The gray snapper is also known as the mangrove snapper, and is extremely common in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil. As a very important commercial fish, it is sought after by fisherman of all rank and experience. When fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, anglers often catch gray snapper due to its abundance.
Gray snappers are usually grayish-red, but can be bright brick red or copper red, as well. This fish is characterized by a dark stripe that runs over its eyes, which can be seen if observed from above. When the fish is feeding or otherwise excited, the dark stripe will become darker. The gray snapper is a smaller fish, typically measuring 16 inches across if fully matured, though some will get up to 35 inches. On record, the largest of this species was 44 pounds, but anything near this size is extremely unusual. Gray snapper can be fished during spring, summer, and fall.
Gray snapper is the most common snapper found in warmer waters, such as the Gulf. They roam frequently and can be found in grass flats as well as open water. However, they are often found in large quantities around wrecks, reefs, and other structures. Gray snapper eat smaller fish and crustaceans and spawn between June and August.
Hooking gray snapper is fairly easy, but they are well known for putting up a fight. A variety of bait, including shrimp, minnows, and squid, can prove useful in luring this species. At times, they can also be caught with artificial bait or spearfished, but often they’re hooked using light to medium tackle. Gray snappers are smaller in size in shallow waters and larger in the open sea.
Gray snapper is a fish prized for its light, flaky characteristics and is a common target for people fishing in the beautiful Gulf. The larger the fish, the stronger the flavor.