If you’re looking to target snapper in Bradenton or surrounding areas, you will find that mangrove snapper are the prolific species in this inshore fishery. As the name implies, mangrove snapper can be found congregated at the roots of mangrove trees. This makes backcountry fishing particularly special in the area as you will also find snook, tarpon, sea trout, and redfish in the same areas.
Heading outside of the inshore fishery, along the coast, and out into offshore waters, snapper can be found on reefs and wrecks. This is where larger species live, but even mangroves can be again found out this way. The other species that show up out here include lane, mutton, and red snapper.
Many snapper species have regulations that need to be followed, but the most caught species in the area, mangrove snapper, have no seasons and a healthy bag limit is state waters (5 per person within a 10 snapper aggregate bag limit) and need to be at least 10″ total length. If you found yourself offshore in federal waters, the bag and size changes a bit; 10 per person within a 10 snapper aggregate bag limit and a minimum total length of 12″. To understand all of the regulations regarding each species of snapper, it is best to visit the FWC Snapper Regulations Page.
Snapper will readily eat shrimp, baitfish, and some lures.