By Jesse Rotin
There’s just something about Snapper which makes anglers go crazy each season, with many spending long hours on the water chasing them. However, for the rest of the year many fishos forget how widely accessible this species is. I enjoy chasing Snapper on lures, especially at this time of the year because there’s far less fishing pressure and although they may not be as big, their sheer abundance more than makes up for it.
Snapper just love structure and especially rocky areas where they can forage for food and create a home. Jetties, estuaries, break-walls, harbours, wrecks and reefs are all happy hunting grounds. Snapper will use the low light periods to feed on Molluscs, Crabs and other Crustaceans over shallow ground. Fishing early or late in the day when Snapper group up and feed in shallower water will bring the best result’s using soft plastics. However, if you’re fishing through the day then you’ll find that Snapper will retreat back to deeper water and this is when I opt to using the Kohga Jigs.
Snapper are also big fans of flow, especially during high tide when they use this to their advantage to get up and feed in the shallows.
Many ways to catch a Snap
Snapper and lures go hand in hand and at times this species will hunt down just about anything that moves. Snapper can be caught using a variety of methods, but a couple of my favourite techniques include casting soft plastics and slow jigging Kohga (or Octopus) style jigs.
When it comes to fishing soft plastics, I like to keep the retrieve fairly simple. I cast the lure out and allow it to sink to the bottom. Once the lure has reached the sea floor, I give the rod tip two or three sharp flicks up and retrieve the slack line as the lure returns to the bottom. Snapper have a tendency to inhale the lure on the drop, almost ripping the rod out of your hands, so it pays to keep a sharp eye on the line. Kohga jigging is very similar, except you’re trying to fish the jig in the bottom third of the water column. I allow the Kohga to free fall, then jig vertically with a series of slow hops and drops from a boat or structure. Snapper will nip at the skirt of the jig and it’s important not to strike too hard in this case and rather gently lift or retrieve into the hook up.
Soft plastics outfits
* Rods - TD Zero 702LFS / TD Hyper 701LFS
* Reel - TD Sol 3 2500LT / TD Kix 2500LT
* Mainline - J-Braid Grand Island Blue 8lb
* Leader - J-Thread Flurocarbon 8-10lb
* Rod – TD Zero 702MB
* Reel – CC80
* Mainline – J-Braid Grand Multi 15lb
* Leader – J-Thread Flurocarbon 16lb