Anglers prepare for federal red snapper season - - The News for South Mississippi

Anglers prepare for federal red snapper season

Fisherman are excited about the the snapper season. (Photo source: WLOX) Fisherman are excited about the the snapper season. (Photo source: WLOX)

On the first day of the federal red snapper season, The Mary Walker Marina in Gautier bustled with activity.

From prepping boats and rigs, to buying ice, and preparing for a welcomed trip following the end of the three day state season, anglers like Gautier resident Joseph Whitley are excited.

"I'm really glad that they did it, it's really opened up my season a lot," Whitley said.

Laurel Resident Wesley Butler thinks the extended season will bring more anglers to South Mississippi.

"You were limited to three days, now we have 39 days and that's just a lot more fish and it just brings a lot more people down here," said Butler.

The 39 day season was announced by the Department of Marine Resources on June 14. The red snapper season is open in federal waters every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until September 4. It means a lot to recreational fishermen.

"You get more fishing weekends out of the year if you're not a big game fisherman and want to fish for red snapper, red fish, stuff like that," said Butler. "You can come down here and enjoy it, and catch good fish more weekends out of the year."

The longer federal season doesn't just mean a lot to these fishermen, but also to the communities of South Mississippi.

"It means more dollars," said Marina general manager Sylvia Waldsmith. "And it's not just for the marinas. It's for the whole tourism industry and the retailers, the motels, the gas stations, everybody has a part in this."

Waldsmith says the season being extended until Labor day means more fishermen in town every weekend, and that means big money for Coast businesses, and anglers agree.

"I think that will be fantastic for the community. I think if we have a more open season down here, more tourists will come in, have more snapper caught and a lot more people coming back," Whitley said.

Anglers are still required to take part in DMR's red snapper reporting program. Information for that program can be found at

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