PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The U.S. Department of Commerce announced an extension that will re-open the 2017 Federal Red Snapper season for recreational anglers for 39 weekend days.
This will give recreational fishermen substantially more days than they have ever had before to fish for Red Snappers.
Pam Anderson, Owner of Captain Anderson's Marina said this will really benefit local recreation fishers.
"The deeper you go, the further out you go, the deeper the water, the bigger the fish. People have been really disappointed this year because the private anglers that have all these boats and all these boat barns around here, they're not able to catch Red Snapper in federal waters except for those three days. So we're excited to see this for them," she said.
The deal is the result of a compromise. In exchange for more fishing days in federal waters, recreational fisherman are limited to catching Red Snapper in both state and federal waters to just weekends.
Owner of Howell Tackle, Rick Snellgrove, explained that there are only three days they are actually allowed to fish in both state and federal waters.
"If you're a state charter boat, you get the snapper fish Friday, Saturday, Sunday and that's it. So that means Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday you can't take a charter trip Snapper fishing," he said.
The rule will begin June 16th and go through Labor day, or September 4th, and includes July 3rd and 4th.
Snellgrove believes the extension will even be a great catch for the local economy.
"What it had done for that Thursday, Friday and Saturday that it did for that first weekend, I mean most everybody went fishing that was going fishing. All the stores were busy, and motels. Of course it's summer time too, and it will add a lot to Panama City and Panama City Beach," he said.
While some anglers wish the decision was made sooner, they are excited to be able to fish for Red Snappers on weekends that they had never been able to before.
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