The red snapper is one of the most desirable fish by the anglers and it is quite a popular species in the gulf, among all snappers, this one is wanted the most. But the question is, Where do you fish for red snapper? Due to its demand and popularity, the authorities keep a close check to maintain their population and that is why fishing for them has been quite difficult for some time now.
However, recently the policies have been changed regarding the fishing of red snappers, as the policies have loosened up there are more chances and opportunities for the anglers to grab a nice red snapper, hence creating a thrush of excitement among the fishermen.
However, the new anglers that are about to catch their first red snapper may need some aid in the form of pointers that will make their hunt easy. Don’t worry I got the right starter pack for you. In this article, I am going to explain all the tips and tricks that you need to catch your first ruby red snapper.
Before learning some tricks, let’s learn a little about the characteristics of the red snapper which will ultimately help you in catching it.
Red snapper is a species of snapper that is almost exclusively available near and around the Mexican Gulf.
If you are a fisherman then you must aware of the fact that the red snapper fishing season is the most desirable fishing season all over the world. Most of the anglers even mark it on their calendars a year before.
Where Do You Fish For Red Snapper?
To answer this is not that simple. Red snappers are both shallow and deep water fishes, so it is easy to spot them at any given depth of thirty to two hundred feet. They usually tend to hide behind marine structures for camouflaging and protection.
Their favorite hiding points are seawalls, reefs, old barren ships, and piers. However, do not start your search from the shallow waters, as it can get difficult as well as frustrating to look for red snappers on the rocky floors.
Following are the favorite hotspots for the red snapper where you can easily find them:
- Artificial Structures: Red snappers are a huge fan to hide behind artificial structures like artificial reefs. So try to begin from the coast looking for the artificial reefs. They are literally attracted most to the reefs in the gulf or anything that looks similar to a reef.
- Remember The Hot Points: If you have witnessed some red snappers at a place, memorize it and when you come back start looking from that place. There are high chances that you can find red snappers or even more at the same exact spot. As compared to other species, red snappers don’t make new homes every day and they are creatures of habit, they keep a check on where they are moving on a daily basis, and repeat that. But, don’t keep looking at the same spot for too long.
- Season of Spawning: When do you fish for red snappers? Well! Summers are a great time because that is when the spawning season begins. The date may vary each year because of the difference in spawning conditions. However, June and July are considered the peak time of this season. You can also catch up with the federal notices that annually announce spawning seasons. Almost 95% of the red snappers anglers usually get are via the federal waters.
- Chumming Strategy: If you find more red snappers in shallow water, there are huge opportunities for you to catch them. For this, you can use a chumming strategy that covers a wide area and you can whip them into a frenzy. Begin chumming around the perimeter using a nice block of chunked fish. The chumming will draw out attraction and the red snappers will come out from their hiding spots like reefs. After that, you know what to do. It is time to hook up the best bait to catch the red snapper. Read about best fishfinder for fishing.
How Do You Fish For Snappers?
When you are preparing the bait for red snappers, try to make the burley slick. Always anchor towards the burley and away from the reef. Silence is the key when fishing for snappers, as they get easily spooked particularly when fishing in shallow waters. Always go for light line, weight, and leader to grab the best chance of catching red snapper. If you are going for a baitrunner, then don’t engage the gearing.
What Does Red Snapper Taste Like?
Red snapper is popular for its nutty sweet taste. It’s not a salty fish but has a very mild taste. The meat is also very tender and moist but it retains its shape and sturdy texture. Thereby it’s a very diverse fish when it comes to cooking. As compared to other fishes, the red snapper’s taste is quite different. It’s an ideal fish for people who prefer mild taste foods and for the kids as well.
Is Red Snapper A Bottom Feeder?
You may be surprised to know that red snappers are bottom feeders like most of the other fishes like sole, cod, sardines, mackerel etc. Being a bottom feeder does not mean that this is a bad fish to eat. Being a bottom feeder not only means that these fishes are mostly found at the bottom of lakes and oceans. But, it also means that they are at the end of any food chain. Their diet mostly comprises algae, detritus, and fungi which make them excellent sources of rich fatty acids and Omega-3 that are extremely beneficial for human health and for the heart too.
What Is The Best Bait For Red Snappers?
I recommend Cigar Minnows and Pilchards as the best bait for red snappers. They are red snapper’s favorites and are shiny. Pilchards are technically big-sized sardines so be specific while purchasing them as baits. Red snappers are very picky eaters, and thereby catching them is not a piece of cake.
Remember, they are not going to bite any other static piece of bait. In most cases, you will have to employ live bait or else you will end up catching stuff like jacks, and triggerfishes.
Using a heavy-duty pole drop these live baits into the water, and there will be a huge chance that you attract some big ones out of their holes. Make sure to keep checking your bait every now and then if the bites are slow, and keep them fresh.
In addition to using live bait, you can also employ shiny metal lures to test your luck. Vertical metal jigs can be tempting for the snappers and also appear as an easy bite to the snappers. You may need to practice a bit but vertical jigs work extremely fine for the red snappers.
However, vertical jigs are ideal for shallow depths like up to thirty feet and where most of the light can reach. Such depth is ideal for red snappers or a school of snappers. You can also go for heavy spinning and baitcasting because they also reflect a lot of light under the water luring the snappers.
Also Read: What Does A School Of Crappie Look Like On A Fish Finder?
How Deep Do You Fish For Red Snapper?
Red snappers are found both in deep and shallow waters. You can fish for them at depths ranging from thirty feet to two hundred feet. Bigger ones are at deeper depths and are also shinier, while small red snappers are found in shallow depths and are less shinier. Most of the anglers go for the bigger and shinier ones that mostly appear at deeper depths.
Generally, red snapper is considered a deep-water fish and thereby they are normally found at depths of 200 ft. However, it’s not always the case, they are also available at shallow depths like 30 ft only if conditions are right.
There are plenty of areas where you can find this situation like in Louisiana. So, if you are fishing in this area make sure to cover shallow depths near the shore before you move out ten or more miles further in the ocean to find the red snapper.
Are Red Snappers Hard To Catch?
Catching a good shiny red snapper is not too hard, and it is not too easy as well. But with the right bait, you can make it easy. Because snappers are aggressive fishes and they will bite off your bait more quickly than a group of fishes. However, catching a snapper that is worth a trophy is rather a different story. If you are lucky, then you may catch a 20 pound or 30-pound snapper. But it is not always the same. If you want to consistently catch big and huge snappers then keep focused on these three points:
- Right spot
- Right bait
- Optimal Tackle
What Is The Best Time To Catch Snapper?
For catching red snappers, early mornings and early evenings are the ideal time. Most of the fishes take advantage of the low light for camouflaging and feed at night particularly when you are fishing in the shallow waters. Big snappers are sensitive to sound so any disturbance will spook them, so silence and finishing carefully will mend your ways.
You can also consider night for the fishing, but most of the snappers hide again after the sun goes down. Tide is also an important factor when it comes to catching the red snapper. In shallow waters, most of the fishing areas that are quite productive go dry in times of low tides. The tides will affect different locations differently, and therefore for most locations, it is better to fish on one tide.
How Do You Target Snapper?
Red snappers can be easily targeted simply by just throwing the baits into the water OR you can also experiment with multiple baits, lures, and techniques like sending plastic to deep depth or trolling hard bodies in deep waters.
You can spot a snapper in sand, mud, reefs, artificial reefs, rubbles, and also in both shallow and deep water. Most of the snappers are lured by live bait. Depending on your luck you can get a heavy shiny red snapper. Pogies, Cigar minnows, and the squids are the best baits for the red snappers.
Is Red Snapper A Good Fish?
Red snappers are extremely rich in Omega-3 and fatty acids. According to the AHA (American Health Association) consuming fish regularly is a great contribution to a healthy lifestyle. Due to these beneficial fatty acids in the fish one can keep most heart diseases away as well as atherosclerosis and also prevents high- cholesterol.
In a nutshell, everybody wants to catch a big red shiny scaly snapper but you must have to know all the right information about them in order to catch them. From the location to the bait, and to their habits to their hiding spots it is essential to know each and everything in detail.
Red snappers are found in both deep and shallow water at a depth ranging from 30 feet to 200 ft. You can spot smaller ones in the shallow water and the bigger ones in the deeper waters. For baits, you can never go wrong with Cigar minnows, live baits, and metallic lures.
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