How to catch snapper
  |  First Published: June 2007

This week our report is going to be on snapper fishing.

When fishing for snapper we use our fishfinder to sound around a reef area, looking for shows of fish off the bottom. When I was watching Fishing Western Australia they say that over there the fish bite when they are right on the bottom.

When we have spotted the fish on the sounder screen, we first have a drift to see which way the current is running. This tells us where to drop the anchor so we can sit over the fish.

Once we have anchored up we feed berley out to attract the fish to the boat.

When we fish for snapper we use Penn 225LD reels and 40lb line. On the end we use the smallest ball sinker we can straight on top of a gang of hooks. The hooks we use are Mustad 7766 in size 5/0.

The bait we mainly use is pillies but we do use yakkas, slimies and slabs of flesh bait. When floating the pilly down we slow it right down when we think we are 10m to 20m off the bottom. When we’re fishing for snapper we often catch other good fish as well, like pearl perch.

Another form of snapper fishing we do is with soft plastics in the shallower waters off Bribie Island. You just go upcurrent of your mark and drift back over it. When we’re fishing for snapper here we use Shimano spinning reels with 6-14lb braid with a 4-6kg rod. The plastics we use are mainly Zooms and Squidgies. We don’t use Gulps because we think it is too much like bait.

We cast our plastics upcurrent and bounce them along the bottom. When the plastic goes out the back too far we wind in and do it again. The snapper often take the plastic when it is sinking to the bottom.

Usually you have to have pretty good conditions to fish with the plastics. They often work better in the deeper water than bait as well. In the deeper water we use 30lb braid with 40lb leader.

Until next time, Happy Fishing.


1) Now is a great time of year to catch snapper. You will often catch pearl perch at the same time.

2) A feed of snapper for the family.

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