How to Catch Mangrove Snapper

fishing for mangrove snapperA light spinning rig with 10-20 lb test line is the top choice for the Mangrove Snapper. When fishing the piers and inshore they are usually on the small side and they get larger as you move offshore.

You will find that learning how to catch mangrove snapper isn’t that difficult. Inshore, the fish is around 10 to 14 inches long and weigh no more than a pound. Offshore you’re going to find some that can weigh up to 20 lbs.
Mangrove snappers are usually found in inlets, piers at the beach and also inshore structures. While the fish is fairly easy to target, it’s going to put up a fight when caught so there’s going to be a challenge for first time anglers.

Bring the Right Equipment

If you’re fishing inshore you can use just about any inshore fishing gear since they don’t extend beyond 14”. The most popular combination for rod and reel is a medium light action rod and a light spinning reel. For first time anglers looking for a good inshore catch, a 12-14 lb. fluorocarbon leader and a 10 lb. braided line is going to do just fine.

What are the Best Lures?

When mangrove snapper fishing you’ll find that most types of artificial lures can work. Among the most widely used are finger mullet imitation lures, mud minnow, soft plastic jerk bait, soft plastic shrimp, curl tail grubs and Berkeley gulp shrimp. Bear in mind though that snappers aren’t as easily drawn to these lures like other fish.

Live Bait Tackle

Snapper are known for their keen eyesight, so you should use light leaders and small hooks. The most widely used are glass beads, small barrel swivel, 12 – 14 lb. fluorocarbon leader, a small circle hook (#2-1/0) and an egg sinker that’s heavy enough to go down the depth you desire.
You can also take advantage of the fact that mangrove snapper are hungry predators and will go after many types of live bait. Mud minnows are the best live bait for inshore snapper. Aside from having a long lifespan, mud minnows are durable, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a mangrove snapper that won’t go after it. If you don’t have mud minnow you can try small crabs, small pinfish, green back sardines, small finger mullet or live shrimp, all of which make for good mangrove snapper bait.

Habitat and Location

The majority of mangrove snapper can be found near structures like bridges, docks, piers and shorelines. If there’s a current and structure, chances are you’re going to find a good number of mangrove snapper there. If you look carefully you’ll see them in the shadows, waiting for their prey. One particularly good place to look are jetties close to inlets. These areas usually have the highest amount of inshore snapper and have schools of this fish all over.

Techniques and Methods

First you have to find an area where the fish are, and cast your bait a few feet from the structure where the snapper are. Let the current move your bait slowly near the structure. Let it stay there until a fish is caught. Keep in mind that some of the mangrove snappers are very aggressive; they will immediately bite the bait and your rod will bend. But there are also more subtle snappers that they barely make contact with the bait.mangrove snapper

If the mangrove snapper is biting too softly you should use a lighter weight and smaller hook, as this will encourage the snapper to try and swallow the bait. At the same time, this provides greater sensitivity so you’ll know if the fish has bit.

Before you go fishing for mangrove snapper make sure to review local laws in the area. For instance, most areas require the use of circle hooks when fishing for reef fish like snapper. Also, don’t set these hooks in the traditional manner: if you detect a bite, just reel it any slack until you feel the pressure. Slowly raise the rod up and reel the fish in slowly and steadily.

How to Use Lures

Find a structure where the fish are and cast on the up current. Work the cast past the structure 4 to 5 times and you should be able to land a fish. If you don’t get any after five tries it’s time to move to another structure. If you catch one fish, keep casting in that area since mangrove snapper move around in schools.

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Tips and Tricks

If at all possible, use mud minnows as bait because they’re the most effective. Second, try fishing near structures that are close to deep water because that’s more likely to hold schools of fish. Also keep in mind that these fish can be found all along the water column and not only the bottom.

You can find mangrove snapper from Massachusetts all the way down to Brazil, and if you’re in Florida you can found them just about everywhere. Aside from the locations mentioned you will also find them in offshore reefs and mangrove lined rivers. Inshore mangrove snapper can also be found in mangrove tree overhangs, wrecks and rock piles.

Once you’ve found a good location, keep the following in mind. First, hook your live bait via the lips, and if it’s a shrimp, hook it behind their eyes. Lower your bait at your target’s up current and the current will draw your bait close to the fish. If you don’t get anything within 10 minutes, pull up your line and check if the bait is still there. If there’s no current in the water, just cast close to where your target will be, but not too near because you might scare the fish. Don’t make any sudden movements when you fish and just be patient.

