Preparation for Snapper Season
To fish in the Gulf or other Alabama coastal waters, anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Alabama saltwater fishing license. Any Alabama resident 65 or older or a lifetime saltwater license holder must have a current saltwater angler registration. The saltwater angler registration is free!
Also, all anglers 16 years of age and older who possess red snapper or other gulf reef fish are required to have an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement, so ensure you acquire this before your excursion!
And don’t forget about Snapper Check. Marine Resources will update catch totals weekly. Private boats landing red snapper in Alabama are required by law to complete one landing report per vessel trip of their harvested red snapper through Snapper Check before the fish are removed from the boat or the boat with the fish is removed from the water. Reporting of greater amberjack and gray triggerfish also became mandatory this year. Owners/operators of federally permitted charter vessels are also required to possess an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement and submit an Alabama Snapper Check landing report prior to red snapper, gray triggerfish or greater amberjack being landed in Alabama.
The Outdoor AL app is the easiest way to comply with Snapper Check. You can get the app from Apple and Android stores or online at www.outdooralabama.com. Paper reports and drop boxes are no longer available.
To illustrate how many red snapper live off the Alabama coast, our state has only three percent of the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, but 26 percent of red snapper from the Gulf are allocated to Alabama anglers. Alabama’s vast artificial reef program, which encompasses about 1,060 miles of offshore waters in 14 permit areas, is what makes everybody want to come to Alabama to fish for red snapper.
Don’t hesitate! Plan your trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast during red snapper season to fish on your own boat or book one of the many charter boats that call Alabama home.