Snapper Variety Pack

I went out with forum member Perlman and my brother in law to try to target snapper on Thursday. We fished depths between the 60's and 90's. Unfortunately the area I really wanted to hit was to the north and there was a huge storm there, so we fished where we had smooth seas and clear skies.

The bite was decent but not stellar. We used live hand picked shrimp, greenbacks, and small pinfish. We fished knocker rigs and also 3/8 oz jig heads. We caught a nice variety of snapper including yellowtails, lanes, and mangos. The mangos and yellowtails were more selective about presentation and were caught on the jig heads. The lanes ate everything.

In addition to the snapper, we caught a few keeper red grouper, 2 bruiser AJs, and several triggers. These were all released. We caught numerous grunts and porgies as well. The juvenile red grouper were a nuisance, as always. We could have kept catching snapper but the wives wanted us home in time for dinner.

It was a great day on the water with beautiful weather and good times had by all.
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Replies

  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,356 Admiral
    Good eats.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,650 Moderator
    Nice catch you have there. Perlman has been very quiet lately. My fish stocks are getting low and snapper would just the ticket.
    Thanks for your report.
    Who's did fish on?
    larrywitt
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    Larry, we fished on my boat this trip. Went out on Perlman's new boat the day before, its a sweet ride. I have anchor envy.
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  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,565 Captain
    Nice
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,844 Captain
    You mention the annoying Red Grouper! I wonder if the current laws are helping the population. It sure was easy to fill up the cooler when there was no red grouper season and you could keep 12 inchers.

    Cool with all the laws that you were able to find something to eat.
  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    I've been wanting to try to target more yellowtail and mangroves. Did you chum them up? fish on the bottom?
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    Lobster: the juveniles are what I find irritating. The fishery is very healthy. There are unlimited numbers of small reds on every spot. The keepers are also very thick deeper offshore.
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  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    Finsfan wrote: »
    I've been wanting to try to target more yellowtail and mangroves. Did you chum them up? fish on the bottom?

    We start by looking for new bottom. Drift or motor anchor over good shows. This typically requires heavier tackle to get to the bottom. If you start getting lanes with 6 oz weights on squid, then I anchor up and switch over to lighter gear. The desirable fish are almost always caught on lighter leaders with jig heads. The bait rarely makes it to the very bottom.

    I do not typically use chum blocks but the really good snapper guys do seem to use chum. If they are biting chum isn't needed. If the bite is soft then chum has not helped me.
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  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,844 Captain
    RMD wrote: »
    Lobster: the juveniles are what I find irritating. The fishery is very healthy. There are unlimited numbers of small reds on every spot. The keepers are also very thick deeper offshore.

    Interesting that your response is the next thread I clicked on after someone talked of hoards of Red Snapper. Perhaps some sort of change in the Red Snapper and Red Grouper regs. might be something to consider.
  • BinderBinder Posts: 3,875 Captain
    Nicely done, RMD. :applause

    Glad someone's finally showing perl how to offshore fish. :rotflmao
  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    RMD wrote: »
    We start by looking for new bottom. Drift or motor anchor over good shows. This typically requires heavier tackle to get to the bottom. If you start getting lanes with 6 oz weights on squid, then I anchor up and switch over to lighter gear. The desirable fish are almost always caught on lighter leaders with jig heads. The bait rarely makes it to the very bottom.

    I do not typically use chum blocks but the really good snapper guys do seem to use chum. If they are biting chum isn't needed. If the bite is soft then chum has not helped me.

    Ah thanks, much appreciated. I have a few spots with quality lanes, do you find that usually if lanes are there that yellowtail and mangroves are there as well?
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    If you really want to catch a mess of yellowtails and mangroves, you should always chum and chum heavy. Anchor up current of a piece of structure and use a chum bag that has large holes in the mesh. Wait at least 30 minutes before you put a bait in the water after deploying the chum.

    On a light spinning rod with 20lb fluorocarbon leader use a small hook with no weight and a small piece of fresh dead bait(hide the hook in the bait as best as possible). Drop your bait into your chum slick and free line it back at the exact same speed your chum is flowing. If it is going slower or faster than the chum, it won't look right and you won't get bit.

    A very light jig head can be used but is unnecessary unless you are fishing in a very stong current or if the fish are holding deeper in the chum.

    You will know you are in the right spot when you can look down in your chum slick and see the snappers swimming right off your transom.
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    Finsfan wrote: »
    Ah thanks, much appreciated. I have a few spots with quality lanes, do you find that usually if lanes are there that yellowtail and mangroves are there as well?

    The guys were catching lanes on knocker rigs at our first spot. I switched to a jig head and that is how we caught the yellowtails. To answer your question I would say yes...its always worth exploring those spots as the different snapper species may coexist in the same areas. Its not a guarantee but its worth a try for sure.

    What Pilchard said is how many hardcore snapper guys do it. However many other respectable fisherman that I know will use a jighead to get similar results. The fish don't always come up to the top even with proper chumming.

    I am relatively new to snapper fishing so I am not by any means an expert.
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  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Had a blast Ryan... thanks again. Rip that windlass out and anchor ball only.
  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,356 Admiral
    Binder wrote: »
    Nicely done, RMD. :applause

    Glad someone's finally showing perl how to offshore fish. :rotflmao

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  • pergatronpergatron Posts: 251 Deckhand
    Great grocery run
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