How to Identify Popular Types of Snapper in Florida

One of the most common game fish that swim in Florida waters is the snapper. While many anglers enjoy catching the red snapper, there are several types of this fish species thriving in the warmer waters of the Sunshine State. Since there are more than 100 species worldwide, there’s a broad variety of this fish, and they all have their own distinctive colors and characteristics to make them easier to identify.

Avid anglers can expect to fight it out with snapper sizes around a meter in length. Let’s take a look at the five most popular types of snapper found in the Destin, Florida region.

Red Snapper

As one of the most popular varieties in Florida, the Red snapper is a fantastic fish because of its ability to grow up to 50 pounds. When in season, this fish is often found around areas like piers and harbors, as well as in waters offshore of the Panhandle. Some of their more distinctive features include:

  • Vibrant red body
  • Silvery belly
  • Long triangle face
  • Deep red eyes

Mangrove or Gray Snapper

Mangrove snappers populate the saltwater depths of Florida’s surrounding ocean and gulf areas. Sometimes referred to as the Gray snapper, they sometimes hang out around mangroves as well as by coral reefs, rocky underwater terrain and near the shoreline. Some of their identifiable characteristics are:

  • Muddy brown color
  • Vertical stripes made of red and orange spots
  • Fins have a reddish hue on the edges
  • Two noticeable canines in their upper jaw

Yellowtail Snapper

A smaller species of snapper, the yellowtail is very easy to spot because of its bright yellow hues. This fish prefers to eat shrimp and they live in depths of up to 300 feet while living off Florida’s coast during the summer. Other key distinctions besides that yellowtail are:

  • A solid body length yellow stripe
  • Bluish green and yellow spots on top
  • Light pink and yellow striping along its body
  • Very prominent yellow forked tail

Mutton Snapper

For a challenging angling experience, consider catching one of the larger of the species, the Mutton snapper. Found in Southern Florida during its spawning season from spring until fall, it likes to eat snails and small fish. These fish enjoy inland spots with mangroves and other small canals but can also be found in the Gulf coastal areas. Some identifiable features include:

  • Brownish-green top side coloration
  • Reddish lower fins
  • Eyes lined with blue
  • Teeth look like a v-shape

Cubera Snapper

Florida is also the proud home to the largest snapper variety known as the Cubera snapper. This massive fish comes in at a whopping 110 pounds and thrives around shorelines and rocky underwater outcrops and reefs. Their bodies have only a few notable features like:

  • Dark reddish-brownish torso
  • Delicate blue fringe on its fins
  • Canine teeth that stick out of both jaws
  • Large triangle shape of teeth

Florida has additional snapper species that live in the abundant waters surrounding the state which are home to varieties like:

  • Schoolmaster
  • Mahogany
  • Dog
  • Blackfin
  • Vermilion
  • Silk
  • Lane

Book Your Destin Fishing Charter Soon

Snapper season has a limited period for fishers to reel in their fair share of these amazing fish. If you’ve planned a vacation to Destin, Florida, to experience the excitement of capturing a snapper, book with a well-known and trusted fishing charter service locally. A local company’s knowledge and expertise about the fishing waters surrounding the area is invaluable for your fishing charter adventure.

Boggy Bayou Guide Service is your premier Destin fishing charter service and creates the adventure of your lifetime on the beautiful waters of the Gulf. You won’t regret experiencing why Boggy Bayou Guide Service is the premier charter company in Destin, Florida. Contact us today at 850-499-6644 for your next snapper fishing charter.


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