When it comes to snapper fishing a large part of the equation to successfully catch is selecting the right jig head weight to use. Of course there are other factors to consider but that’s another story.
Fishing with people beginning in the game really starts your mind ticking over about the basics you take for granted.
It is most likely if you were to jump on any boat to go snapper fishing, the skipper is likely to tell you to invest in some 3/8 ounce and 1/2 ounce jig heads. These jig heads will work in most situations and a 3/8 ounce is certainly the most common weight I use but it is not suited to all situations.
When fishing for snapper you must hit the bottom. To hit the bottom you must consider wind and current, which in turn will determine your drift rate. The last factor you need to consider is your own casting distance. All these factors will influence whether you will get the weight you selected to drift down to the bottom. You may also want to consider the sinking rate you would like to achieve. If you are marking fish higher in the water column you may want to drift your lure slowly down to the bottom, so you have more chance of hanging in their faces to see if they will eat your lure.
This is an example only; if fishing say 30 metres of water and you are drifting at a rate of say 1.5 klms/hour, a 1/2 ounce jig head will simply just bomb the bottom and not drift at all, a 3/8 ounce should float down reasonably slow and should be hitting the bottom once in line with your boat and will hang in that zone. With an extra long cast a 1/4 ounce will drift down slowly and should be hitting the bottom approx 1m or so past the boat, provided you can cast the distance of your depth.
If your drift picks up at a faster rate or you start fishing deeper water, than you will obviously need heavier weights.
Fishing shallow inshore reefs is a different matter again and another subject matter that I will cover later.
It is a good idea if you are running a number of rods, is to mix up your weight selection and see which the snapper prefer. Lately we have had mixed bites on two different weights, if one starts performing better than the other we will change the weight to match.
Remember if you are not in the zone than you are not going to catch the fish.