Catching keeper mangrove snapper ?

jriverajrivera Posts: 171 Deckhand
Hi guys, been putting in a lot of effort, time and money into catching mangies from shore but can't catch a keeper to save my life lol. Been hitting up the local parks that border on the ICW with live shrimp on a 1/0 circle hook on 20lb fluoro leader and all I come up with is small 7 to 8 in fish ? Don't get me wrong these little guys put up a nice fight on light tackle but it's becoming really expensive buying live shrimp and having these little buggers wipe me out every time. Any tips on locating the keepers or am I forced to fish off a boat or yak for them ?

Replies

  • bigfishrossbigfishross Posts: 122 Deckhand
    try small live bait
    bigfishross
  • Catch 22Catch 22 Posts: 1,526 Officer
    jrivera wrote: »
    Hi guys, been putting in a lot of effort, time and money into catching mangies from shore but can't catch a keeper to save my life lol. Been hitting up the local parks that border on the ICW with live shrimp on a 1/0 circle hook on 20lb fluoro leader and all I come up with is small 7 to 8 in fish ? Don't get me wrong these little guys put up a nice fight on light tackle but it's becoming really expensive buying live shrimp and having these little buggers wipe me out every time. Any tips on locating the keepers or am I forced to fish off a boat or yak for them ?

    Try and get closer to the port "deeper water" and chum like crazy. The big ones will pop there heads up to see what's going on.
    I have never purchased fish at the market or restaurant and I never will.
  • jriverajrivera Posts: 171 Deckhand
    Always thought that chum bags for snappers was mainly a boat thing. Deff going to have to give chumming a shot. I'm assuming the frozen stuff should do the job.
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,246 Officer
    Try using live pinfish or pigfish for bait. They're both just the right size for snapper right now, 3-4" long.
  • JonathanT305JonathanT305 Posts: 164 Officer
    I'm assuming you're fishing the ICW around Hollywood, Dania etc. based on your location.

    I've found mangs around here in pretty good numbers around docks and the parks can hold them too. As said above deeper water is good, but I would look for a good tidal flow above all. If you find good tidal flow try a chum bag, that will get them fired up. IMO bait heads (pinfish heads, pilchards heads etc.) make GREAT baits but they do have relatively small mouths so don't go overboard. Remember that these fish hunt by sight AND smell so try to appeal to both senses in your presentation.

    Another tip, they school by size. If you're only finding 7-8 inchers in an area, odds are there aren't many over that size. There are plenty of spots up here that can produce, John U Lloyd jetty, those little piers on the ICW by Hollywood Beach (heard of mangs there but never fished it myself), and even Dania Pier can hold them in good numbers.

    If you've seen them and can't get them to bite that is a completely different story. In that case, either chum or pay them a visit at night. The biggest ones get reckless at night.

    Good luck and have at it, and if you keep failing up here, the keys bridges are loaded right now.:wink
  • jriverajrivera Posts: 171 Deckhand
    Much appreciated man, I been fishing religiously since I moved here a month ago hitting up all the parks, and all the other spots you named. The problem with the parks, from what I noticed is that you aren't allowed to fish them at night which blows lol.

    Tried Dania pier many times as well, and was the same deal lots of small fish with no keeps tried live pilchards and shrimp. Also tried the small piers from Dania to Hollywood several times a week and all were small. Haven't tried John U Lloyd yet so I guess it's worth a shot, not a fan of the $7 fee to enter though lol.
  • tltypeslowtltypeslow Posts: 157 Deckhand
    During summer time the shrimp are very small. I use live shrimp in the colder months when they are bigger
  • Norcal/Noreaster AnglerNorcal/Noreaster Angler Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    I too fish mainly from shore except when I get invites from friends on boats and I have a terrible time getting anything over 8" like you. But I have found success when I go to bridges (like Card Sound and the Keys bridge fishing) finding larger mangroves. All the little annoying mangroves seem the hang out on the shallow (< 8') rocky shoreline areas I go to but when I go to any bridges that have deeper water I get hooked into the keepers. The only problem, if you call it that, is when you get hooked up around many of the bridges is reeling it in fast enough before a big barracuda takes a swipe.
  • SouthJettySouthJetty Posts: 588 Officer
    try greenies or mojarras instead....
    You shoulda been here yesterday.
  • jriverajrivera Posts: 171 Deckhand
    Thanks fellas for the great info, I might just have to make a trip to the keys to get my snapper fix. Locally without a boat is just not producing for me. At least the spots I know. Spots that do look fishy have no where to park or have no trespassing signs all over...Might be time to put my kayak in the water and stop procrastinating lol.
  • sammy2189sammy2189 Posts: 998 Officer
    Dude you have a kayak and you can't catch mangroves? Your doing it wrong.
    Hobie outback
  • jriverajrivera Posts: 171 Deckhand
    I have a kayak just hasn't been in the water yet....Was waiting for my paddle that took forever to come in. But since i'm doing it wrong Sammy let me know im all ears ? Lol
  • sammy2189sammy2189 Posts: 998 Officer
    Get on your kayak and hit up dock lights at night. I actually did this last night. We only had plastics. And these fishes where keyed in on shrimp. So you can only catch about 3 on each light before they got wise. If we had live shrimp it would have been fame over. So we where doing it wrong lol. Still got are limit tho
    Hobie outback
  • jriverajrivera Posts: 171 Deckhand
    sammy2189 wrote: »
    Get on your kayak and hit up dock lights at night. I actually did this last night. We only had plastics. And these fishes where keyed in on shrimp. So you can only catch about 3 on each light before they got wise. If we had live shrimp it would have been fame over. So we where doing it wrong lol. Still got are limit tho

