Hello, Gulf Coast! Red snapper season has just kicked off, and while short this year (only 14 days?!), we hope you can still land some killer catches. Check out some of our helpful tips for catching red snapper:
Know where to go
The rule of thumb for tracking red snapper is this: the older they are, the deeper they’ll go. Juvenile red snapper tend to inhabit the more shallow water over sandy or muddy bottoms, while the bigger or adult fish tend to swim at a depth of 100-500 ft. You can also usually find red snapper along coral reefs, drop-offs, ledges and wrecks.
Use heavy rods and strong line
To handle the heavy sinkers, go for tackle and lines in the 50-100 lb. class. Your rod will definitely need a strong backbone and butt, as well as a sensitive tip. For an added boost, consider attaching an alarm bell on the sensitive tip of the rod for an extra indicator for when fish bite. As far as line goes, we definitely recommend using braided because of it’s sensitivity, minimal stretch and improved water resistance.
Know the right techniques
Because red snapper are bottom-dwellers, jigging with metal jigs is a great method for attracting them. Consider luminous jigs that glow in the dark (we personally like Yo-Zuri and Bluefox). As far as increasing your productivity, fish from an anchored charter. Be sure to reel in the red snapper as fast as possible before it attempts to head back to the rocky bottom.
Entice snapper with irresistible baits
If you’re not in a heavily fished spot, pilchards, cut fish, dead cigar minnows and squid do well. As you head to more heavily fished spots, change your game up just a bit by using live small baitfish to lure in some decent-sized red snapper.
What are your tips for catching red snapper? Let us know and be sure to enjoy the season!
Featured image via Gulf Shores