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One of the most common species of snapper caught off the Atlantic coast is the vermillion snapper, and beautiful red snapper that is one of the world’s most delicious fish. They are found in tropical waters of the western Atlantic from Cape Hatteras to Brazil, the West Indies, and the Gulf of Mexico. Similar in appearance to red snapper, many are sold mistakenly as red snapper to people who don’t know the difference. When they are skinned and fileted, both fish are pretty much undistinguishable besides its smaller size and the lack of prominent snapper teeth, as well as by its rounded anal fin. With a rosy red above, fading to a pink color then almost white below, they are amazing fish. Vermilion snapper is a beautiful fish that deserves its own credit, both as a sport fish and later a meal.
These fish are normally found in large schools, which makes them a favorite for fishing charters and groups of anglers because of the action they provide. They put up a great fight, and tend to be found near large structures, reefs, or wrecks. They will usually feed a little deeper in the water and successful anglers with patience will see the most results. Chumming is also a popular way to get these fish started hitting bait. The vermillion snapper averages around three to four pounds. This smaller size means that light tackle can usually be used, making fighting these fish a lot of fun and readily available for any level of angler. Spinning tackle and 15 pound test line will provide an angler with the best speed and flexibility in order to catch these amazing fish. Some of the best bait is fresh squid, although they will also eat crab, shrimp, or other small fish. Fish close to the bottom offshore near rigs and artificial reefs and around the tops and bottoms of snapper banks. Knowing how these fish behave will help you determine how to catch them. You essentially have to put the bait wherever the fish are! Allowing the bait to move freely and presenting it in the most natural looking way will produce the most fish.
The best part about vermillion snapper fishing is that you can usually catch a lot of snapper quickly without having to anchor your boat. This means you can usually catch them fairly quickly using simple methods. One of the biggest challenges is getting them to the boat without other predators such as amberjack, barracuda, and sharks that also want a piece of the same fish. Because this fish is not usually targeted, most are caught while fishing for much larger fish such as grouper or marlin. That does not mean they are not a blast to catch and should be ignored, as most fishermen will agree that not only does this little fish put up a fantastic fight, it also has some of the best tasting meat from a fish that there is!