Snapper Tactics

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Snapper Tactics

#1 Post by The KFDU Team » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:47 pm

Hi everyone.

This thread has been designed to assist members new and old who wish to target Snapper and want to refine their techniques or learn how to target Snapper for the first time.

This initial post will give you a general description of the type of fishing gear used to target Snapper without referring to brand.

The following posts have been given by the moderators and a number of other members to give the specific fishing gear that they use to target Snapper and the specific techniques they employ.

We have also locked the thread to keep the information easy to find without having to filter through question and answers and the regular banter that occurs on most threads. If you have any direct questions feel free to ask any of the members that have been asked to post on this thread.

General Gear Specifications





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The KFDU team

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Re: Snapper Tactics

#2 Post by butts » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:49 am

Soft Plastics: For flicking soft plastics I use a 7ft 1pc in a 3-5kg class for lighter jig head weights and 7ft 1pc rod in 5-8kg for flicking heavier jig heads.
Bait: I use a 6.5ft 5-10kg rod while fishing with bait which is placed in the Scotty rod holder and positioned out of the way while I flick plastics. It’s a lazy way to fish but does produce the goods.

Soft Plastics: Reel sizes in the 3000 to 4000 range with very good drag systems (buy the best you can afford).
Bait: (Overhead) Abu Garcia 6500 and 7000 series or you could use a bait runner style of reel in a 4000 size.

Soft Plastics: 5kg Fireline and 8kg Finns
Bait: 8kg braid with 3-4m of 10kg mono wind-on leader

I will use nothing less than 10kg mono as I have found that if they head for the bottom you need something that can take hit from the bottom structure whether it is rocks or weed or a wreck.

To join mainline (braid) to leader I use an Albright knot as I find this easy to tie on the water in roughish conditions. For fixing my jig heads (or other terminal tackle) to my leader I use the simple locked blood knot. The only other knot I use is double Snell (Sliding Snell) for rigging my two-hook bait line.

Snapper have very strong jaws and will crush and straighten out many hooks. If you plan on targeting these fish you must get your hands on some quality hooks that can withstand the pressure. Fairly thick gauges hook from sizes 3/0 to 5/0 and maybe even 7/0 (depending on the size of Snapper in your vicinity).

Tactics and Technique:
The very first thing I do when fishing Offshore is put out a sea anchor (unless I’m really close to a reef or bombie) no matter what the conditions are. It helps you hold your position when drifting. My sea anchor is positioned at the rear (via an anchor trolley) of the kayak to allow me to cast forward of the kayak.
Soft Plastic:
You don’t need to be in very deep water to find Snapper so you don’t need big heavy jig heads to get your soft plastics to where the reds live. You only need enough weight in the jig head/soft plastic to allow it to fall through the water column as if it is an injured baitfish, too heavy and it will sink too quickly and look very unnatural. Cast your SP to your desired location (reef, wreck, cuttlefish) and allow it to float to the bottom but always keep in contact with your plastic, you can even work it as it falls by twitching it every now and then to imitate an injured bait fish. If your SP has not been engulfed by the time it reaches the bottom you then have to make your soft plastic dance by twitching and jigging the rod tip and then taking up the slack between twitches.
Another tactic that can be used is one from the old days (pre soft plastics) where you used to float out a pilchard behind the boat and wait for it to get hit. The same principal is used but with a SP tail rigged on a hook only (usually with a worm style hook) and left to float down in the water column. This is very useful when the Cuttlefish are up floating on the water. Snapper will follow them up and feed on their carcasses. Also if you see the carcass of a dying Cuttlefish, cast this unweighted SP tail towards the cuttlefish and wait for it to get smashed (better of using a white coloured tail for this).
Soft Plastic tails can range from 4inch to large 7inch tails. My personal favourites are Squidgy Flick Baits in any colour and in sizes 110cm and 145cm. I also use Berkley Gulp in 4inch Swimming Mullet, 5inch Jerk Shad, 7inch Jerk Shad, Crazy Legs Jerk Shad, 4inch Jigging Grub. Colours for Gulps vary from day to day but Nuke Chicken, Pumpkinseed, Pearl White and my favourite Chartreuse.

There are various techniques when bait fishing for Snapper from the yak but here is the one I use.
My outfit is a six and a half foot 8 – 10kg rod fitted with an Abu Garcia 7000 spooled with 10kg braid joined to 10kg mono. I use about 1m of 20kg trace with two snelled Gamakatsu 5/0 Octopus Circle hooks. I also place a small ball sinker to aid in getting the bait down. The size of sinker will be determined on how fast you or the current is moving. You will need the bait to be a couple of meters off the bottom. Using a sliding smell knot allows you to adjust your rig to different sized baits.
Baits to use: you cannot go past a fresh piece of Cuttlefish Candle about 4-6inches long, they love it. Also any fresh bait like freshly caught baitfish fillets (Yakkas, Slimies and don't discount a fillet of Sear gent Baker), squid either freshly caught or store bought - use either the legs individually or use the heads whole (or in half).

Landing a Snapper from a Kayak:
For small to medium size Snapper (that are well hooked) I usually just lift them straight into a waiting towel draped between my legs (mainly because I don’t take a landing net out with me). For the larger Snapper 5kg and bigger I will use a gaff (if I intend on keeping the fish).
Member of NSW South Coast Kayak Fisho's

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