Australian Snapper is considered a prize catch. They are caught in temperate waters from the bottom third of Western Australia all the way across the Great Australian Bight up the East Coast to South East Queensland. In Queensland and Northern New South Wales, they are predominant in the cooler months of the year. They are fished for in the colder waters of Victoria and South Australia during the warmer months. Reds can grow up to 14 kg + through an average size of 1 to 2 kg, anything over 6 kg is considered a great catch. They are caught in any depth of water from inshore to as far out as the Continental Shelf. Reds will take both bait and a variety of lures, with Pilchards being a favorite bait or a Gulp soft plastic being the lure. Reds are a superb eating fish with white flaky flesh. Below are some TIPS AND TRICKS I used to become a successful Snapper fisherman. Included will be rig descriptions as well as conditions. Personally, my favorite Snapper outfit is a 10 kg bait caster with braid or an 8000 bait runner with 10 kg mono.
The Way That I Like To Fish For Snapper.
When I plan on bait fishing for Snapper I use the float lining rig detailed below, then I will find a reef around the 30-meter line off the Gold Coast.
(You will find Reds in all depths from river mouths out to the Continental Shelf)
I make sure there is bait on the reef.
I anchor up so the stern of the bait is on the back edge of the reef as Snapper hang of the edge of the reef.
I find early morning and late afternoon and 2 hours into the night the best time for Snapper.
I fish all moon phases but find around a full moon the worst time to chase reds.
I will use the head half of a Pilchard for bait until I can catch either, Yakkas, Slimies, Pike or Tailor and then I will also cut them in half and again use the head. I know these are big baits but big reds love em!
The best time of year depends on where you are? Southeast Queensland and northern NSW winter is best Victoria and SA summer is the time.
The weather is totally dependant on whether I can get offshore safely.
If the current is too strong to float line use the second rig outlined below.
Rigs I Use.
The Float line Rig.
This is the rig I use it's a 2 hook snelled float lining rig.
Hooks are Gamakatsu or Shinto 5/0.
The leader is 40 pound Penn 10 x.
Sinker size depends on the current you are fishing in.
That is something you will have to learn for yourselves.
The Reels and rods I use are
Shimano 8000 bait runner on a 10 kg spin stick.
The Shimano chronarch on an 8 kg baitcast rod spooled with 10 kg braid.
The reel is a Daiwa CVX spooled with 10 kg Braid on a 6 to 8 kg Baitcast rod.
Bottom Dropper Rig.
Bottom dropper for fishing current.
Snapper lead on the bottom.
A loop knot 2 foot up from sinker.
2 hook snelled on short trace with a loop in end, Now loop together hook trace to the main loop.
Size of Snapper lead depends on current and depth.
5/0 octopus hooks.
40 lb trace line for the main rig.
short 60 lb trace on hooks.
If you don't want to use bait for Snapper fishing below are my favorite lures and the basic techniques that I use.
Octo jigs are very easy to use.
Size of the jig depends on current and depth To use a jig just tie it to a 40 lb, 3-meter leader and drop it to the bottom and wind up about 10 feet, put the rod in the rod holder and let the boat work the jig for you. Make sure your drag is set properly
and when the rod tip hits the water YOUR ON!!.
When I am soft plastic fishing for Reds I like you use
5 to 7 inch white or pink and white jerk shads with a light
jig head 1/4oz.
If no current I use 9-inch Slapsticks with a very light jig head.
I like to slow drift around bait schools for large Reds and cast my plastic down current and let it slow sink as the boat drifts towards the lure.
Once the lure is straight under the boat I wind up and cast again if there is bait still under the boat. I only fish the top half of the water column as this is usually where i find most of my big fish. Fishing is a lot slower this way but when you hook a fish it
is usually a good one.
Micro Jigging has really taken off and works very well for a large variety of species. But I am talking about Reds today, and using flutter jigs works very well for them. A flutter jig is a slow-moving jig that Reds love. Once again use these types of jigs around bait schools. This type of jigging does take some practice and I learned from watching (slow pitch jigging) on Youtube. If you are going to try micro jigging for Reds you will need the right rod to get the action out of your jigs. So I would suggest talking to your local tackle shop about this.
This is a fairly new frontier slow trolling hardbody lures 20 feet behind a downrigger ball.
You need a downrigger.
10 lb downrigger ball.
10 kg outfit with a light tip rod.
Rapala 10 diver x-rap.
I am new to this technique myself
so I won't go into details I will just
tell you if interested type in on Youtube trolling for Snapper. If you want to try this technique.
Gold Coast GPS Snapper Marks.
S 27 59 190 E 153 30 790 Golden Gate
S 28.04.26 E 153.35.55 Jew Reef
S 27 57.155 E 153 26.990 1 Mile Reef
S 27 56.632 E 153 26.647 Bait Ground
S 27.56.935 E 153.28.015 The Pinnacles