellowtail, muttons and mangrove to be more specific. We may have also forgot that its Grouper season right now. That started May 1 for the South Atlantic.

Snappers Galore

Yellowtail Snapper

A nice sized Yellowtail snapper for this angler reef fishing Key West.

The snappers tend to do their spawning in April, May, June and July here in the Florida Keys and that makes for fat and relatively stupid fish that like to eat a lot. From what I have seen in my years of fishing Florida Keys that makes for a nice box of fish when I take my people reef fishing.

It’s not uncommon to put together a nice box of yellowtail snappers that range in size from 2-5 lbs. a 2lb Yellowtail snapper is about 18-20 inches long. The state limit on Yellowtail snappers is 12″ long to the tail and a bag limit of 10 per persons with your other snappers as an aggregate bag limit.

While reef fishing for yellowtail snappers, many times my anglers will add the mangrove snappers to the mix with some some nice 4-7lb fish. I call the mangrove snappers the dark meat. A very nice filet and well worth the space in your snapper bag limit.

Holding up the heavy spot is the mutton snappers. Florida Keys fishing charters consider the mutton snapper a trophy fish for its  hard fight and a filet that is as tasty as the rest.

Grouper Too

Last but not least the Grouper are always a nice filet to put in the box with your snappers. Thick, meaty and hard fighting you are allowed one of each species per person for grouper. We have red grouper, black grouper, gag grouper and scamp. Red grouper are most common and can get up to 20lbs pretty regularly. You can get out grouper fishing by going to the Reef or the Wrecks.

Key West For Reef Fishing

Yellowfin 36

Our Yellowfin 36 Center console is an excellent example of a Key West Reef fishing boat.

While the Florida Keys deep sea fishing can be better out of the upper keys such as Islamorada and Marathon. The reef fishing is better out of Key West. Key West is the end of the road if you are driving though the Florida Keys, but, not the end of the reef. Our reef extends out an additional 80 more miles to the West offering up some of the best grouper and snapper fishing in the State of Florida. We run out toward the Marquesas Islands to for snappers and grouper and sometimes as far as the Dry Tortugas. A really great opportunity to catch great tasting fish and show folks a great time here at Dream Catcher Charters out of Key West.

We have reef fishing charters From Islamorada to Key West. There are several ways to get out there. On the nicer days our backcountry fishing boats can get out to the reef for some snappers and grouper for a lot less cost than the larger reef fishing center consoles that we use. However, that can be a crap shoot with the weather. Our reef fishing center consoles are designed for the bigger waters and longer range to run but the cost of the trip follows the size of the boat. See our reef fishing Rates Page for more details.

Give us a Call and We will help you sort out what kind of Florida Keys fishing charter you may want. Or just answer your questions.

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About Capt. Steven Lamp
Veteran Key West Fishing guide Capt. Steven Lamp has been fishing the waters of the Florida Keys professionally since 1993. Specializing in Flats, Backcountry, Fly Fishing, Wrecks, Reef and Offshore fishing in Key West, Florida. Capt. Steven is also the founder and director of Dream Catcher Charters located in Key West, Florida.