Red snapper season opens off Florida coast

Captain Paul Nelson loaded baitfish and ice into his boat for a fishing trip on Wednesday, but like many local fishermen he’s already looking forward to the red snapper season that starts Friday.

“Looks like the weather’s going to hold. It should be good,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be a busy weekend, with a lot of snapper caught.”

The recreational season opens Friday and runs through Sunday. The commercial season opens Monday and runs until the catch limit is met. Nelson plans to take out a private boat on Saturday, then start Monday on the commercial season, delivering his catch to King’s Seafood, a seafood dealership in Port Orange.

Both commercial and recreational fishermen hope the brief season will soon become longer, while state and federal officials hope participating anglers will help them gather the information that could be crucial to efforts to determine whether longer red snapper seasons could be re-established.

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