Holy snapping snapper season
  |  First Published: September 2012

It’s all about snapper at present with the iconic red fish making up the bulk of catches for most anglers. The season has continued from what I reported last month with plenty of red hot action enjoyed by local fishos.

Fish between 1-3kg are dominating catches with the odd larger knobby also keen to slam float lined baits. The fish are being caught on the closer reefs as well as the wider grounds, and with August and September usually being the gun snapper months, the action should be top shelf over the next few weeks.

I prefer to drift baits this time of year so I can cover more ground. If you can get a good drift happening you can often pass over several feeding schools. Make sure you use a sea anchor when there’s a bit of breeze happening; it will help you keep your weight to a minimum.

One mistake often seen by drifting anglers is once they finish their drift, they sound back up their drift line. Feeding snapper can be finicky if it’s not their main bite period, so a boat motor and sounder can spook them very easily. Drive well wide of your drift line to your start position and turn your sounder off when you drift – you already know there’s feeding fish holding on the reef.

Everyone has his or her own opinion, but I believe mono is the only way to go for float lining. Having a bit of stretch in the line is very important. Of equal importance is the number of hooks. Two ganged 5/0-6/0 hooks is the way to go – three hooks is overkill and restricts the movement of the bait.

My hooks are tied directly to the 30lb mainline, but I usually use either a lumo hook sleeve or a short length of lumo tube between the hooks and sinker as an extra attractant. It also helps to prevent bite-offs.

The majority of snapper we catch are caught on the humble pillie. When you’re putting them on your hooks make sure you go through the top of the pilchard with the top hook of the gang. Put it through the top of the head and make sure the point of the hook is coming out under its chin.

Snapper season in southeast QLD is very exciting, so make the most of the opportunity and slip offshore while they’re biting well.

If you would like to join me an charter (max. 5 persons), give me a call at Outlaw Charters on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750. You can also visit www.outlawcharters.com.au for more information.

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