How many different types of SNAPPER are there in Florida waters?
Snappers, particularly the red snapper, are quite common game fishes in Florida waters. Known to thrive in estuaries up to depths of 450 meters, they feed in freshwater in search of smaller fishes and crustaceans though a few species’ main diet consists of planktons. Florida is the perfect place for snappers to thrive since they prefer warmer climates. In perfect conditions, they can grow up to one meter in length.
All over the world, there are more than 100 species of snappers discovered. Some of them can be found in the waters of Florida. Here are the top five most popular snapper species in Florida:
The Red Snapper is the most popular snapper in Florida because of its amazing size which could grow from 3 pounds to 50 pounds. Areas to find it in the state during open season include bridges and piers, and also offshore on the continental shelf particularly off the Panhandle and Northern coasts.
Also known as the Gray Snapper, the Mangrove Snapper is also widespread in Florida’s saltwater. It is called as such because they congregate in small mangrove areas all around the state. Other than mangroves, juveniles can also be found inshore in inland waterways, tidal creeks, and grass beds while adults typically thrive nearshore and offshore in wrecks, rock, and coral reefs. Popular areas to catch it include the areas of Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sebastian, and Daytona.
Most distinguishable due to its yellow tail, the Yellowtail Snapper is smaller but just as tasty compared to its cousin, the Red Snapper. Feeding mostly on shrimps, it can be caught offshore in Florida up to depths of 300 feet. During the summer months, it is most abundant in the Florida Keys.
One of the largest snappers, the Mutton Snapper can be found in South Florida especially during the months from spring to fall when they spawn. It can be found in inland areas along mangroves and canals where it feeds on preys like smaller fishes and snails. It can also be sporadically caught in the Gulf Coast such as the Middle Ground.
This fish is the largest of the snapper family, growing up to more than 110 pounds in size. Juveniles can be found conglomerating inshore in grass beds while adults thrive nearshore and offshore in rocky reefs, ledges, and wrecks where they feed on fishes and crustaceans. The Cubera Snapper is mostly predominant in the Florida Keys especially during late summer when they spawn.
Other species of the Snapper family that can be found in Florida include the following: the Lane Snapper, Mahogany Snapper, Blackfin Snapper, Dog Snapper, Queen Snapper, Schoolmaster, Silk Snapper and Vermilion Snapper.