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Labor Day weekend is perfect for Gulf reef fishing; last weekend for red snapper, first weekend for gray triggerfish

News Release

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943 or

If you haven’t caught any red snapper this season or if you have been dreaming about gray triggerfish opening back up, the long Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to get on the water.

The 2017 recreational red snapper season in both Gulf state and federal waters will close for the year on Sept. 5. This season was open in state waters Saturdays and Sundays May 6-21; daily May 27 through June 18; and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays June 23 through Sept. 4, including July 3, 4, and Sept. 4.

Also during Labor Day weekend, the limited fall gray triggerfish season will start ramping up in Gulf state waters.

Both species will be open to harvest Sept. 1-4 (red snapper in Gulf state and federal waters and gray triggerfish in Gulf state waters only).

Gray triggerfish will also be open to recreational harvest in state waters Sept. 9 and 10, and Oct. 7, 8, 14 and 15. This season closed in both state and federal waters earlier this year and remains closed in federal waters through Dec. 31.

In Gulf state waters, the red snapper season is open to all recreational anglers, and includes those fishing from for-hire vessels that are not federally-permitted.

In Gulf federal waters, this season does not apply to federally permitted for-hire vessels, which had a separate season in June and July. 

If you plan to fish for red snapper in Gulf state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, you must sign up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal is required). To learn more, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Reef Fish Survey” under “Reef Fish.” Sign up today External Website at

Learn more about red snapper at by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers.”

Learn more about gray triggerfish at by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”

FWC Facts:
Florida's largest estuary, Tampa Bay, covers 440 square miles and has more than 300 species of inshore fish.

Learn More at AskFWC