Anglers love mangrove snappers or gray snappers for their excellent meat and the challenge they provide. And though they’re not very difficult to catch, having a good idea of where to look and what equipment to use when mangrove snapper fishing can certainly up your chances of success. That said, here are some tips on how to catch mangrove snappers, whether you’re fishing for them inshore or offshore.
Fishing for Mangrove Snapper Inshore
Fishing for mangrove snappers inshore will require a different approach compared to fishing for the said species of fish offshore. First off, you’ll need to identify those places where you are most likely to catch them.
Ideal Fishing Spots
Like other types of snappers, mangrove snappers are mostly distributed and concentrated in fishing spots that have structure. This is because such places provide snappers with plenty of feeding opportunities as baitfish and shellfish often congregate there.
One spot you should consider visiting is mangrove-lined banks which can usually be found along shorelines, canals and waterways, and islands. The roots of mangrove trees offer the kind of structure that mangrove snappers like to hold in. This certain characteristic is in fact the reason why they’re named mangrove snappers in the first place. All that said, you’ll want to cast your lines as close as possible to the mangroves, or look for tidal currents that cut around the mangroves.
Rock structures like jetties are also great places to look for mangrove snappers as these are where small baitfish and shellfish are often abundant. Many anglers have been successful when fishing in these areas since mangrove snappers hold here by the schools. The same with fishing for snappers in mangroves, you’ll want to cast your baits close to the rock structures for a higher chance of success.
Docks and bridge pilings also offer great action for anglers looking to catch some mangrove snappers. As with other places where the structure can be found, baitfish and crustaceans are abundant in these areas, and where the food is located the fish will be there as well.
After knowing where to look for mangrove snappers inshore, you’ll then need the right set of fishing gear and equipment to catch them.
First, you’ll need a spinning rod and reel combo. Choose a spinning 7-foot spinning rod with a fast action to allow you to sense the mangrove snapper’s bites better and allow for a faster hook-set. Regarding the spinning reel, choose a medium-sized reel capable of holding an 8- to 20- pound line with a low-gear ratio to have enough power to reel in the fish.
Concerning the line, anglers would recommend using a monofilament line, and the thinner the better. This will be less visible to the fish and also more sensitive than others. Because mangrove snappers holding inshore rarely exceed three pounds, these tackle setup should be more than enough to ensure your success in the battle. As for hooks, use a small circle hook as much as possible since mangrove snappers are wary of larger ones.
Baits and Lures
Fishing for mangrove snappers work well using either live or dead baits and artificial lures. Should you choose to go with live baits, you can use shrimp, pinfish, mud minnows, and even small crabs. As for dead baits, cut squid or baitfish should be good enough. Just make sure that they’re cut clean and they’re fresh since mangroves snappers tend to stay away from sloppy looking food.
On the other hand, if you want to use artificial bait then you can go with surface plugs and pop flies. Red and white bucktail jigs as red and white nylon jigs can be effective as well.
Fishing for Mangrove Snapper Offshore
Fishing for mangrove snappers from a boat is generally not that different from fishing inshore. You’ll want to vary your tackle setup and the baits and lures that you use though, especially since mangrove snappers residing offshore are generally much bigger than those found inshore.
Ideal Fishing Spots
As it is with inshore mangrove snapper fishing, you’ll want to look for places where there is a structure for the same reason that such places are where the fish’ food is found. That said, you’ll want to visit offshore wrecks and reefs. You may need to hit several locations through before you can find where mangrove snappers are holding, so you’ll want to have a GPS to mark off potential fishing spots.
When it comes to your fishing tackle, you’ll want to go for something heavier considering the size of mangrove snappers lurking offshore. You can still use a spinning rod and reel combo, but many anglers prefer using a heavy baitcasting rod and baitcasting reel combo since you’ll want your bait to go as deep and as straight-down as possible. And because the line is running parallel to the rod you’ll have more leverage to pull the fish out of the structure while minimizing getting snagged.
Baits and Lures
Because of their size, you’ll want bigger baits and lures. With baits, you’ll want to go with small fish like pilchard and sardines, cut crabs and squids. Dead baits also work well as long as they’re cleanly cut and prepared. If you want to go with lures, you’ll want to attach a clean strip of dead bait on it to make it more enticing. Note though that not many anglers actually use artificial lures since they’ve been more successful with using live and dead baits.
Globo Surf Overview
Mangrove snappers are available inshore or offshore, but wherever you choose to fish for them, be sure to keep the above tips on how to catch mangrove snapper in mind. Doing so will make mangrove snapper fishing expedition much easier and help ensure that you’ll have a delicious dinner after a long day of fishing.