For once recently, we have a great marine forecast by the National Weather Service.
With the 2019 red snapper season set to open Saturday, a better forecast could not greet offshore anglers. The forecast reads as follows:
“Winds and seas will decrease further tonight as the pressure gradient relaxes in response to a weak cold front sagging down into Southeast Texas. This quiet pattern is forecast to persist into the weekend, as high pressure builds into the area.”
Light winds in the 5 to 10 knot range are predicted all weekend and at press time there were no threatening conditions such as thunderstorms to have to work around.
Recreational red snapper anglers deserve this break and hopefully during the weekend we will learn where the snapper are being caught.
Red snapper are widespread over the Gulf of Mexico and normally can be found around structure and reefs beginning about eight miles out. The concern a lot of anglers have this season is how the deluge of fresh water from all of the heavy floods will affect the schools.
There is a lot of concern that the low salinity levels have pushed the fish farther out into the Gulf; however, this weekend we should have a good test of the waters to see where this prized table fare ended up.
In federal waters, which begin nine nautical miles from shore, there is a two-fish limit with a minimum length of 16 inches.
In the state of Texas waters, inside the nine-nautical mile line, the season is open year-round and has a four-fish limit with a minimum length of 15 inches.
Unfortunately, most red snapper in Gulf waters out of Galveston are caught in federal waters.