Dog snapper

Dog Snappers have olive green upper sides and backs, sometimes with narrow pale bars. Their sides and belly are bronze-brown to yellowish-orange.

Adults have a white triangular bar under the eye.

They have pronounced canine teeth in the upper jaw, one pair of which can be seen when the jaw is closed.

Dog snapper Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit
Delaware Range Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters Rare - this species is more common south of Delaware.
General Habitat and Food Preferences Dog Snappers prefer artificial reefs and wrecks at depths of 15 to 100 feet. These fish are solitary in nature.

A nocturnal predator, they feed on crabs, shrimps, marine worms, and smaller fishes.
Did You Know? The Dog Snapper gets its name from the fierce look of its canine teeth as well as their tendency to pop their mouths open and slam it shut faster than you can blink your eyes.
Common Lures and Baits Dog Snappers can be caught with strips of squid, cut pieces of fish, or shrimp.

They can also be caught by casting with jigs, fish imitating lures and flies.

Chumming with small pieces of fish will help bring the fish to the boat.
Typical Sizes Caught In general, Dog Snappers caught by anglers range between 1 and 3 pounds.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Dog 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 Dog Snappers are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.