If Tropical Storm Debby had taken a left instead of a right a couple of weeks ago, Texas anglers would be heading into the final weekend of the 2012 recreational fishing season for red snapper in federally controlled waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
But because of the vagaries of weather, the characteristics of the Gulf of Mexico's recreational fishing community and the seemingly Byzantine way red snapper are managed, anglers will get at least one more weekend to pursue what arguably is their most popular target species.
Debby, which early predictions suggested would head west toward Texas, loitered in the central Gulf before wobbling slowly northeast and into Florida just south of that state's Big Bend region.
For the week or so Debby churned in the Gulf, anglers in Alabama and the Gulf Coast of Florida were pinned to the bank. And because of that, federal fisheries managers late this past week announced they were extending the recreational snapper season for six days. Instead of red snapper season closing at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the recreational season will close at 12:01 a.m. July 17.