If you use the best bait for mangrove snapper like mud minnows, expect to get a bite soon. The tendency of these snappers is to bite aggressively and quickly go for cover, so the moment you sense a bite, pull up the rod tip and reel in. The fish is going to be quite aggressive and fight back, but because they’re small it should not be a cause for worry.

Where do mangrove snappers live?

The mangrove snapper or gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) is a species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including brackish and fresh waters.

How fast does mangrove snapper?

Inshore they average between 10-14 inches and weight between 1-2 pounds. Offshore they can reach a size of over 20 pounds, but in shore, a fish over 3-4 pounds is very rare. Offshore they are primarily found around reefs and wrecks while inshore Mangrove Snapper can be found just about anywhere there is structure.

What lures to use for snapper?

Snapper is identified as a highly prized table fish. Snapper take a variety of different baits and lures ranging from soft plastics to jigs. On a boat, flicking soft plastics has become highly popular, however you can still live bait and also use dead baits.

How big do mangrove snapper have to be?

10″ minimum size limit for Gray (Mangrove), 8″ minimum size limit for Lane, 16″ minimum size limit for mutton, 15″ minimum size limit (Gulf side) and 20″ minimum size limit (Atlantic side) for Red, 12″ minimum size limit for Yellowtail; no closed season; 10 per person per day aggregate limit of all snapper species with these exceptions: no more than 5 of the 10 snapper per person per day can be gray snapper, lane snapper harvested in the Gulf of Mexico are not subject to aggregate limit. more exceptions the snapper bag limits.

Is GREY snapper good eating?

Good sport/good eating: mangrove snapper bite is on. … Too much chum in the water brings around a lot of undesirable trash fish, which makes for too much competition for the snapper. Once the snapper are drawn in, our anglers stay on high alert. Mangrove snapper are known and expert bait thieves

Are snapper bottom feeders?

A bottom feeder is an aquatic animal that feeds on or near the bottom of a body of water. … Examples of bottom feeding fish species groups are flatfish (halibut, flounder, plaice, sole), eels, cod, haddock, bass, grouper, carp, bream (snapper) and some species of catfish and shark.

What is good bait for snapper?

As well as eating them live, snapper will also take their chances when they’re served dead, whole, butterflied or stripped. Other proven snapper baits include your classic fresh pilchards, whole squid, blood-soaked and smelly skipjack tuna, mullet and shellfish. Live baits can be used if looking to attract larger fish

Do snappers have teeth?

Unlike other snappers, the Red Snapper does not have upper canine teeth, but has short sharp needle-like teeth. This species is common in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coasts of America, and can also be found in waters like the Andaman Seas off Thailand as well as in waters off of Indonesia.

What do GREY snappers eat?

Larvae feed on zooplankton including copepods and amphipods. Juvenile gray snappers feed by day among seagrass beds, mainly on crustaceans and fish and to a lesser degree polychaete worms and molluscs. Foraging nocturnally, adult gray snapper prey upon small fishes, shrimps, crabs, gastropods, and cephalopods.

What is black snapper?

Black snapper is a common name that may be used to refer to: Apsilius dentatus, a member of the snapper fish family. Lutjanus griseus, the snapper fish family found in the coastal waters of the western Atlantic Ocean. Sistrurus catenatus, a venomous pit viper found mostly in the United States.

How do you hook live shrimp?

Hook the shrimp through the head when casting or trolling.
A)Insert the hook from under the shrimp’s head, and push the barb out on top, avoiding the vital organs. …
B)Insert the hook through the top of the shrimp’s head, working the point under the vital organs before pushing it out elsewhere on the top of the head.

Can you catch snapper off the beach?

Although snapper tend to stay a little deeper through the summer months to avoid predatory attention, they can still be caught through the day if an area is selected where you wade out as far as possible, then get your bait out the back and as deep as possible.

What do snapper fish eat?

Snapper eat almost any animal matter, including molluscs (shellfish, squid and octopi), crustaceans (crabs, shrimps, barnacles and crayfish), other invertebrates (worms, starfish, sea urchins) and fish.

What do pink snapper eat?

Pink snapper feed on small fish, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, jellyfish, echinoderms (such as sea urchins) and algae

What is the limit for snapper?

Snapper bag limits reduced. The Government has announced the daily bag limit for snapper will be reduced from nine to seven for recreational fishers. The minimum size will be increased from 27 cm to 30cm. The size and catch limits will take effect from April 1, 2014.

What do snapper feed on?

Snapper eat almost any animal matter, including molluscs (shellfish, squid and octopi), crustaceans (crabs, shrimps, barnacles and crayfish), other invertebrates (worms, starfish, sea urchins) and fish.