(Illustration © Diane Rome Peebles)
Identification & Features
- Color olive green on back and upper sidesAll 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 an inshore species associated with grassbeds, mangroves, and canals. Larger adults are occasionally found on offshore reefs. Largely a Caribbean species, they can be found from North Carolina to South America.
These snapper spawn in July and August.
Mutton snapper feed on fish, crustaceans, and snails. They prefer low relief reef structure searching for fishes, shrimps, crabs, squid, and snails.
Catches average 7 to 13 kilograms (15 to 29 lb). They seldom exceed 15 kilograms (33 lb), and mahi-mahi over 18 kilograms (40 lb) are exceptional.
Angling Tips & TechniquesIn the Florida keys they may be encountered in shallow water, over coralline bottom. In that habitat, they are very colorful with an olive tinted back 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 don't allow close approach..
Hook Styles: 084, 190, 254, 25SS, 6331
Hook Styles: L1, L2, L3, L669, L197, L2004, L2004EL, L2005, L2007B, L2011S, L2020, L2022, L2013BM, L2045, L7228BP, L8197
LINE: Eagle Claw Clear Blue