Snapper tackle/bait question

dontezumadontezuma Posts: 163 Deckhand
So, I've caught snapper a number of ways, mostly by accident, since the season's been closed for most of forever.  Trolling plugs, carolina rigs on the bottom, pogies at the bottom... 

But if you were to use squid, how do you entice the larger snapper over grunts and other small fish who would otherwise peck your squid to death and just generally annoy you?

I was thinking like a 2-oz jighead tipped with squid and/or cigar minnows, fished a few cranks off the bottom, but what do you guys like?  Bucktails with squid?  Bucktails with cigars?  Naked jigheads with squid AND cigar minnows?  Pogies?  

What do you guys think would be more attractive to the endangered ARS and less to the smaller hordes and the kings and whatnot?

Much obliged...

Replies

  • hossmosshossmoss Posts: 1,251 Officer
    Yup


    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://www.neflbaitco-op.com/

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  • Let's Go AmigoLet's Go Amigo Posts: 2,371 Captain
    big boston mack will work great too
  • dontezumadontezuma Posts: 163 Deckhand
    Gotcha - so skip the squid, sabiki up some grunts (or tip the sabiki with squid for extra juice), then carolina rig a grunt (5/0 hooked through the tail, so he swims up against the weight?) and hold on... Thanks...
  • elpollolocoelpolloloco Posts: 233 Deckhand
    A grunt plug is one of the best baits.
  • fsu11fsu11 Posts: 1,995 Captain
    in my experience grunts either get destroyed by huge snapper ( wait through the small pecks of smaller snapper hitting your grunt until you feel the rod tip touch the water) or snapper wont touch a grunt at all seems werid sometimes. My biggest snapper was 6 miles off the beach on a live grunt 22.5lbs.
  • Nautical wheelerNautical wheeler Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    Right right now a bare hook would probably catch a snapper.  Maybe come Friday they’ll get the memo and skip out of town, slow troll a magnum rapala over structure is another sure bet, but live grunt is #1.
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,368 Admiral
    When I say drop the squid....i meant drop it down on a light rig, to catch grunts or whatnot.....sabiki is good as well, anything around where you are fishing like a sardine or cigar minnow or grunt, you should put back down on a bigger rig.

    The bait fish will be hurting from the hook and sending off signals, that snapper and grouper will home in on !!

    A grunt plug is a grunt where you take the head off, and I take off the tail, dorsal, and bottom fin....so it's just a plug...hook near the tail, so it doesn't spiral down......snapper and huge greenhead sea bass love it .

    catch em up.......
  • dontezumadontezuma Posts: 163 Deckhand
    Awesome!
  • jmac7469jmac7469 Posts: 98 Greenhorn
    Snapper will eat almost anything they aren't very picky, but if your looking for a bigger fish fish a bigger bait. Boston macks work very well. My pb snapper ate a pretty big ringtail porgy while grouper fishing on the break.
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 151 Deckhand
    Best size circle hook and leader? 
    Yes please. Just getting started in this game and I am trying to figure out the same thing. I believe I've heard correctly somewhere in the area of 50 lb main line and 80 lb leader?
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  • EarthmoverEarthmover Posts: 322 Deckhand
    I use 50-60 and 80lb floricarbon.   I have had good luck with the pre cut 4' bags from bass pro.  I do make some long leaders for when they get picky.  6-8-and 10. Size hooks depending on the bait and size fish u are targeting.

  • bswivbswiv Posts: 7,317 Admiral
    Sea Snake said:
    When I say drop the squid....i meant drop it down on a light rig, to catch grunts or whatnot.....sabiki is good as well, anything around where you are fishing like a sardine or cigar minnow or grunt, you should put back down on a bigger rig.

    The bait fish will be hurting from the hook and sending off signals, that snapper and grouper will home in on !!

    A grunt plug is a grunt where you take the head off, and I take off the tail, dorsal, and bottom fin....so it's just a plug...hook near the tail, so it doesn't spiral down......snapper and huge greenhead sea bass love it .

    catch em up.......
    Somewhere around here I've got a picture of a 25+ snapper and a Warsaw from 40 years ago caught on this exact bait. Used the same grunt for both. Small fish peck away at it which seems to cause the larger fish to get interested. Caught lots of good stuff on such back then. 

    We were using J-hooks back then but I'd venture a circle hook will work even better.
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,368 Admiral
    7/0 OR 8/0 CIRCLE HOOK TO START.......6 FOOT LEADER OF 80# FLORO WILL BE GOOD.

    DON'T HAMMER THE DRAG, ( sorry bout the caps)......big snapper won't hole you up like a grouper, so once you get em off the bottom you can back off the drag a touch, and if that big snapper digs back down , let him work against the drag....

    The inshore big snapps are bad dudes, and they have gill rakes that are sharp as a razor, if he's hammering straight down on a locked drag he'll break that floro off on his gill rakes.......
  • hossmosshossmoss Posts: 1,251 Officer
    edited July 12 #17
    I like wide gap inline circle 7/0 to 9/0 like a VMC 7385, or a Gamakatsu 26541

    Hook a whole still frozen sardine through the eyes or if you're getting bit short, pass the hook through the eyes and then turn and hook into the body so that the hook eye lines up with the baits eye (but this can cause a bait to spin). Drop it down while still frozen. You can also butterfly once live but now dead grunt by filleting out the backbone and removing it while leaving the side fillets attached to the head. Threadfin Herring make a nice sized bait that big snappers love and they are much tougher than sardines.


