Gray Snapper

Gray Snappers are dark brown or gray with reddish or orange spots in rows along the sides.

Smaller Gray Snappers have a prominent dark stripe that runs from the snout through the eye which disappears with age.

Two conspicuous canine teeth are present at front of upper jaw.

Gray Snapper Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit
Delaware Range Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay and Inland Bays
Abundance in Delaware Waters Rare - this species is more common south of Delaware.
General Habitat and Food Preferences Gray Snappers can be found in coastal and offshore waters from very shallow areas to depths of 600 feet. They prefer bottom structure and are most often found near artificial reefs and wrecks.

They feed on small fishes, squids, marine worms, crabs, and shrimps.
Did You Know? There are nearly 250 different species of snappers worldwide.

Snappers will pop their mouths open and slam it shut faster than you can blink your eyes. They often snap like that several times when landed. Folklore says that is how they got their name.

The estimated maximum age of a Gray Snapper is 25 years.
Common Lures and Baits Gray Snappers are primarily caught by bottom fishing using squid strips, pieces of clams and bloodworms.

In shallower water, Gray Snappers will hit top water plugs, poppers, and jigs.
Typical Sizes Caught In general, Gray Snappers are caught by anglers in the range of 8 to 14 inches in shallow inshore waters and up to 20 inches in deeper waters.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Gray Snappers are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award, but a large specimen may qualify for an “Unusual Species” award.
Delaware State Record Gray Snappers are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.