Red Snapper Season opened in Panama City, FL on June 1st and should be a Fantastic Fishing season!
Experienced fishing charter operator and 3rd generation fisherman, Captain Mark Kelley states that the
2020 Red Snapper Season should be a fantastic fishing season for people looking for a deep-sea fishing
Because the boats are federally permitted, the 2020 Kelley Girl Charter red snapper season will be
June 1st through August 1st.
Capt. Mark Kelley claims that this season should be a great one, making for some near-record catches.
Capt. Kelley believes this can be contributed to at least 2 factors. The first, Category 5 Hurricane Michael
made landfall in October 2018. This historic hurricane crippled the majority of the charter fishing fleet
in Panama City, Florida. This effect of this unprecedented, natural resulted in less depletion on the
A natural casualty of the hurricane is “that it moved and broke apart a lot of the usual
underwater reefs. As a result, the fishing charter captains had a more difficult time locating
the fish. A silver lining is left to consider: many different fish species had time to replenish.”
Secondly, the Coronavirus or Covid-19 forced Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, to issue a ‘Stay at Home’
order, lasting more than 2 months. This effectively shut down the Panama City Beach Charter Fishing
fleet again and no fishing charter trips were permitted due to the industry ‘not being an essential
Capt. Kelley believes the downtime caused by Hurricane Michael and Florida’s imposed “Stay at Home”
order created perfect conditions for fish stocks to re-establish themselves in the Gulf of Mexico. The fish
in the Gulf of Mexico have essentially had an 18-month “vacation,” and based on this, Capt. Kelley
states, “This year should be a fantastic season for Red Snapper as well as all our other favorite fish
species.” He is looking forward to taking both locals and summer vacationers out to experience deep-
sea fishing at its best.
With excitement, Capt. Kelley along with Capt. August Redding at Kelley Girl Charters will officially start
Red Snapper season June 1st, 2020 and will run daily fishing charter trips for the duration of the 2
months. Of course, anglers can catch other fish species, but the Red Snapper is one of the most highly
prized catches. Because of the limited season, reserved fishing trips on Kelley Girl Fishing Charter boats
will fill up very quickly. Kelley Girl Charters has two fishing charter vessels which can accommodate up to
20 passengers: the Lady Kelley, which is 55 ft or the Kelley Girl, which is 52 ft.
Red Snapper fishing charters range from 6 hr to 12 hr trips. Capt. Kelley advises that longer trips
increases the angler’s ability to catch a better class of fish.
Capt. Kelley is also incredibly environmentally conscious and has built artificial reefs to help maintain the
fishing grounds, so that reefs are always producing excellent catches for both the locals and visitors
coming to the Panama City, Florida area and looking for great private, charter fishing trips. This year
alone Capt. Mark Kelley built more than 50 artificial reefs and privately transported them out into the
Gulf of Mexico to ‘their secret fishing spots.’ The artificial reefs are constructed from recycled chicken
transport boxes and cabled together to form reef formations. Capt. Kelley also took out more than 12
old Peanut Picker machines from Alabama which were sunk to be used as artificial underwater reefs.
These artificial reefs are floated on barges to locations between 12 miles to 30 miles into the Gulf of
Mexico and then sunk. The newly formed reefs are GPS pinpoint located and tracked for future Fishing
Charter Trips off the white sandy shores of Panama City and Panama City Beach.
So, if you are ready to get out on the water this Red Snapper season, Capt. Kelley and Capt. August
would be excited to take you to their “Secret Spots” and have you take home a prized catch of a Red
Remember bookings fill up fast during Red Snapper Season. Therefore, Capt. Kelley advises people to
book as soon as possible to ensure their preferred dates are available.
Captain Mark Kelley’s is a 3rd generation fisherman and 2nd generation Capt. His love of the water and fishing was influenced by his grandfather and father back to 1956. Mark currently has more than 35 years of fishing in the waters of the panhandle. Kelley Girl Charters has ‘The Lady Kelley’, which is 55 ft. and ‘The Kelley Girl’, a 52 ft. fishing boat. Mark now has a 3rd generation Capt. in his son Carson Kelley.