Night Time Snappers - 2 questions

Rich MRich M Posts: 886 Officer

Chum or No Chum and Light or No Light?

We do okay during the day with most grovers in the 20-inch bracket and a few up to 10#-bracket from time to time, planning on doing a couple nighttime trips this year. Fishing structure.

Have shrimp lights and don't know if they'll be beneficial.

Same for chum - never chummed much.

Replies

  • Hardcore LuresHardcore Lures Posts: 100 Greenhorn

    I always prefer chum unless it is bringing in to many "undesirables" such as sharks. If that is the case just pull the bag. Keep your lights to a minimum.

  • FISHHUNTRFISHHUNTR Posts: 1,261 Officer

    From May thru september thats all i do is night snapper fishing 2-3 times a week and I next to never use chum. I only use it in a few areas on natural bottom in shallow water. For one to me its a pita hauling enough around for a night, pulling it in and putting out when I move etc. Plus you need pretty perfect conditions (current, depth etc) for it to actually work. IMO once you hook the first few the activity of them fighting and usually regurgitating whats in their stomach is all thats needed to draw in other fish in that location.
    I dont have lights and never seen a need for them, I went on a friends boat that had them 3 times and didnt do well... maybe coincidence not sure, they will draw in the the bait though

    "FISHUNTR"- 2012 20' Pathfinder, Yamaha F150, HDS gen 3 9T
  • msk99msk99 Posts: 243 Deckhand

    Interesting that you don't use chum....I'm slowly learning the ropes of the Keys and thought chum was an automatic for snapper fishing.

  • FISHHUNTRFISHHUNTR Posts: 1,261 Officer

    The few places I do use it are on patch reefs in water less than 50'.... these are relatively small areas and likely only hold a small population of snapper but there are patch reefs well down current of where the boat is positioned alsp holding them. In this case I believe the chum will make a difference drawing in fish that otherwise would not have found there way to where I am fishing. I am sure on slow nights using chum would get things going quicker but again you need ideal conditions to get it deployed and be useful, Thats where current and depth come in... if the current is running 2 knots and your in 75 fow that chum isnt going to get down to bottom level to attract snapper for a long ways behind the boat if at all. I want to figure out a way to get a handful of cut chunks deployed on the bottom behind the boat and give that a try sometime

    "FISHUNTR"- 2012 20' Pathfinder, Yamaha F150, HDS gen 3 9T
  • Yeaaa_ChrisYeaaa_Chris Posts: 533 Officer

    @FISHHUNTR said:
    The few places I do use it are on patch reefs in water less than 50'.... these are relatively small areas and likely only hold a small population of snapper but there are patch reefs well down current of where the boat is positioned alsp holding them. In this case I believe the chum will make a difference drawing in fish that otherwise would not have found there way to where I am fishing. I am sure on slow nights using chum would get things going quicker but again you need ideal conditions to get it deployed and be useful, Thats where current and depth come in... if the current is running 2 knots and your in 75 fow that chum isnt going to get down to bottom level to attract snapper for a long ways behind the boat if at all. I want to figure out a way to get a handful of cut chunks deployed on the bottom behind the boat and give that a try sometime

    Try sand balls. It’s a mix of oats, sand, and chum. It will drop down your bait and chum to the bottom in deeper water. Great way to catch the bigger yellowtail in deeper water.

  • FletchFletch Merritt Island, FLPosts: 2,293 Moderator

    I like lights out of Canaveral. Typically draws in large numbers of squid. Keep a long handled dip net (like a bridge shrimp net) on board. You have to be quick but you can catch one here and there. Almost nothing better than a live squid on a good snapper bite.

    I rarely use chum. Brings in more undesirables IMO.

    "Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent, I'll probably waste..."
    -- Tug McGraw on getting a raise

    Get Down Fishing Charters - Port Canaveral, Florida
  • gatormonroegatormonroe Posts: 198 Deckhand

    Note: Almost all of my snapper fishing is done during the day. However, some points will apply for night as well. We do almost all of our fishing off of Marathon.

    When I am fishing deeper (non-patch) mangroves I still like to chum. While it doesn't do any good for the fish straight down near the bottom it does help bring a number of other options near the boat. For instance, last time out my son was vertical jigging near the bottom picking up mangroves with almost every drop. I was freelining out the back and doing well with yellowtail. There were also Ceros circling off of the transom about 20 feet back and 20 feet down. So while the chum may not have helped with the mangroves it gave us two other options in the event that the mangroves didn't work out.

  • tijeretatijereta Posts: 192 Deckhand

    For me, remoras and sharks attracted by chum are a problem. On the other hand, I have caught plenty of cobia, dorados etc, on the chum slick. So if you deploy it, you have to put up with the nuisance to get the big bite.

  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 506 Officer

    Chum = Fish. You have to be judicious in the use. There's an art to it.

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