The Bahamas Red Snapper
It is common, when going on fishing trips in Bahamas, to encounter the Red Snapper.
The Red Snapper is a type of fish that is ordinarily found on the Atlantic Coast of both North America and South America. The farthest north that they are usually found are off the coasts of the Carolinas.
They are usually found in the bottom edges of rocks, ledges, reefs, and wrecks. This is because they are bottom feeders. Red snappers are most commonly located at depths of 33 feet and 620 feet. The younger fish are found in shallow pools whose bottoms are either sand or mud.
A Red Snapper's body is usually a color that approximates pink. It has a white underbelly and red eyes. Its snout, which is a prominent feature, tends to be pointed. Beneath the snout is a mouth that is filled with very short teeth that closely resemble needles. It also has a pointed anal fin. The average fish of this kind is between 1 foot and 2 feet long and will weigh less than 10 pounds. However, they are able to reach up to 40 inches long and 50 pounds. The largest Red Snappers can live for extended periods of time, for up to 20 years.
Red Snappers eat meat, usually in the form of very small fish and crustaceans. The patterns of eating of the fish will change as the fish gets older. When this fish is considered to be a juvenile fish, they usually eat plankton. As the fish gets older, it will eat shrimp, small squid, and small octopi. The diet of Red Snappers change with the environment, which supports smaller sea life that the fish uses for food.
This fish is considered to be sexually mature when they are two years old. They usually reproduce between June and October and can do so multiple times within this time frame. The best spawning time for the Red Snapper is when it reaches the age of 10 years old.
Fishing in the Bahamas
It's no secret that the population of the Red Snappers have declined in recent years, due to their popularity as a commercial fish, as well as a game fish that is usually sought during fishing trips in Bahamas. Bycatch mortality is an issue that this species of fish faces. Smaller, juvenile red snappers can be caught by shrimp traps and subsequently die. Another problem that is threatening the population is discard mortality.
As a result of the population decline, limits have been placed on how many Red Snappers are allowed to be caught during a certain time frame, limiting the areas in which they are allowed to be fished, and reducing the amount of time that their season extends to. Tools have also been developed and required that will reduce the amount of the bycatch that this fish experiences, which will allow juvenile Red Snappers to live and grow to their full size.
In state water, in the Atlantic, there are two fish allowed of this type per person per day in the Atlantic ocean. In federal waters, however, the number of fish that are allowed to be caught of this type are limited to one.
Essentially, these fish can only be caught for a very short period of time while on fishing trips in the Bahamas. Check the dates for the waters that you are in before you go to make sure that you are staying within the guidelines set by the government.