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The Lane Snapper fish identification, habitats, characteristics, Fishing methods

Lane snapper is a marine fish from family Snappers, found mainly in turbid or clear water around coral reefs and on vegetated sandy areas. Often forms large aggregations, especially during the spawning season. They feed mostly at night on small fishes, bottom-living crabs, shrimps, worms, gastropods and cephalopods. The lane snapper has a fairly deep body with a pointed snout. It has a double dorsal fin, with a rounded anal fin and relatively short pectoral fins. The caudal fin is emarginated to slightly forked. They are considered as a very good food fish.
The Lane Snapper Fishing Lane Snapper, Lutjanus synagris, also known as Candy striper, rainbow snapper, bream, godbless, mexican snapper, moonlight grunt, pot snapper, redfish, redtailed snapper, snapper, spot snapper, williacke, pargo guanapo, pargo biajaiba , vivaneau gazou and ariaco. They well distributed in Bermuda and North Carolina to southeastern Brazil, including the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. They are very abundant in the Antilles, over Campeche Bank, off Panama, and off the northern coast of South America.

Lane Snapper has oblong and compressed body with head profile nearly straight from snout to nape. Head length is 1/3rd of body depth; snout length 1/3rd of head length, eye small, 20% of head length. Maxillary is reaching to front of eye, a little more than 1/3rd of head length. Narrow band of villiform teeth is in each jaw. The upper jaw also bears 4 canine teeth, two o f them enlarged. Vomer and palatines are both with teeth. Villiform teeth on a vomer in an anchor-shaped patch are without a median posterior projection. In addition to an anchor-shaped tooth patch on the roof of the mouth, there are 18 to 22 gill rakers, 6 or 7 on first arch on upper limb and 12 to 15 on lower limb. Preopercle finely notch above with coarser spines at its angle without a prominent later projection, which is emarginated. Caudal fin moderately emarginated.
    Double dorsal fin with 10 spines and 12, rarely 13, soft rays. Dorsal spines slender; the 4th is longest, 1/3dr of head length. Soft dorsal 8th ray is longest. Anal fin is rounded with 3 spines and 8, rarely 9, soft rays, not angulate; its 2nd spine stronger than 3rd, but length are equal. Last soft ray of both dorsal and anal fins not extended. Pectoral fin with 15 or 16 rays is reaching front of anal fin. There are 47 to 50 tubed scales in lateral line. Maxilla is without scales. Membranes of soft dorsal and anal fins are with scales.
    Lane snapper have two color phases. The deep-water phase coloration is darker and more pronounced than those with the shallow-water resting phase coloration. Both color phases have silvery pink to reddish upper sides with short, somewhat parallel pink and 6 to 8 yellow stripes on its sides and backs with a faint greenish cast tinge, which sometimes highlights light olive bands. The pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins are often yellowish, and the dorsal and tail fins are often yellowish to reddish. The outer margin of the tail is black, particularly toward the center. A black spot about as large as the eye is present just below the rear dorsal fin and just above the lateral line, although it may be missing in rare cases; this spot is what distinguishes the lane from other snapper. Iris of the eyes is reddish. The head has 3 or 4 yellow stripes running from the snout to the eye, the lower jaw projects slightly. There is a diffuse black spot below the soft portion of the dorsal fin.
    The lane snapper are very similar to the mahogony snapper and the mutton snapper. The mahogony snapper has a dark lateral spot that is ¼ to ½ below the lateral line in contrast to the lane snapper in which the spot extends less than ¼ below this line. The mahogony snapper also has a much larger eye. The mutton snapper has 2 oblique blue stripes on the snout and cheek and the back, sides, and upper caudal fin lobe is olive green in color.

Ranging from depths of 5 to 130 feet, lane snapper are found over all types of bottom, although they prefer coral reefs and sandy areas with vegetation; young fish stay inshore over grass-beds or shallow reefs, whereas adults move offshore, where they explore deeper reefs. Occurring in turbid as well as clear water, lane snapper often drift in schools, especially during the breeding season. Once established, adult snappers never migrate; remain in the same area for their entire lives. Often forms large assemblages, notably during the spawning season. Lane snappers also occur in sea-grass beds associated with shrimping areas. Juveniles live in protected inshore areas.
    Lane snapper are opportunistic carnivores and primarily consume forage that is near or on the bottom, including anchovies and other small fish, crabs, shrimp, worms and mollusks. They are fast enough to pursue and capture their prey, and they feed at night, moving off of reefs and onto grass-beds.

Becoming sexually mature when they are 1 year old and 6 to 7 inches long, lane snapper spawn throughout the spring and summer, dependent upon location. In Cuba, spawning occurs from March through September with peaks in July and August, while in Puerto Rico spawning peaks in May. Spawning activity peaks from June through August. The snappers aggregate offshore during these spawning events. Depending on size, a female may lay 300,000 to more than 1 million pelagic eggs. The pelagic eggs are released into open waters and are transported by the ocean currents . After being released and fertilized, the eggs hatch within 23 hours. The larvae are planktonic at lengths less than 10 mm. They eventually settle on suitable habitat that offers some protection from predators. Young fish stay in grass-beds in estuaries, which serve as nursery areas until they reach 5 to 6 inches in length, when they migrate offshore.

Fishing Methods. Lane Snapper are primarily a summer fish; they live along the reef line, anywhere from the shallow patches out to 200 feet of water. They typically are a smaller fish and not targeted as much as many of the other snapper. But, they are very good eating! It is an excellent and fierce fighter on light tackle. They bite on the bottom best and are not big fans of chum. They like shrimp, cut ballyhoo, and squid. Lane’s bite fast and shake the bait so be ready to set the hook with quick jerk of the rod.
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