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'splain me this snapper limit, pls #13196506 06/26/19 09:39 AM
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JohnRussell Offline OP
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Ya know, never really paid attention to the snapper limit...because I was always with a guide or never really fished outside of the season or caught/kept more than 2.

So, my thinking...boat will not be ready till end of July....beginning of August. I love snapper.. who doesn't..... right? So, looked at the regulations.

I thought the season ended July 12th, but, I read that the season starts June 1 and is expected to be 97 days.

So, here is what I read, and the questions:

"AUSTIN- The private recreational angler red snapper season opens Saturday, June 1, 2019 for a projected 97-days in federal waters. Red snapper fishing is open year around in state waters. The season length is based on historical landing data, last year’s fishing effort data and the increase in the state’s allocation from the 2018 stock assessment. Bag and size limits will remain unchanged; 2 fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and 4 fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters."

1 - Let's say I go fishing in state waters and I have 2 people on my boat. I can keep 4 fish per person so long as they are over 15"?

2 - The dates are federal dates. Does this also apply to state dates? I know, silly question for someone that is considered "experienced", but.. I tend to be like many guys and seasonal.. i.e. by the time Snapper season ends, I am on to tuna, then deer, then ..you get it. Now that I am approaching getting the latest boat set up, my mind is thinking of how to get snapper this year lol.. so, I want to better understand this idiotic legal jargon they do :P

3 - How the heck do they tell if you caught them in state vs federal water?

Anyway, you get the idea...just curious for the experienced explanations.

Wish the dang top was installed, I sure want to go fishing heh

Russ


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Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13196584 06/26/19 12:44 PM
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State waters dates are year-round, and state waters are out to 9 nautical miles.

If you get checked by a game warden, coast guard, etc., more than 9 miles out and you have red snapper onboard, you're likely to have problems. Not sure how they would tell at the dock, but if they saw you offload tuna and red snapper on the same haul, you'd probably have to answer some questions.


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Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13196636 06/26/19 01:46 PM
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I've wondered the same thing. Either ask a Game Warden in hopes he knows the answer or Contact someone with TPWD in Austin !! I think I will email them shortly and see what they say. Answers always take a few days.


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Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13196661 06/26/19 02:04 PM
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I found it to be relatively simple. If you are over 9 miles out, you should only have max 2 snaps per person and they need to be over 16". If you are less than 9 miles out, you can have 4 over 15". You will likely only get checked in state water or at the dock and they will take your word for it on where you caught them. If you get checked offshore in fed waters, I bet you would be fined for the state water fish.

Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13196752 06/26/19 03:34 PM
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JohnRussell Offline OP
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Yea, that was what I was thinking, all good points. See, colder weather.. nice to go out and get Tuna, right.. but, on the way back.. ya go, "hey Bill..." (well, if you have a Bill onboard, otherwise that would be really wierd, right?) anyway.." Hey, Bill.. want some snapper ? Let's stop at that rig".. and.. how the heck do you explain that one, right?

Heh.. anyway, was curious.. never really went after Snapper on other boats, but always was curious and now that I have the chance to possibly go further out more often, could be a "thing".. so.. eh, will ask some TPWD folks, see what they say.

Thanks fellas!

Will update here with what I find too.

Russ


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Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13196761 06/26/19 03:49 PM
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JohnRussell Offline OP
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Okay - I spoke with Officer Samuel Paget who is one of the Game Warden's for Nueces County, TX (Port Aransas). He stated that it is pretty common practice to go fish for, say, Tuna... and then come back with Snapper.

The responsibility of proof is on the officer, not the fishermen, to prove the fish were caught illegally. i.e. if you plan to come back with Tuna and snapper, or, hell.. if you HAVE snapper, just make sure you are not at mile 9.5 ...when they ride up on you in a boat. At the dock, they will simply ask.

So, there ya go. In court, they would have to prove you got them outside of 9 miles.

I, personally, would not push the limit on their trust and catch them, then go BACK out of the 9 mile limit... just sayin.. :P

Russ


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Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13196937 06/26/19 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnRussell


I, personally, would not push the limit on their trust and catch them, then go BACK out of the 9 mile limit... just sayin.. :P

Russ


That would be illegal. You can not be in Federal waters with more than 2 snapper each at anytime. Catch tuna, whatever, then enter state waters for snapper on the way back. Do not reenter Federal waters with more than 2 snapper per person. It's really very simple.


David





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Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: Day0ne] #13196947 06/26/19 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Day0ne
Originally Posted by JohnRussell


I, personally, would not push the limit on their trust and catch them, then go BACK out of the 9 mile limit... just sayin.. :P

Russ


That would be illegal. You can not be in Federal waters with more than 2 snapper each at anytime. Catch tuna, whatever, then enter state waters for snapper on the way back. Do not reenter Federal waters with more than 2 snapper per person. It's really very simple.


