Monday, August 1, 2011

Last Snapper of the Season

A couple of weeks ago, we squeezed in a quick trip to the Forgotten Coast to fish and enjoy the un-crowded beaches.  I could seriously entertain thoughts of moving to that part of Florida.  From Mexico Beach to Port St. Joe, Indian Pass to Apalachicola, something about that area really pulls on me!  Surely, part of that stems from the fact that my dad and granddad loved fishing the Forgotten Coast.  (Daddy liked Bay City Lodge in Apalachicola; his brother Brownie Parkman runs a guide service out of Bay City.  Their daddy fished the Dead Lakes of Wewahitchka.)    

We found all the supplies we needed at Mexico Beach Marina before heading out the pass.  We mostly trolled and fished public reefs just off Mexico Beach.  The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association actively places new reefs in the gulf waters in addition to maintaining the existing ones; they do a great job promoting sport fishing opportunities.  Everyone caught fish – either snapper or king mackerel.  On Saturday, we swam in the waters off St. Joe Beach; Sunday we swam at Mexico Beach.  The raw oysters at Regan’s Oyster Bar tasted delicious.  A fast trip but still so wonderful to enjoy hours on the coast!       

Daily limit for snapper are two per person per day.  Good thing we all like to fish! 

Gulf Red Snapper season closed July 18, 2011.  Since it is federally monitored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service, the season closed on the same date in all Gulf of Mexico waters.  We didn’t know it, but the last snapper we caught during our weekend jaunt would also be our last snapper of the season! 

Benjamin sure was pleased with his catch!  It just happened to be the last snapper we caught during the 2011 Gulf Red Snapper Season!

Snapper can be cooked A LOT of different ways.  We cook it in fish tacos, fried, baked, grilled, and stuffed.  Since we have been eating it at least three times a week lately, our snapper recipes run the gamut! 

We enjoyed “fancy” stuffed red snapper last week along with several garden fresh sides.  Georgia-Lee and Benjamin prepared a beautiful outdoor table setting under the oak tree for dinner. 

Our official menu (Benjamin fixed a menu board!) included stuffed red snapper, fried okra, sautéed squash, sliced tomatoes, and bread.  Cool cucumber water was our drink.  (I read how delicious it was supposed to be; we all drank it but thought it tasted like watery pickle juice!) 

Pumpkin and Max joined us too – they were hopeful for any crumbs that might come their way!  We lapped up our dessert of vanilla ice cream with fresh Fort Valley, Georgia, peaches from Uncle J.B. Bush.      

    Love those Georgia peaches!

Stuffed Red Snapper

4-6 Red Snapper fillets
3 parts breadcrumbs
1 part parmesan cheese, grated
Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning

In a bowl, stir together equal breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and enough mayonnaise to make a thick paste.  Cut fillets in half.  Place half of fillets in greased glass baking dish.  Season and stuff with breadcrumb mixture.  Place thin pat of butter on top of stuffing; cover with remaining fish fillet halves.  Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes.  Just before serving, squeeze fresh lemon over fillets.


  1. Those are big fish! Very nice, indeed :)

  2. You have the nicest stories about you and your lovely family. And those fish were whoppers! Thanks for sharing, Ashley!