you are looking for information on how
to catch snapper, you are so
lucky to be searching right here, right now!
decades I also searched. Plenty of information existed on species
distribution, snapper habitat, snapper bait, snapper rigs
and other information but none of which was meaningful on where,
or especially how, I should fish to get results.
have since determined that the majority of meaningful information
had never been worked out to enable it's publication. Whereas
I previously considered snapper fishing to be the preserve of
large boats well off shore on wrecks and reefs, I found that need
not be the case at all.
Misinformation abounds about snapper
fishing which discourages anglers. It paints a picture of
being all too daunting a task to be successful. By
way of example I quote a government PIRSA (Primary Industry and
Resources South Aust.) internet article on snapper fishing by
‘One of the State’s most
accomplished young anglers.’ (ref: www.pir.sa.gov.au)
‘(Name) is a firm believer that you are only as good
as the people who teach you how to fish.’
this belief presupposes there is nothing new to be learned –
that those who taught us have known it all. They certainly
haven't! What it does highlight is why there has been
so little progress on how
to catch snapper for many years. It has perpetuated the incorrect
assumptions made by anglers of past generations.
It has resulted
in discouraging impressions such as, ‘If
the snapper are in a particular spot, they may only bite for one
hour in twenty four, and then perhaps only on a particular bait,
and at a particular stage of the tide.’
does any snapper angler, novice or otherwise, think they have
of getting it all right if they accepted that such narrow criteria
really exists? The article was written with all good intent, and
genuine belief of accuracy. However, and fortunately, it is incorrect
on all counts. It is a legacy of the way most anglers,
both past and present, tend to arrive at all sorts of convenient
conclusions rather than looking at their own snapper
fishing techniques when they don't understand why they
struggle to get results.
is just a simple fish. It knows not from where it’s next
meal is coming. It simply cannot afford to fast for twenty three
hours a day or be fussy about it’s diet. Neither
can it afford to ignore a potential meal and return, possibly
hours later, when the stage of the tide is supposedly ‘Right’,
to see if it is still there. Sorry,
but there is no way known that is possible.
is there are numerous factors impacting our ability to catch snapper.
Historically we have failed, until now, to even identify them.
fishing results have accordingly not been easily forthcoming.
Excuses have been formulated, published and generally accepted
without challenge. They have then been recycled and taught to
others. It is time the cycle is broken.
me to provide an idea of the type of mistake many anglers make:
We all know
snapper feed at night so many of us realize that is the best time
to fish for them. Also known is snapper’s irrefutable association
with structure, so naturally that is where we go, right? ...
I am going
to draw a parallel with another nocturnal feeder, the owl. It
is out hunting at night and roosts in a loft, for example, during
the day. If we needed to catch an owl, are we going to search
the wide open spaces for it, or go to the loft? Obviously we would
go to the loft. But is there any point going to the loft at night?
Of course not; it's out hunting somewhere.
situation applies to the snapper. They roost around some structure
during the day to avoid the press of the tide and avoid predation
from sharks. If you know where the loft is, you can catch them
during the day. However, before dusk they leave their ‘Loft’
and head off for a night’s browsing where they consider
they have their best chance of picking up a meal. And
while they are away, how many anglers are sitting ruefully at
the loft assuming they are not biting? ... Right place, wrong
‘Right time, wrong place.’
Yes, a few
snapper can still be caught at the loft at night. Snapper can
be passing from one feeding area to another. Some 'Lofts' (Private,
artificial ones particularly) can exist not far offshore, close
to feeding grounds. If other factors are favourable, anglers may
also get snapper if they are still there at first light when the
fish are starting to arrive back at the ‘Loft.’
who have learned how
to catch snapper have predominantly been able to reach
offshore wrecks and reefs in larger boats or created their own
hidden ’Lofts’ using car bodies, old farm machinery
or whatever other structure they could transport. Those anglers
have done quite well. They guard their little artificial reefs
ferociously. Being ‘Lofts,’ they are mainly daylight
locations. Well done and good luck to them.
we don’t need to encroach on other anglers’ private
artificial reefs. I found better results can be achieved by fishing
at night, and sitting inshore where they will be feeding in
numbers. Depending on location, most of what they feed
upon; crabs, scallop beds, dead razor fish inhabitants, small
squid and fish, etc., are inshore. We don’t have to go way
offshore because under the cover of darkness they come inshore
to us. We do have to know how to ensure they find us.
thread I found in most snapper fishing articles is how most snapper
are caught around the change of tides. The observation is correct
but the conclusion is incorrect, as is the subsequent
is that the snapper feed predominantly at that time and the subsequent
action then is to focus your efforts around the tide changes.
conclusion is wrong for two reasons:
Anglers have assumed the fish are feeding predominantly at those
times because most snapper are hooked at those times. Wrong!
fish are hooked then because few have ever worked out how to effectively
counter the effects of the tides when they start really flowing.
By focusing their efforts around the tide
changes, they have to catch most of their snapper at that time.
action of concentrating efforts around tide changes is wrong because
anglers are denying themselves the majority of productive fishing
time and the opportunity to learn both how to counter the effects
of the tides, and how to use them to advantage. Do so,
and they can be caught right through the tides.
thread is the necessity for using berley to catch snapper.
Again, the concept is correct. However, without proper
tidal provision, berley is usually responsible for most
snapper NOT being caught rather than the reverse,
I have analyzed the whole routine of catching snapper. Those factors
adversely affecting results have been identified. Solutions have
been formulated, tested, improved upon, fine tuned and settled.
The result has been great catches consistently.
thus far have all been my catches, each made with a buddy, which
show just what can be achieved. They were all made from my little
4.6m (15’) boat on flat sand within 3km of shore. Being
night time, structure and location were not
important. Neither was bait, tide stage, moon phase, wind direction
or detailed records.
What is important is putting yourself in control of the
situation to ensure your result by identifying, and countering,
all those variables which would otherwise restrict , or deny your
While my results
have been achieved in
St. Vincent Gulf, here in South Australia, the
same factors also apply elsewhere.