Swing into snapper season
  |  First Published: September 2011

This month sees plenty of choices for offshore anglers fishing out from the South Passage Bar with snapper season in full swing.

The snapper should be holding on most of the shallow and deeper reef lines, I particularly enjoy snapper fishing this time of year when Shallow Tempest fires up. Early morning or late afternoon sessions are great in 30-35m of water.

Unfortunately we lost a lot of prime snapper country around Henderson Rock when the green zones were implemented a few years ago, but there is still a lot of ground north of the green zone, running right up to Cape Moreton. It’s not quite a long run up from the South Passage Bar, so the other option is to work your way south coming around Cape Moreton.

A typical charter for me this time of year, is to work Shallow Tempest early and once the sun gets up, move out to the deeper reefs such as the northern 29s, Round Patch and Deep Tempest where the snapper are still active during the day. The shallower grounds definitely fish better at dawn, dusk and at night, with overcast days also productive.

During the night I anchor and berley, but during the day I prefer to drift along the outside edge of the reef. When drifting, float line with as small a sinker as possible, but you need to be on your game as a strike from a large snapper can be explosive as they hit a slowing dropping bait. Pillies, whole squid and fresh strip baits such as tuna, mullet or tailor all work well when presented on two ganged 5/0 or 6/0 hooks.

The past couple of months anglers fishing Shallow Tempest at night have been boating some good mulloway and snapper and this should continue for the next month or two.

Early August finally saw a decent run of weather, but the fishing has been very patchy. One day we would have little trouble reaching our bag limit of snapper, the next it would be hard work trying to put a feed in the icebox. On tough days from listening to the chat on the radio, it seems most anglers were finding the same thing.

Last year the full moon in August was when the fish switched on and stayed on for a couple of months, so by September hopefully the snapper are right on the chew.

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