DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The Florida Red Snapper season begins June 17, 2022. On the docks of Destin Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis said the season will be a record 57-days long.

The 45-day summer season will begin on June 17 and continue through July 31. The 12-day fall season is the longest fall season since the beginning of state management and spans the following dates:

  • October 8-9
  • October 15-16
  • October 22-23
  • November 11-13 (Veteran’s Day Weekend)
  • November 25-27 (Weekend after Thanksgiving)

Gov. DeSantis and FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto said the decision to extend the season was made based on the data.

“We looked at the data as well,” said Barreto. “And we realized if we added weekends and kind of broke it up so it wasn’t just a concentrated fishing season that it gave more people an opportunity, especially working people who have to work during the week. And this will give an opportunity on the weekend to go fishing so that was the thinking behind it.”

“Snapper season is one of the most exciting times to be fishing in Florida, and I am excited to announce the longest season since the state took over management of red snapper,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “People travel from all over to enjoy the recreational opportunities we have in Florida that can’t be found anywhere else. Florida is proud to continue providing access and opportunities to all who want to experience the Fishing Capital of the World.”

Destin is known as the luckiest fishing village. With more than 300 vessels, Destin houses the largest fishing fleet in the nation.

Jennifer Adams with the tourism department said more than 2 million fishing trips every year in Okaloosa County. One captain alone took 10,000 anglers red snapper fishing in 2021.

“I think it’s amazing the governor has done the right thing,” said Destin councilman Jim Bagby. “You know tourism is our #1 industry in this town and he just helped us. He helped all these charter captains. He helped the community. He helped everybody that lives and works in this city by bringing people, particularly during the fall season when people normally don’t come down here as much, and now they’ll be coming veteran’s day.”

Adding fall weeks and weekends creates less of an off-season for Destin-Fort Walton Beach. The city says that will be a boost for the local community.

“I think it will boom the economy, particularly in the fall,” said Bagby. “You know, now we get some fall breaks that that will reinforce those weekends and those periods where people can come and as he said they put it on weekends where people who work five days a week not only from out of state but from other parts of this state can come back to Destin and fish for red snapper.”

Watch the full press conference below: