Advice on how to catch snapper

Fishing for snapper and catching a big knobby is one of the challenges of fishing and is a highlight for most. Larger snapper of 10kg and more are classed as true trophy sized fish, with the one exception to the rule being in some areas of South Australia where extremely large specimens are not uncommon. Fishermen from other areas however are more than happy to catch fish in the 3 kg and less range with snapper over 5kg putting broad smiles on most peoples faces.

Without doubt the most prized fish in Australian waters, the snapper is heavily targeted from shore and even more so by boat. Each state having its hotspots where smaller fish known by local names such as squire, pinkies and a whole host of others, attract armadas of boats hunting these fish.

Overfishing has seen big drops in both numbers and average size of fish caught to the point that size limits have been raised and bag limit numbers reduced dramatically in all states. The staggering growth in people owning sea going boats, the introduction of cheap good quality electronics such as gps and fish finders, plus quantum leaps in tackle and artificial baits technologies have seen enormous pressures put on these fish as very effective specifically refined techniques are applied by almost anyone who can hold a rod.

For all the mystique that surrounds them snapper aren’t a particularly fussy species when it comes to food and habitat. Smaller school fish can be found in numbers in shallow bays and clean rivers over broken reef and shale grounds, whilst in deeper water atop solid reef is a preferred location where they will rise readily toward the surface when heavily burleyed.

Larger fish can be found in the shallows with depths as little as 5 metres and less not being uncommon, however they do seem to favour depths of between 12 to 25 metres much more in larger bays. Offshore snapper are more usually found at depths from 20 to 70m with some still being captured as deep as 120 metres and more.

Snapper like squid and pichards as bair, however we have often caught them with lures as well. Floating your bair down the current is more likely to catch these predators.