I get that, I was simply stating that I would not be caught out there, so do the snapper fishing on the way in. By the way, it is very simple, so long as you do not assume. Either way, it is not illegal to catch two snapper and go out to federal water, it would be a risk to try to say you caught them and then went out....while we are correcting folks, figured to clarify.

A TPWD officer could assume you caught them... it would be their burden of proof to say you did catch them in Federal water, and then you would have to have this big hoopla of where and when etc.

Best to not risk it, that was the point I was making. While not illegal, it can be a costly battle to fight.

Not trying to be a smartalec, David....just clarifying my statement heh

Russ


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Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13202609 07/02/19 07:24 PM
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So I called the game warden and asked this question.

"Can I go to FEDERAL waters and catch my two snapper and then come back to state water and catch my four STATE snapper?"
- the answer was: You could only do one or the other. You could not do both in the same trip.

Federal water snapper limit =2
State water snapper limit=4
Texas red snapper bag limit is 4 (Quantity of a species of a wildlife resource, such as a fish, that may be taken in one day.)
*so can I have two federal and two state snapper in one day?

What I read here says you can have 6...."AUSTIN- The private recreational angler red snapper season opens Saturday, June 1, 2019 for a projected 97-days in federal waters. Red snapper fishing is open year around in state waters. The season length is based on historical landing data, last year’s fishing effort data and the increase in the state’s allocation from the 2018 stock assessment. Bag and size limits will remain unchanged; 2 fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and 4 fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters."


I followed his interpretation and called it a day but the word "AND" is throwing me off. I'm thinking two different game wardens, judges, or jury's would interpret it differently too. Most all of us obey that law and follow the rules and want to maximize our catch limits. It would be so much easier if they would just say you can have 2, 3, or 4 PERIOD during federal snapper season. We know that the bigger snapper are out in federal waters and I bet the game warden does too, so if you hit the dock with four donkey snapper and claimed to catch them in state water they would know you're full of it and probably give you a hard time.


Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13202618 07/02/19 07:29 PM
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No way would you be allowed 6.. heh. It is 4 total bag limit in state waters.

Just as you could not catch 2 and go out to federal waters and try to convince/prove you caught two in state waters, you cannot come back into state waters and catch 4 extra ones and claim 2 came in federal waters.

The daily bag limit is bag limit.. not catch limit.

You can only have 4 in possession, period....

Russ

Last edited by JohnRussell; 07/02/19 07:29 PM.

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Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: JohnRussell] #13202685 07/02/19 08:22 PM
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I see what you are saying and it makes sense to me. I wonder what the lawmakers really wanted then... I can't remember but didn't they close State water snapper season during Federal snapper season last year?

Maybe we (rec guys) are so used to getting screwed over that we cant even imagine being allowed to keep 6 snapper ea. in a trip. (hahaha). This was pulled right off of the Texas Parks and Wildlife outdoor annual. If you took out the word "AND" and replaced it with "OR" would that make sense as to one or the other? I'm just confused/curious.

"...."AUSTIN- The private recreational angler red snapper season opens Saturday, June 1, 2019 for a projected 97-days in federal waters. Red snapper fishing is open year around in state waters. The season length is based on historical landing data, last year’s fishing effort data and the increase in the state’s allocation from the 2018 stock assessment. Bag and size limits will remain unchanged; 2 fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and 4 fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters."

Re: 'splain me this snapper limit, pls [Re: Skipper Chuck] #13203248 07/03/19 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck.M
I see what you are saying and it makes sense to me. I wonder what the lawmakers really wanted then... I can't remember but didn't they close State water snapper season during Federal snapper season last year?

Maybe we (rec guys) are so used to getting screwed over that we cant even imagine being allowed to keep 6 snapper ea. in a trip. (hahaha). This was pulled right off of the Texas Parks and Wildlife outdoor annual. If you took out the word "AND" and replaced it with "OR" would that make sense as to one or the other? I'm just confused/curious.

"...."AUSTIN- The private recreational angler red snapper season opens Saturday, June 1, 2019 for a projected 97-days in federal waters. Red snapper fishing is open year around in state waters. The season length is based on historical landing data, last year’s fishing effort data and the increase in the state’s allocation from the 2018 stock assessment. Bag and size limits will remain unchanged; 2 fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and 4 fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters."


The part you are missing is the state water bag limit is 4 fish, meaning that you cam never be in state water with more than 4 fish in your possession, no mater where they were caught, just as you can never be in federal water with more than 2 fish, once again, no matter where they were caught. The word "and" would be correct, since it is stating the bag limit in both state and federal water. Believe me, this has been hashed over many times.


David





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