Gray Snapper

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Gray Snapper

Species Information

Scientific Name:Lutjanus griseus
Common Names:mango, mangrove snapper, gray snapper, grey snapper, sarde grise, caranha, caballerote
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore
Ideal Temp:68-81°F (20-27°C)

About Gray Snapper

The mangrove snapper or gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) is a species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean Sea. The species can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including brackish and fresh waters. It is commercially important, as well as being sought as a game fish. It can also be found in the aquarium trade.

Its color is typically greyish red, but it can change color from bright red to copper red. It has a dark stripe running across its eye if observed from the top when it is under water. This species can reach a length of 89 cm (35 in), though most do not exceed 40 cm (16 in).

The mangrove snapper can be confused with the cubera snapper or black snapper, L. cyanopterus. Mangrove snapper are typically much smaller than cubera, but when they are of similar size, the two species can only be distinguished by examining the tooth patch on the inside roof of the mouth. Many specimens caught in Florida, specifically Punta Gorda, are actually misidentified dogtooth or dog snapper, L. jocu. The best way to distinguish between the two species is the dog snapper has a lighter triangle of color with a blue band under the eye and large, and sharp fangs in the front (canines), hence its common name. These fangs can deliver a painful bite, even in a small fish. The mangrove snapper feeds mostly on small fishes and crustaceans. 

The mangrove snapper is one of the most common species of snapper in warmer regions. It can be found in many areas from canals to grass flats, as well as in open water. Mangrove snapper also prefer structure, such as docks, mangroves, shipwrecks, and debris. Most mangrove snapper in the open water are generally found near bottom structure or reefs. They can be found at depths from 5 to 180 m (16 to 591 ft) though are mostly found at less than 50 m (160 ft).

Mangrove snapper are common targets for anglers, and are highly prized for their light and flaky flesh. They can be found year around and are often found in the mangroves, and around docks or other structures. They are easy to catch, which makes fishing for them ideal for beginner anglers. In addition, they are usually found in schools, so catching many in a short period of time is not uncommon. They are relatively strong for their size, and they put up a good fight when hooked. They can be caught on a variety of baits, but are typically caught with live or frozen shrimp, squid, pilchards, mullet, ballyhoo, pinfish, and occasionally on artificial lures or baits. Most mangrove snapper are caught on light to medium tackle, and typical catches range from 8 to 14 in long (0.5-2.0 lbs) in shallow or in-shore waters, and up to 20 in long (about 5 lb) in deeper waters. Larger fish are uncommon, but not rare.

Gray Snapper Fishing

World Record:18 lbs 10 oz ( 8.45 kg)
# Fish Caught:459226 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1844 12:00:00 AM and located at 25.95619, -97.14556.
Latest Record:3/27/2024 3:01:36 PM and located at 26.74898, -82.25452.
Common Techniques:Bottom Fishing, Casting, Jigging
Popular Lure Types:Bottom Rig, Jigs, Soft Plastics
Fishing Spots:388 Gray Snapper fishing spots.

Latest Gray Snapper Fishing Reports and Spots

3/5/24 12 Hour Trip - 3/5/2024 11:10:00 AM

12 Hour Fishing Report 3/5/2024   This 12 hour trip leaves the dock at 7:00. After a quick stop to pick up our bait traps we had about a 2 hour (View)

MANGO HOLE N.W. - 8/1/2023 3:17:28 PM


MANGO HOLE NORTH - 8/1/2023 3:17:27 PM


MANGO HOLE SOUTH - 8/1/2023 3:17:27 PM


6/9/23 44 Hour Red Snapper Trip - 6/9/2023 12:38:00 PM

    This Red Snapper trip left the dock on 6/9/23 at 10pm. Once again the weather was wonderful. The seas were calm at only 1ft or less and we w (View)

6/5/23 44 Hour Red Snapper Trip Report - 6/5/2023 9:17:00 AM

These trips leave the dock at 10pm and it was setting up to a beautiful voyage. The weather was wonderful. We had close to a full moon and only (View)

May 20 2023 - 5/20/2023 5:39:00 PM

Local clients Maria and Elissa booked me for a half day after almost a year of them working way too much.  They always like to fish for dinner (View)

18 Hour Night Snapper Hunt 5/12 - 5/17/2023 11:51:19 AM

    We got everyone loaded up and set out around 6pm. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed a beautiful ride out the river seeing all the fanta (View)

30 Fathom Charter 3/31/23 - 3/31/2023 5:15:00 AM

Hello all this past weekends group charter wanted to get back early on Palm Sunday so we changed up the departure time and got underway at noon (View)

4/22/19 30 Fathom Elbow - 4/22/2019 2:13:00 PM

Beautiful weather greeted the Gulfstar as it headed into the crystal waters of the Gulf of Mexico in search of some Tuna. The 1st night saw a de (View)