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Late season snapper
  |  First Published: February 2013



Throughout December there was an abundance of baitfish off the Gold Coast reefs, and with it were some cracking late season snapper. Plenty of anglers grabbed windows of opportunity and caught good-sized knobbies over the last month and, with a little know-how, anyone can have a go.

Last month we experienced several great sessions, reaching full bag limits within a few drifts. The average fish were around 2-3kg with several over 80cm; and one absolute horse measuring 91cm!

Catching snapper is so much fun and incredibly rewarding as they are excellent table fare. There are just a few things to take into account when targeting them to give you the best chance of landing one.

The most important thing to remember when fishing for snapper is to be prepared. Make sure your tackle is up to scratch and remember to maintain all your equipment.

The tackle needed for snapper fishing is light to medium spin rods, 3000-4000 size reels, 10-14lb braid with 14-20lb leader. Recently, we have found that the 13 Fishing Rods have made a massive difference in casting and detecting bites. They have an ultra sensitive top end with a strong butt to land the big fish.

We have been using the Shads Flicktails 4-5” range in the casper, commando and tequila sunrise colours.

Jigheads need to be 3/8oz to 1oz in size; this will allow the soft plastic to flutter, not sink. We use TT or Atomic Seekers as both have produced great results on snapper.

Having a quality sounder to find bait and structure, and to mark your trails, will greatly benefit your chances of landing an awesome fish.

The key to snapper fishing is setting the drift. Make sure that you cast well up current, which is where we have found the 13 Fishing Rods invaluable. All of your quality bites will come on the drop; once your plastic has come past the boat, retrieve and repeat.

Don’t be afraid to do a high speed retrieve, as you can hook pelagics with this technique as well.

So don’t put away the tackle just yet as the currents are still light and there are still trophy Gold Coast snapper to be caught on all the popular inshore reefs. – Shane and Nathan Wolhuter

SpeciesSize limitPossession limit
Tropical snapper25cm(min) 5 per species
Snapper 35cm(min) 4 with no more than 1 over 70 cm
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