Mutton Snapper

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Mutton Snapper

Species Information

Scientific Name:Lutjanus analis
Common Names:mutton snapper, mutton fish, king snapper, virgin snapper, ariocó, caranho, caranho-vermelho, cioba, sioba, vermelho-de-fundo, carde clair, oreille noire, sorbe, vivaneau sorbe, lucjan muton
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore
Ideal Temp:60-70°F (15-21°C)

About Mutton Snapper

The mutton snapper is a fish of the Lutjanidae family. Largely a Caribbean species, they can be found from North Carolina to South America. They prefer low-relief reef structure searching for fishes, shrimps, crabs, squid, and snails. In the Florida Keys, they may be encountered in shallow water, over coralline bottom. In that habitat, they are very colorful with olive-tinted backs and red sides. In deeper water, they can easily be mistaken for red snapper (L. campechanus). Also a favorite of spear fishermen, the mutton snapper is an often difficult target, as they do not allow close approach.

Mutton snapper are a highly prized fish by saltwater anglers; they can be caught on a variety of baits, but are most commonly caught on live or frozen shrimp, whole or cut squid, minnows, and smaller bait fish (such as live or dead pinfish). Mutton snapper have been caught on artificial baits, but seem to prefer live bait. They can generally be found in deeper (50 to 200 ft or deeper) water, although catches (generally of juveniles and smaller fish) are not uncommon in more shallow water. They are also caught on the surface during night-fishing expeditions. Mutton snapper are typically known as great fighters relative to other snapper species, so are harder to land on lighter tackle. Many are often landed as a "bycatch" of anglers targeting other species of snapper or grouper.

Mutton snapper, especially adults, tend to be solitary, but can be seen in smaller schools. Their flesh is considered by most as excellent table fare. Like most of the snapper family, the meat is white, flaky and light; and is excellent prepared in a variety of ways.


  • Color olive green on back and upper sides
  • All fins below the lateral line having reddish tinge
  • Bright blue line below eye, following contour of operculum
  • Anal fin pointed
  • Small black spot below dorsal fin
  • V-shaped tooth patch on roof of the mouth

Mutton snapper are similar in appearance to lane snapper, L. synagris.  Mutton snapper's anal fin is pointed whereas it is rounded in the lane snapper.

Mutton snapper are an inshore species associated with grassbeds, mangroves, and canals.  Larger adults are  occasionally found on offshore reefs.

These snapper spawn in July and August.  Mutton snapper feed on fish, crustaceans, and snails.

Mutton Snapper Fishing

World Record:30.4 lbs. near Dry Tortugas
# Fish Caught:63724 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1861 12:00:00 AM and located at 21.59196, -79.43408.
Latest Record:3/25/2024 2:14:35 PM and located at 24.57183, -81.74587.
Common Techniques:Bottom Fishing, Jigging
Popular Lure Types:Bottom Rig, Jigs
Fishing Spots:256 Mutton Snapper fishing spots.

Latest Mutton Snapper Fishing Reports and Spots

April May & June Fishing Report 2024 - 3/25/2024 2:14:35 PM

April May & June Fishing Report 2024 For today's live action call 305-747-4650 Our KEY WEST Fishing is Exploding! Spring is full on Tarpon Perm (View)

Fishing Report!! Sunday March 24th 2024 - 3/24/2024 2:41:38 PM

The gulf has really come to life these past few weeks. Wahoo have been reported roughly 200′ of water. Mutton snappers from the 120′ range have (View)

Mutton Snapper - 3/19/2024 8:29:08 PM

Mutton are a tough fish. They tend to be found on the reef but can also frequently be caught off of wrecks. we catch them both trolling and bot (View)

Incredible Day! February 1-6 2024 - 2/11/2024 5:03:00 PM

This week I've been dealing with cold and windy conditions.  The average night time temperature has been 48 degrees and it's been blowing about (View)

mutton snapper - 2/2/2024 10:41:57 AM


Tough Weather But Still Good January 8-17 2024 Report - 1/18/2024 1:07:00 PM

Our Miami winter continues to throw some tough weather our way but the fishing continues to stay consistently good and definitely fishable.  Th (View)

Week Report January1-7 2024 - 1/7/2024 6:01:00 PM

This has been a solid week with daily trips and weather work  arounds.  It's been windy and cloudy in Miami for the most part this week but fis (View)

December 16-31 2023 Report - 1/1/2024 5:27:00 PM

All right finally the worst of the weather for this month was largely over and December 18 was the last day of the High winds and rain. The las (View)

Key West Fishing - 12/22/2023 12:07:59 AM

Key West Fishing Encompasses everything from Blue Marlin to Yellowtail snapper and all fish in between Fishing this December has been nothing s (View)

Day and Night Drift Fishing Trips Are Getting Good Action - 12/23/2023 11:39:36 AM

There’s a good bite happening now on our drift and anchor fishing trips. Mutton snappers are adding some bigger fish to mix of our regular catc (View)