Chasing Snapper is a rewarding past time. It is more than just a hobby it is a major part of my life and I love it.
This time of year is normally a good time to chase big snapper. When the water temperature starts dropping the Tamar gets a run of larger fish. Pinkies or smaller snapper are normally caught through the warmer months. Snapper are caught in many areas. They are a bit like bream. You can catch them over mud, sand, reef and rubble. They eat mainly crabs but will still eat other food such as shell fish, cunji, crayfish and small fish. The Tamar has got thousands of snapper spots. Snapper move from bay to bay. Half the fun of snapper fishing is locating the school.
In this article I will discuss tackle for snapper and I hope that it will help you during this quest.
Rod and Reel selection.
A snapper rod is an important part of a snapper fisherman's equipment. The rod has to deal with a lot of punishment. Eagle rays, smooth rays and gummy sharks are just a few of the heavy weights that a snapper rod has to deal with. So obviously the rod has to be very strong but still soft enough to soak up the head shakes of a big snapper. The rod also needs to be long enough to enable you to get a good cast which will get your bait spread out better so that you can cover more ground. It also keeps your line away from the outboard motor legs and transducers when your rod is at rest a\in a horizontal rod holder. I like the Australian built live fibre range. They make many different models but the one that I would recommend for snapper is the live snapper series. The carbon fibre that is used in these rods is aero space grade from the U.S.A. Bonded with a resin system which has been especially modified to give maximum toughness in the most demanding application in fast tapered fishing rods. In some models, semi-unidirectional woven fiberglass, using the same high quality resin system, is used in conjunction with the carbon fibres. The live snapper series makes four different models. A 7" and a 7"6 threadline and a 7" and 7"6 overhead. The 7"6 overhead is my choice. It is a fantastic rod, light enough to get maximum enjoyment out of your fishing but heavy enough o sort out the by catch. They are custom built not a factory built rod so your guide spacings are spot on.
There are many good reels on the market. I think the main things to look for when purchasing a new reel is a smooth drag and to make sure that it holds enough line. I use 15lb and 20lb breaking strain line for snapper. There is no real need to go for any thing heavier than this. 20lb line will pull up any Tamar howler. I mainly use overhead reels as I find them better than threadlines. But they do take a bit of practice to learn how to cast them. The overhead reels that I would recommend are the Penn 975LD, 975 and 965 baitcasters. Daiwa Luna 300, Abu 6500 and 7000 series and Shimano Calcutta 400 and 700 and a Shimano Tekota 500. Threadlines are great for casting unweighted baits and are very user friendly. I would recommend Penn Spinfisher 6500SSM, 7500SSM and 8500SSM and Shimano Baitrunner 4500 and 6500 and Daiwa Capricorn 4500J. All of these reels will handle big snapper and the vermin that comes with snapper fishing.
There age many different hooks on the market suitable for snapper and I have tried many. My favourite hooks would be Mustad penetrator 6/0 and 7/0 for big snapper. They are super sharp and do penetrate very easily because of the super fine wires. Another new hook that I like is the Mustad deep V size 2/0. The 2/0 size is equivalent to a 7/0 in the penetrator. They are very sharp and super strong. They have a deep V in the curve of a hook which decreases the chance of hooks pulling during the fight. Both of these models are great hooks and won't let you down.
There are many good lines on the market I like a line with a thick diameter. They wear better around rough ground. A thick line also has less stretch than thin lines. A good mono line that I would recommend for snapper fishing would be Line Systems hard Salt Water. It is not the cheapest line in the world but it has a low memory and a hard outer layer which is great on a rough bottom. In all forms of fishing the most important ingredient for success is time on the water. But once you do hook up your tackle and gear needs to be up to speed. Make sure that you purchase the right outfit for the job. And buy the best outfit that you can afford. Don't go snapper fishing with an outfit that just isn't going to do the job.
For any more info on Tamar snapper fishing call me at Sport "n" Fish.