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Snapper Fishing 101: Complete Guide To Catching Your Limit

Snapper Fishing 101: Complete Guide To Catch Your Limit

Tips And Tricks For Snapper Fishing To Help You Catch Bigger And Better Fish

With the Red Snapper Controversy looming in both the Gulf and Atlantic waters brings the need to target all species of snapper to harvest enough fish to make a trip worthwhile.  Many different species of snapper are available for harvest, but anglers tend to forget about them.  Mutton, Mangrove, Yellow-Tail, Lane, and Red Snapper will be available to harvest this summer. As a whole snapper have excellent eyesight and tend to be finicky with a heavy leader at times.  This is especially true of all species except for Reds. More massive Red Snapper usually needs 80-100 lb leader when fishing structure and they sill bite live bait well.  However, some tactics need to be refined to catch the other species of snapper.

Red Snapper Trip From HFD

Red Snapper Fishing While Out Offshore

With years of bottom fishing experience, I have learned one of the best ways to target snapper is to anchor and chum. Snappers tend to venture away from the wrecks and structure, unlike grouper.  Snapper school up and move looking for bait around live bottom and reefs alike.  I like to anchor the boat up current on a structure.  Shipwrecks, live bottom, public numbers alike all hold snapper.  I like top anchor 30-200 feet away from the structure depending on current. The stronger the current and deeper the bottom, the further you should anchor. Once you have successfully anchored the boat, the chumming begins.  

Chum Line In Water

Chum Line Bringing Up All Snappers (Photo Credit: Florida Go Fishing)

Almost any kind of chum will work. Store bought, sandballing, and cut chum all will bring snapper to the boat.  Sandball chum can be made with sand, oats, and menhaden oil mixed in a bucket.  Roll into balls and drop behind the boat.  All other chum can be used in bags or cut and dropped over the side.  Within 20 mins you should have fish behind the boat, and you can start to fish.

Snapper Bait

The Best Bait For Snapper Fishing (Photo Credit: Saltwater Sportsman)

Use cut bait on a bare hook, or small weighted circle or jig head. Use a spinning rod with 15-30 lb leader and drop the bait over the side. Let line out with the current and let your cut bait drift back into the chum where the snappers are feeding. Eventually, you will see your line start to run out fast. Pick up the rod and start reeling and you should have some snapper species on the line. All species of snapper can be caught this way base on location and depth.  

Next time your offshore fishing try this style of snapper fishing. If you do not get the results you want, move onto the next spot.  Eventually, you will find a school of snapper to keep you and everyone on the boat busy. Try ledges, live bottom, artificial reefs, rock piles, and any other bottom structure that you see fish on. Get a reef anchor and some chum and catch some snapper.

Mangrove Snapper Offshore

Snapper fishing is always a fun offshore fishing trip. Not only do you get great action, but you will fill a cooler full of fish, perfect for dinner. If you have any questions or comments, we want to hear them and answer them. Feel free to leave us a comment below or email us at Send us your snapper pictures to be featured on all of our social media pages. Maybe you have a tip that we have not mentioned we would love to hear it and share with our readers. Get out there and catch a limit of snappers today!

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