70-Pound Cubera Snapper caught in Rhode Island

As we near the end of a summer of weird catches including cobia and barracuda in New Jersey and king macks and a tarpon on Cape Cod, the recent find in a Rhode Island fish trap may top them all.

The Local Catch, Inc, reported a 70-pound cubera snapper turning up in a fish trap off the West Wall at Point Judith, Rhode Island.

This is the second cubera snapper caught in the Northeast in recent years. The first was a 25-pounder caught on Island Beach State Park in 2015. There was also a 43-pound cubera caught in the Cape Cod Canal several decades ago.

The cubera’s range is listed as Brazil to Massachusetts, though the fish is rare north of Florida.

Juvenile fish of a number of tropical species ride plumes of warm, Gulf Stream water into the Northeast every summer, but the cubera seems to be unique in that it’s the full-grown adults that wander this far north.

Atlantic cubera snapper are listed as vulnerable, due to overfishing at their spawning sites in the Caribbean. Spawning cubera congregate by the thousands over offshore reef sites and structure, making them easy targets for commercial fishing efforts.

The water is still very warm throughout the Northeast, and with a tropical storm potentially heading this way, we can only guess what “lost” southern species will turn up next.


6 on “70-Pound Cubera Snapper caught in Rhode Island

  1. Anthony Nuzzolo

    That is awesome!!! And I thought catching pompano up here was rare.

  2. bill

    Awesome storie. Anytime you need someone short noticed to help on the deck feel free to call 774 365 7529

  3. Mark Alongi

    Crazy. Global warming continues. I miss the ice sheet in the Carolinas. Soon Stripers will be wintering in Buzzards Bay. Tight lines to all.

  4. Lori Davidson

    I caught a very small one (about the size of a large hand) in the great salt pond, or new harbor, Block Island over Labor Day weekend.

  5. Dick Lindsey

    In the tropics, snappers this large can carry ciguiterra, a potentially lethal toxin found in fish from certain reefs. Smaller fish seem to be ok.

  6. Skip

    There was one caught Around 1980 in the fishtrap off of Prices Neck. Same summer there was a Tarpon caught off the Goat Island Causeway, the daily news ran a photo, Marc Ducharme was the angler. The water was very warm that summer as well

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