The Mangrove Snapper, or Grey Snapper, is one of the most prevalent species of snapper that can be caught inshore. They are actually one of the few snapper species that can be caught regularly in Tampa Bay! But what makes them different from the other snapper species that can be caught in the gulf?
They were deemed the “Mangrove Snapper” because the juveniles spend most of their time in and around the mangrove shorelines. As they mature and venture out into the bay, they can be found congregating around structures such as bridges, piers, rock piles, and reefs. They are known for being hungry, predatory bottom dwellers and respond the best to live bait, such as pinfish, shrimp, and minnows.
While the Mangrove Snapper’s appearance is quite bland, they are often a welcome surprise when reeled in by fishermen targeting the shallow mangroves, flats, and seagrass beds. Even though they are one of the smallest snapper species, weighing in between 5 and 10 pounds on average, they can put up just enough of a fight to get you sweating.
The best part of catching a Mangrove Snapper is that their season in Florida is open year round! The minimum size for them to be kept is 10” and there is a bag limit of 5 per person within the 10 snapper aggregate bag limit.