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Red Snapper a pretty little fish. "Little" because that is the only size I have seen! Actually, I am told that the red snapper can get to 20 pounds or so. They are predominantly ocean going creatures, though they often invade Florida's coastal rivers in the autumn of the year.
Last week, my friend Shannon and I traveled south to the beautiful spring fed Weeki Watchie River. Much of the river is lined with small and large houses, however, the section nearest the Gulf of Mexico is lined only with sawgrass and cabbage palm trees.
Shannon has experienced the infusion of the little snapper fishes in years past, and he expected we would catch our limit of 5 keepers each. The fish need measure only 10 inches or more, so we were "certain" to bring home some fillets!
Among his favorite fishing "holes" was one up river in the shade of tall mimosa trees. Strangely, the hole was no more than 15 meters across but was over 30 meters deep! A virtual chimney! Lots of fish were hovering over the deep drop, but none was over 18 centimeters or so. Much like little bream or blue gills. They hit that way, too. Quick, attacking strikes, often taking the bit of shrimp but missing the hook point!
Other locations failed to improve the catch by much. One spot nearer the Gulf produced some larger snapper but still less than the required 26 centimeters!
Well, we had a wonderful, bright, sunshiny day, but not a single one of the little snappers measured over 25 centimeters! We did catch over 100 of the small fish using fresh, live shrimp - mostly cut into small pieces. No keepers, but we had a great time catching up on old times. Shannon and I were good friends and classmates back in high school some 50+ years ago. Wow! Can I be that old?!?

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