    Plastics for mangies ? I'm guessing gulp shrimp ? How are you not getting destroyed by the mosquito's and no seeums ? I got my fix at the keys but still need to try that out.
  • flsailorflsailor Posts: 49 Greenhorn
    Sammy, where were you fishing those dock lights?
  • saltyreefersaltyreefer Posts: 134 Deckhand
    small stinger hook
  • JettyparkJettypark Posts: 1,907 Captain
    if you want to catch bigger snapper than you have to go with bigger bait... either whitebait or finger mullets.. shrimp get nail by everything
    out there.. also the bigger snappers are a lot smarter... and too much hardware on your rig will keep them away...
    Long leader no swivel and just toss your bait to the area you are fishing...if you need to use a sinker go with a small egg sinker..
    and keep your hook small also...
    aa13.gif "A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons"
  • jriverajrivera Posts: 171 Deckhand
    Jettypark wrote: »
    if you want to catch bigger snapper than you have to go with bigger bait... either whitebait or finger mullets.. shrimp get nail by everything
    out there.. also the bigger snappers are a lot smarter... and too much hardware on your rig will keep them away...
    Long leader no swivel and just toss your bait to the area you are fishing...if you need to use a sinker go with a small egg sinker..
    and keep your hook small also...


    Thanks Jettypark, I deff keyed in on some nice keeper mangroves using whitebait dead or alive on a small 1/0 circle with a tiny splitshot just enough to get it on the bottom and they were smashing it. Finger Mullet are around now as well but they were all about 7 to 8 inches.
  • agonzalez0agonzalez0 Posts: 12 Greenhorn
    dude, get the big fingers and cut them into clean strips...they like that.....but honestly...my go to for bigger mangies is a half a pilchard or spanish sardine (head half). But sometimes they are picky. The other night i wasn't getting hit at all. Only on the chunks without the head or the tail, but they were small....so i cut the dines into plugs and what do you know, caught 3 in the 14-16" range and then they got smart so i went home
  • agonzalez0agonzalez0 Posts: 12 Greenhorn
    they also like tiny grunts...but the ones with the blue stripes...not the tomtate for some reason....at least where i fish anyway
  • quyvan5186quyvan5186 Posts: 49 Deckhand
    Since going on one of the west coast middle ground trips I completely lost interest on the dock snappers. With that being said i'm willing to share some spots for legal sized mangos. PM me for more info
  • I like to think ive really dialed in on them, I cant afford live shrimp so I net some mullet and dice them up. Stick them on my smallest circle hook on 20-30lb fluro since theres a lot of rocks that the big guys live to hug one last time when I pull them in. Don't waste you time and money is a spot that only has smalls. Maybe try changing you bait to something more intimidating that a grass shrimp that anything will eat especially the smalls. Try cut mullet IMO, try deeper water to. Goodluck
  • FreeLinerFreeLiner Posts: 1,338 Officer
    What worked today:

    Size 1 Mustad, 25 lbs leader, 1 1/2 weight. 5 foot leader on the bottom. Cut small Manhaden into two pieces. Cut the tail off on one half, but leave the head on the other half. When you feel the line bouncing setup.

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