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AKA: beeliner

Description: Vermilion snapper have relatively slender bodies with short snouts. The lower jaw projects slightly. The body is red on top and pale to silver white on bottom with irregular, narrow gold streaks below the lateral line. The dorsal fin is a rose color with a yellow margin. The caudal fin is red with a faint black margin.

Size: Vermilion snapper are found up to 25 inches long and 6 pounds. 

Sometimes confused with: red snapper

Habitat: Vermilion snapper are found in tropical waters of the western Atlantic from Cape Hatteras to southeastern Brazil, including Bermuda, the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico. The preferred habitat is irregular reef-like bottom in waters ranging in depth from 80 to 350 feet.

Eating habits: Vermilion snapper feed midway in the water column, sometimes coming to the surface. They forage on small animals such as small crustaceans, squids, small fishes and fish eggs.

Life cycle: Females may reach sexual maturity at 3 years of age, or 10-12 inches in length. Multiple spawning is characteristic of the species. Spawning takes place from April to September.

Fishing tips: Vermilion snapper have small mouths so anglers should use small hooks to catch them. Anglers use depth finders to find offshore irregular bottoms, and fish with sturdy boat rods with electric or manually operated reels. They are considered a bottom fish by many anglers, but they are not true bottom feeders.

N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament

No award given for this species.


Persons engaged in recreational fishing in North Carolina coastal waters are required to possess a Coastal Recreational Fishing License in accordance with G.S. 113-174.2.

Current Proclamations

Recreational Size and Bag Limits

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