Bay Snapper and Gulf Garfish

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Lane Snapper (Photo Courtesy NOAA)

Recently a caller to my radio program asked what kind of snapper was pinkish colored and had a black dot halfway between pectoral and dorsal fins.

The answer was a lane snapper.

Lane Snapper (Photo Courtesy NOAA)

These are a fairly common reef fish found around oil rigs, wrecks and of course natural reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.

He caught several of them over the span of a couple of weeks from the bank in Sabine Pass on the Texas-Louisiana border.

This was the first time I have heard of lane snapper caught anywhere other than in the Gulf itself. I have caught one at the nearshore oil rigs but this was definitely unique.

Mangrove snapper (gray snapper) are occasionally caught on the Upper Coast and are fairly common on the Middle and Lower Coast in the bay systems and seagrass flats.

On the same program, a reader called and reported catching two alligator garfish in the surf at Sea Rim State Park in the surf.

This is only the second time I have heard of garfish at the beach. The first was in 2015 when we ran a photo of Marcus Heflin of Christian Surf Fishing Adventures with a big gar he caught at Sea Rim.

When I was a little boy, my parents bought me a big box full of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazines at a thrift store. One of those magazines had a map of Sea Rim and fishing hot spots marked by species. One of those spots was for gar in the surf.

Interestingly the first time verified gar catches were reported there on my watch was in 2015.

Have you caught garfish in the surf anywhere on the Texas coast? If so we would like to hear your reports and see any photos or videos. Email them to [email protected].

Chester Moore, Jr.



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