Snapper Fisheries

There are over a dozen commercial species of snapper caught in the Florida Keys, but the Yellowtail is by far the most dominant. Most commercially caught Yellowtail are between 1 and 3 pounds, though they may occasionally reach 6 pounds. All fish are caught with a single hook on a single line, and is one of the most difficult fisheries to earn a full time living.

The Yellowtail live in schools near the bottom, but must be chummed to the top, in order to catch enough to be profitable. The fish are typically chummed to the surface with ground baitfish placed in a net bag and hung behind the boat.

A fisherman may survive with 200 lb catches during the winter months, but must produce 400-600 lbs a day during the summer months.

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