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06 Nov 13

Ready 2 Fish: Snapper

Snapper Season

Snapper are Australia’s most targeted species. This is due to a few reasons with the main one being that they can be caught in every state except the N.T. They taste great; fight pretty good and you can target them from the land as well as the boat. 

Snapper can be targeted by simply soaking a bait or you can challenge yourself with a multitude of lures and techniques from trolling deep diving hard bodies or sending a plastic down to the depths. 

Snapper can be caught over sand, mud, natural reefs, artificial reefs, rubble and in shallow and deep water. They will aggressively feed in areas with a fast running current and waters with no current at all.  

As with most species, fishing the tide change is very important when targeting snapper. Whether it be an incoming or outgoing tide, you can consider each two-hour period either side of the tide change a great fishing window. 

Snapper will often fire harder when there is a bit of stir in the water, so a slight chop and some lumpy conditions will often produce better results. Having said that, snapper can and often will be caught in dead calm conditions when the other conducive factors all align. 

Water temperature of 16 degrees plus is ideal. You should always keep an eye on your temp and sound areas where warmer water is present. 

Across the country snapper eat different baits at different times of the year. They feed on crabs and scallops in the sand, muscles and oysters off rocks, various baitfish, other fish, octopus, squid, cuttlefish and pretty much anything they can get there big mouths around.

Knowledge of your local area will give you better insight to what they’re feeding on but you can always feel confident using, pilchards, squid and fish fillets. Fresh bait will greatly increase your chances of success and if you haven’t had the chance of catching it yourself, try and buy the best bait you can find. 

When fishing for snapper going as light as possible without the risk of losing fish will give you the most enjoyable fight experience. Snapper fight well but they are not kingfish, so don’t over do it. Rods rated 6-8kg and with a 3500-4500 size reel are ideal for snapper. This will enable you to enjoy the smaller fish while you are still able to handle the fight with larger specimens.

If you’re fishing waters that have hard running currents or great depths where large sinkers or heavy jig heads are necessary, you will need to upgrade your rods and line accordingly. Rods that are 7 foot in length are ideal and you should go for something that has an action that doesn’t load up too quickly. 

Hopefully this gives you a pretty good insight as to what’s required when targeting snapper. Have fun on the water and enjoy all targeting this great species has to offer. 

By: Kosta Linardos from Hooked Up Magazine