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Red Snapper picture

How to fish for Red Snapper

The Red Snapper commonly inhabits waters from 30 to 200 ft. They stay relatively close to the bottom, and inhabit rocky bottom, ledges, ridges, and artificial reefs, including offshore oil rigs and shipwrecks. Red Snapper will eat almost anything, but prefer small fish and crustaceans. They can be caught on live bait as well as cut bait, and will also take artificial lures, but with less vigor. They are commonly caught up to 10 lb and 20 inches in length.
Live bait such as sardine, cigar minnows, pinfish, and tomtates can be used for Red Snapper. Dead bait works well also which includes squid, strips of bonito or amberjack, shrimp, and eels. For the live bait hook the bait through the nose or eye socket on a 4/0 hook. For rigging the dead bait, try hooking it onto a Luminous jigging lure that glows in the dark like the Yo-Zuri Blanka, Bluefox Skarpsildas or the Metallic Sardine.
Jigging for Red Snapper from an anchored boat is the most productive. Ideal tackle for lighter jigging offshore is a fairly stiff, 7-foot rod and a baitcasting reel armed with 15 or 20 pound braided line. At the end of the line tie on a 30 pound barrel swivel with 4 to 6 foot 25 Lb mono leader. Tie your baited jigging lure to the leader and free spool the jigging lure to the bottom. Raise the jigging lure a few cranks off the bottom, then slowly raise your rod tip a few feet and quickly drop the tip back down. Keep repeating this until, with luck, a Red Snapper will take the jig.
Some fishermen chum the water to try to raise the Red Snapper off the bottom and closer to the surface. They then fish with live bait. The same fishing gear can be used except instead of the jigging lure the live bait is nose hooked with a 4/0 hook and a slip weight is used just above the barrel swivel and use a 10 foot leader. All tackle should be for saltwater. 


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