Snapper are probably the most sought after fish by any fisherman. Whether it is offshore, estuary or even land based. This is because they are fantastic eating, hard fighting and a challenge to catch.
I am going to talk more NSW based, as I haven’t really targeted snapper anywhere else in Australia as yet.They are fish you can target well on bait, plastics, blades and lucanus jigs. All of these methods are quite successful.
Preferred bait preferences would be cuttlefish candles, pilchard, yellowtail/slimy mackerel heads or squid. A steady burley trail is vital to draw the fish to you. Floating bait works well as it will float more naturally down a burley trail but sometimes depending on wind and current you may need to add some weight.
Depending if you are anchored or drifting will depend on how you add this weight to your set up. If you are drifting and you need to add weight use a paternoster rig. If anchored just a simple running ball sinker works well.
When fishing the ocean you can either target inshore or offshore reef systems. You want to look for the drop off’s or edges and baitfish schools. I have covered this in a couple of articles previously about searching your contour lines how to fish for them in deeper reef systems using soft plastics. I have attached the following links:- https://lureandfly.com/2013/07/24/contours/ and https://lureandfly.com/2014/05/28/selecting-the-right-weight/
Keep your eye out for cuttlefish on the water. If the birds haven’t got to them yet you will often get snapper just underneath them. So don’t ignore them when driving past, take a look.
All kinds of soft plastics work well I don’t find they are too fussy with this. It is just about having that lure in the right zone to get the bite.
If fishing inshore reef systems with lures say less than 20 metres you will find you have to hop the lure rather than drifting it.
Estuary fishing is not much different. You will find them again off the drop offs or on the reef systems within the estuary.
They are great fun on light gear. Depending if you are in the estuary or offshore your leaders will vary. Anywhere from 4-8lb inshore to 8-30lb offshore. A rod 7 foot or so in length and rated between 5-10kg is a great all rounder. I use the Daiwa Black Generation Supercasta teamed up with a 3000 Sol.
You can catch them all year round but the better season tends to be through our winter months and around October.
If you keep at it you will work them out and score some nice fish. Remember to limit your catch and not catch your limit. This way your kid’s kids can experience what you have.