Gulf Snappers Fish identifications in the Gulf of Mexico has 11 types. Due to many types of snappers in the gulf, many anglers new to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico has no knowledge about the many types of snapper fish that is located in the Gulf.
Anglers landed these snappers and do not realize they are illegal or out of season, because they lack the knowledge to identify them. My many years of knowledge and research, I have come up with a method of identifying Gulf fishes to help the average angler identify them.
This blog will explain Gulf Snappers Fish identifications in the Gulf of Mexico to all who read it. This will help Anglers avoid costly tickets from the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) due to landing and keeping illegal fish. Anglers come to Florida to have an awesome time fishing and getting costly and pricey tickets can cause a great outing to become a nightmare when money starts to come out their pockets due to not being able to id what snapper they have caught.
I plan on educating them and this knowledge will help them keep their money in their pockets to purchase what they want and not pay FWC fines.
Common Name: Red Snapper
Scientific Name: Lutjanus campechanus
Weight: 15 – 35 pounds on average
Length: 24 – 39 inches
- The Red Snapper body and fins are pinkish red in color, lightening to a white underside furthermore Juvenile red snapper may also exhibit bluish stripes on their sides.
- Red Snapper lives at depths of 33 – 620 feet with older, larger fish tend to prefer the cooler, deeper spots. By the same token, they inhabit ledges, rocky outcroppings, and wrecks.
As a matter of fact, wintertime northern red snapper moves offshore to avoid the cooler, shallow inshore waters.
- Lower Limit: 50 degrees.
- Optimum Range: Between 55 and 65 degrees.
- Higher Limit: 70 degrees.
- Red Snappers is bottom predators feeding on shrimp, squid, octopus, smaller fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.
Common Name: Lane Snapper
Scientific Name: Lutjanus synagris
Size: Length: 14 – 20 inches
Weight: 1 – 4 pounds
- Lane snapper have pink to red upper sides and backs with a green tinge. The lower sides and belly are silver with a yellow tinge. The head has 3 or 4 yellow stripes running from the snout to the eye. There are eight to ten yellow to pink horizontal stripes on their sides, and three or four stripes below their anterior dorsal ray. There is a diffuse black spot below the soft portion of the dorsal fin. All fins are yellow to red.
- Lane Snappers live around reefs, structures and vegetated sandy bottoms in shallow inshore waters. Once established, adult snappers remain in the same area for their entire lives.
- Lane Snappers are opportunistic predators, feeding nocturnally on smaller fishes, shrimp, cephalopods, gastropods, and crabs.
Common Name: Cubera Snapper
Scientific Name: Lutjanus cyanopterus
Length: 3 – 5 feet.
Weight: 40 – 125 pounds.
- Generally gray or dark brown and may have slight reddish tinge with pale to dark gray sides. There is a bluish tinge on the anal and ventral fins. The caudal fin is a light gray in color and the pectoral fins are usually a translucent or gray. Juveniles have a light barred pattern that fades away as an adult.
- The Cubera Snappers is solitary reef dweller typically Living inshore or nearshore. They often associate with rocky ledges, overhangs and structures at depths up to 175 feet. Immature fish typically inhabit inshore mangrove areas and seagrass beds that offer some protection from predators.
- The Cubera Snapper is an aggressive carnivorous feeder. Their prey primarily consists of fish and crabs, however mature fish often feed on large crustaceans including lobsters.
Think you can identify these snappers? Take the Red Snapper Quiz#1