The world has just a hundred plus species of snapper fish. They are distributed throughout the world from east to western regions. They cover shallow to deep waters and ranging significantly from small to large size. They also thrive both in relatively cold to warm waters. But one thing is for sure, they have this common thing in them that makes them easily distinguished as a snapper fish. They snap their mouth up and down especially when they are caught by fishermen. And that is where the name came from.
Among all the species, red snapper fish is the most famous which occupies the Northern American waters. If there will be second famous to red snapper, it would be mutton snapper fish or scientifically known as Lutjanus analis. This specie is commonly found in Caribbean waters but it can also be found in the waters of North Carolina up to the regions of South America. Mutton snapper fish are usually found thriving in grassbeds, canals, and mangroves. Adults that can survive deeper waters are found mingling in offshore reefs.
How to Distinguish a Mutton Snapper Fish
If you are a fisherman you can easily distinguish a mutton snapper fish. Just like other snappers they come in relatively reddish in color. You can also easily distinguish them based on the region they are thriving. While Lutjanus analis appears the same as that of red snapper, the former’s upper back color is olive green. It has also a small spot just below its dorsal fin. All the fins below lateral lines have shades of red. It has a blue line right below the eyes. Its anal fin is pointed, and maybe that is the reason behind its scientific name. Sometimes fishermen mistakenly distinguish mutton to red snapper especially in deeper water because of their red fins. But in relatively shallow waters, they can be easily distinguished because of the olive green back color.
How to Catch Mutton Snapper Fish
Mutton Snapper feed on shrimps, squids, crabs, snails, and of course small fishes. They prefer lower reef structures for their food. Just like the red snapper and lane snapper, mutton has a high value because of its delectable taste when cooked. Being difficult to catch is maybe another reason why it has a high value in the market. Normally, mutton snapper are difficult to catch because close approach won’t work on them. But just like other fish, they can be easily caught with baits. Their favorite baits include live or frozen shrimps, minnows, squids, and small fish as this is their usual food.
While muttons prefer live baits they can also be lured through artificial baits. When fishing for mutton snapper you should go on with deeper reefs as they are not commonly found on shallow waters. Because muttons thrive on deeper waters, you should practice bottom fishing. Deep jigging is proven effective in bottom fishing. You can use live or frozen baits but they can also be lured through artificial baits. When using dead baits, pinfish is the most effective baits for mutton snapper fish.