you are looking for information on how to catch snapper, you
are so lucky to be searching right here, right now!
I also searched, albeit without the benefit of the internet. Plenty
of information existed on species distribution, habitat, bait,
rigs and other information but none of which was meaningful on
where, or how, I should fish to get results.
to be the preserve of large boats only, way offshore on wrecks
and reefs. I had to work it all out myself.
abounds which discourages anglers because it paints a
picture of being all too daunting a task to be successful.
By way of
example I quote a government website; 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)
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 teach you know it all. That is simply not
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 angler, novice or otherwise, think they have of getting
it all right if they accepted that such narrow criteria really
existed? The article was written with all good intent, and genuine
belief of accuracy.
for the impression it creates, but fortunately for anglers, that
comment 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 conclusions other than looking at their own
techniques when they can’t catch their quarry.
snapper 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.
it afford to see a potential meal, ignore it, and come back to
it, possibly hours later, when it considers the stage of the tide
is ‘Right’, to see if it is still there for it.
no way known.
is there are numerous factors impacting our ability to catch the
failed to even identify them, desired results have accordingly
not been forthcoming. Excuses have been formulated, published
and generally accepted without challenge. They have then been
recycled to those they have taught.
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 time to
fish for them. Also known is snapper’s irrefutable association
with structure, so naturally that is where we go, right? Wrong!
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
If we needed
to catch an owl, are we going to search the wide open spaces for
it, or go to the loft? The loft, obviously.
But is there
any point going to the loft at night? Of course not. It isn’t
there while out hunting.
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. Before dusk they leave their ‘Loft’ and
head for a night’s browsing where they consider they have
their best chance of picking up a meal.
they are away, how many anglers are sitting ruefully at the loft
assuming they are not biting? Right place, wrong time!
More to the
point, ‘Right time, wrong place.’
Yes, an odd
snapper can still be caught at the loft. Odd fish can be going
passed from one feeding area to another.
If other factors
are suitable, anglers may also get fish if they are still there
at first light when snapper are starting to arrive back at the
the thinking angler will be sitting inshore where the snapper
will be feeding in numbers because, depending on locations being
fished, most of what they feed on, crabs, scallop beds, dead razor
fish inhabitants, small squid and fish, are inshore.
have to go way offshore when they come inshore to us under the
cover of darkness.
for modern anglers is progress. They have this little unit called
a GPS. It can give you a mark for a ‘Loft’ …
somewhere to drop your anchor. It can pinpoint a spot but not
an ‘Area,’ so we don’t know precisely where
to go, do we?
is ‘It hardly matters.’ We just have
to think outside the GPS square.
thread I found in most snapper fishing articles is how most snapper
are caught around the change of tides. In most cases the observation
is correct but it is both the conclusion and subsequent action
which are incorrect.
is that the snapper feed predominantly at that time and the subsequent
action then is to focus your efforts at those times.
conclusion is wrong for two reasons:
Anglers have assumed they are feeding predominantly at those times
because most are hooked at those times. Wrong!
Most are hooked
then because the vast majority of anglers have never worked out
how to counter the effects of the tides between the changes when
the tides are running more strongly.
Because anglers have learned to focus their efforts around the
changes, they have to catch more fish at that time.
for reasons I will not go into here, the change of tide, at night
anyway, is the single precise point of minimum feeding activity
by the snapper.
action of anglers concentrating their efforts around the 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 your
advantage. Do so, and they can be caught right through
I do have
to admit that the solution to that was somewhat complex, but it
is simple to deal with once you have the right information.
theme is the necessity for using berley to catch snapper. Again,
the concept is correct. However, given the usual methods of dispersion,
berley is responsible for most snapper NOT being caught rather
than the other way around, as intended – other than on the
changes of tide.
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.
result has been great catches consistently.
below are just 15 of my catches, each made with a buddy, which
show just what can be achieved.
All of these
catches were made from my little 4.6m (15’) boat on flat
sand within 3km of shore.
time, structure and location were not important.
What was important
was the technique of putting yourself in control of the situation
to ensure your result by countering all those factors that would
otherwise deny you.
my results have been achieved in St. Vincent Gulf, here
in South Australia, the same factors apply everywhere