High winds and seas are likely to coincide with this year’s three-day federal Red Snapper season that opens 12:01 a.m. Thursday and lasts through 12:01 a.m. Sunday, and many local recreational anglers have plans to venture south of the barrier islands to take advantage of the season.
National Weather Service meteorologist Alek Krautmann in Slidell said Tuesday afternoon that it is too early to tell if any marine advisories would be issued for Thursday’s opening.
“It looks like there will be southeasterly shore flow with wind up around 15 knots,” Krautmann said. “The seas will be 3 feet to 5 feet.”
The NWS Slidell office is responsible for monitoring marine conditions up to 60 miles offshore of the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts.
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Small craft advisories offshore for such conditions are relatively common, he said, and deep sea vessels should be more used to such conditions.
“During that time period for the Mississippi Sound the water will be 1 to 2 feet,” Krautmann said. “It is too early to tell whether there will be a marine advisory.”
Biloxi recreational fisherman Reed Guice said he had been looking forward to the federal Red Snapper season.
“I was planning to go out, but if it is 3-to-8-foot seas and 20 knot winds (as some reports suggest), I’m not,” Guice said. “I fear some people might and that bothers me.”
Guice said his late father, Wade Guice, a long-time Harrison County Civil Defense director, used to spend a lot of time rescuing fisherman from such conditions.
Meanwhile, some recreational fishermen have been upset by the short federal Red Snapper season this year and have staged protests of the short season.
The season for federally permitted for-hire charter vessels is 49 days – from 12:01 a.m. Thursday through 12:01 a.m. July 20.
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Public Affairs Director Melissa Scallan said the fisherman are likely to go out, despite weather conditions to take advantage of the short season.
Red Snapper season in Mississippi territorial waters opened 12:01 a.m. May 26 and will remain open through 11:59 p.m. Sept. 4.