    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://www.neflbaitco-op.com/

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  • elpollolocoelpolloloco Posts: 233 Deckhand
    5-6ft leader of 50lb fluoro. 5-6/0 j hook. 4-6 ounce egg sinker. Don't over complicate things. Let the bait go back in the current and put it to them. 
  • elpollolocoelpolloloco Posts: 233 Deckhand
    For a challenge, driftline one on a spinner. Sow on light tackle is a good time.
  • hossmosshossmoss Posts: 1,251 Officer
    5-6ft leader of 50lb fluoro. 5-6/0 j hook. 4-6 ounce egg sinker. Don't over complicate things. Let the bait go back in the current and put it to them. 
    This is potentially incorrect advice depending on where on the coast you fish...


    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://www.neflbaitco-op.com/

    2012 Cape Horn 31T with twin Yamaha F300s

  • elpollolocoelpolloloco Posts: 233 Deckhand
    Have you ever heard of an fwc officer enforcing this? I have a few LEO friends that I fish with that use the same. Sorry, use a 5/0-6/0 circle hook not a J-Hook. J-hooks are prohibited and should never be used.
  • Hunter85Hunter85 Posts: 58 Greenhorn
    I’m a little different I run 40lb main to a 30 Fluoro leader with a 3/0-5/0 double hook rig depending on the size snapper with dead bait if using live I use a 5/0-7/0 depending on the size of the baits 
  • BottomBumpinBottomBumpin Jax BeachPosts: 1,244 Officer
    now days you should be able to chum them up in the water column with a couple hand fulls of cut bait and squid...  on a 5000 or larger spinner, 4-5 ft of any kind of leader, 5-8/0 circle hook (only because you won't loose as many hooks that are swallowed), no weight and let it drift back naturally with the chum like your yellowtail fishing in the keys and once you see the fish bite or watch your line start running off just flip the bail with the rod tip at the surface and once the tip starts to bow over just pull up and start reeling... not hook set needed..  easy peasy once you get em fired up...  bait type can be anything you have.. we freeze pogies, cut the tail and hook them in the face thru the gills so they stay on longer...  the girls love this since they don't have to fight a big rod/reel combo almost locked down in deep water... it's also allot more fun for the aging men and less stress on the back too :)  we have a spot we do this year round and have everyone is double over at the same time within 10- 15 min of arriving.. long ride tho... good luck y'all
  • big baitbig bait Posts: 412 Deckhand
    now days you should be able to chum them up in the water column with a couple hand fulls of cut bait and squid...  on a 5000 or larger spinner, 4-5 ft of any kind of leader, 5-8/0 circle hook (only because you won't loose as many hooks that are swallowed), no weight and let it drift back naturally with the chum like your yellowtail fishing in the keys and once you see the fish bite or watch your line start running off just flip the bail with the rod tip at the surface and once the tip starts to bow over just pull up and start reeling... not hook set needed..  easy peasy once you get em fired up...  bait type can be anything you have.. we freeze pogies, cut the tail and hook them in the face thru the gills so they stay on longer...  the girls love this since they don't have to fight a big rod/reel combo almost locked down in deep water... it's also allot more fun for the aging men and less stress on the back too :)  we have a spot we do this year round and have everyone is double over at the same time within 10- 15 min of arriving.. long ride tho... good luck y'all
    This is how you do it!
  • dontezumadontezuma Posts: 163 Deckhand
    Thanks, gang!  My buddy and I made it out to the Inner Plane Molds this morning and each got our snapper pretty quickly.  In fact, we caught a thrd and gave it to a guy with two little kids on board.  I appreciate all the help.  

    Wound up using pogies, as the grunts were impossible to sabiki.  I had something tear up 3 #6 sabiki rigs and switched to a #16 (the big ones).  Turns out it was smaller amberjack and red snapper down there.  It must have been an absolute fish tank, because i was hooking multiple fish each time.  Best result, 2 snapper, an amberjack, and a grunt on one retrieve.  Crazy.  The snapper and jacks were around 15" and the grunt was grunt sized, but biggish.  10" maybe?

    Anyway, it worked out.  Thanks!
  • JoyTimeJoyTime Posts: 42 Greenhorn
    Now, if you cannot go out there and catch a Red Snapper after all that great advice, well then maybe you should be fishing for blue gills in a 7 acre pond.  That is some great info guys! Thank you 
  • Family TraditionFamily Tradition Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    Donte, I would not admit on a forum I'd kept and given someone else a fish like that. The FWC considers that you keeping over limit and if they'd have seen you they could and might have given a ticket. I'm not judging or scolding by any means nor do I have an issue with doing that. Just trying to make you aware if you were not. Sounds like a great day on the water. 
  • Graphix GuyGraphix Guy Posts: 39 Greenhorn
    How far out for chumming like this BB? Thanks for the info! 
  • BottomBumpinBottomBumpin Jax BeachPosts: 1,244 Officer
    GG,  25+ for us but have heard of similar situations occuring closer... takes time to get them up in the column and some days are better than others... like the Mangros do out deeper...
  • HookandStickHookandStick Posts: 194 Deckhand
    Hey, if you want to try something different. I went with Captain Dennis a few years ago when the snapper were not as plentiful and we caught a barracuda while jigging up bait. He kept it and said he had plans for it later. Well, he filleted it and hooked a slab in the corner with a circle hook (like 9”x11”). I caught a huge snapper with it. He said that was a sure way to get a snapper bite. Retribution I guess. 
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