Possessing Red Snapper in Florida Waters During Closed Season.

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  • Possessing Red Snapper in Florida Waters During Closed Season.

    I realize this isn’t an issue for most in Florida, but for those of us who live near the Alabama/Florida border, it is a continuing problem with ever changing rules (not sure about Georgia/Florida) and I have gotten conflicting answers to the question of possessing red snapper in Florida waters during closed season, so I called both FWC and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources today. I was thinking of heading over to Alabama during their extended season, and you used to be able to do that via boat if you had a valid license but not anymore.

    Both FWC and ADCNR were extremely nice and helpful, and I did not have to wait long for an answer. It was encouraging to see this kind of customer service from government agencies, even if I didn’t get the answer I was looking for, but there is absolutely no lee way. The bottom line is that you CANNOT possess red snapper in Florida waters during the closed season — period — even if you have a valid Alabama license and can demonstrate (via GPS) that you traveled by boat to Alabama and returned without stopping (the old rule). Once you cross back into Florida waters with snapper, you are in violation — no ifs, ands or buts.

    To possess red snapper (in your boat) in Florida during closed season, you must return to a port in a state that has an open season, so you could travel by boat to Alabama waters, catch red snapper and then go to a port (Orange Beach or Gulf Shores) drop off your catch, then return to Florida, or you could trailer to Alabama, launch and return to port in Alabama then return to Florida via roadway with your catch, but you would be in a jam if you got caught coming back to Florida in a boat with snapper during the closed season even if you caught them legally in Alabama.

    Here is the direct quote from FWC:

    “You cannot possess red snapper in Florida waters during the closed season.

    However, you can trailer your boat to Alabama, fish, and then trailer it back to Florida with your catch.”

    Thanks,
    Justin Wallheiser
    850-617-9623”

    So the only way to legally have red snapper in your boat is if it’s on a trailer and you’re coming back from a state with an open season. I hope this is clear and it helps someone if you were thinking of heading to Alabama for snapper.

  • #2
    Interesting, violates the letter of the law, but not the spirit!
    SoFla resident here but good to know about no leniency state to state.
    BWP

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bluewaterposer View Post
      Interesting, violates the letter of the law, but not the spirit!
      SoFla resident here but good to know about no leniency state to state.
      BWP
      Well there’s a bit of inconsistency in Florida’s laws. You can bring back fish from the Bahamas that are out of season in Florida.

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      • #4
        Kid you not, when it’s closed in AL and FL is open we leave Perdido Pass, go catch fish in FL waters, return through Pensacola Pass and clean them at a friends place on Old River, still within FL territory. Then they are delivered via vehicle back to AL and we ride boat back to Orange Beach.

        Guess you would have to do same in reverse order to be FL compliment.

        It’s nice states now have control but does create a bit of a conundrum during the week. AL just extended their season as harvest has been low according to whomever keeps up with that. Imagine poor weekend weather has kept catch down.
        ’19 Invincible 36 - 350 Verado’s Sold
        ’20 Invincible 35’ Cat, Quad Verado’s on order
        Fairhope & Orange Beach, AL

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tiretyme View Post
          Kid you not, when it’s closed in AL and FL is open we leave Perdido Pass, go catch fish in FL waters, return through Pensacola Pass and clean them at a friends place on Old River, still within FL territory. Then they are delivered via vehicle back to AL and we ride boat back to Orange Beach.

          Guess you would have to do same in reverse order to be FL compliment.

          It’s nice states now have control but does create a bit of a conundrum during the week. AL just extended their season as harvest has been low according to whomever keeps up with that.
          I wonder if it is something to due with the federal guidelines they said they would adhere to?


          Imagine poor weekend weather has kept catch down.
          Yep.. And, this is the exact reason why I wish they would just give each fisherman so many days a year to snapper fish.. Whatever day I want.. I know they will never do that, but it sure would be nice to go catch some snapper in late October, early November, like we used to do..

          2016 Tidewater 230 CC VF250 SHO
          Mobile, Al.
          Dauphin Island, Al.

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          • #6
            OK, now I will throw a FL kicker at you. Lets say Gags are legal in Federal waters but not State. You can go to Fed. water and catch them but better not stop in State waters with them on the boat and fish. Same if it is reversed, you could keep them in state but don't run across the line and fish afterwards.
            Small town S. W. Ga./St. James Fl.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Slough View Post
              OK, now I will throw a FL kicker at you. Lets say Gags are legal in Federal waters but not State. You can go to Fed. water and catch them but better not stop in State waters with them on the boat and fish. Same if it is reversed, you could keep them in state but don't run across the line and fish afterwards.
              Yeah, I know that when the state of Alabama first defied the fed's and opened/allowed fishing outside the fed time allowed, Blankenship (commissioner state conservation) said that, basically, fish at your own risk.. The fed's said they would ticket anyone who was found with snapper.. Of course, that was before the new administration..
              2016 Tidewater 230 CC VF250 SHO
              Mobile, Al.
              Dauphin Island, Al.

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              • #8
                My nieces husband is an ADCNR officer in Orange Beaxh. When states open, they recognize federal waters as open. When state is closed, don’t bring it to the dock.
                ’19 Invincible 36 - 350 Verado’s Sold
                ’20 Invincible 35’ Cat, Quad Verado’s on order
                Fairhope & Orange Beach, AL

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