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Video:How to Catch Red Snapper

with Jeff Mackin

Red Snappers are usually found around the Gulf of Mexico and the South Eastern points of the Atlantic Coast. In this About.com video, learn the best tips for catching Red Snapper.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Catch Red Snapper

Hi, I’m Jeff Mackin with the International Game Fish Association. Today, with About.com, we’re going to be speaking about Catching Red Snapper.

Red Snapper Overview

This is a Red Snapper, this is a small one; they get much larger than this. Red Snapper are one of the most important game fish in the southeast United States and the Gulf of Mexico. 

They’re a bottom-oriented fish and they typically range from about 30 feet out to about 200 feet. So, when you target red snapper, you typically go bottom fishing and you find rocky bottom; they like wrecks, reefs, and things like that in deeper water.

Best Rigs to Use for Red Snapper

A great rig to use for red snapper, and again, for any sort of bottom fishing you want to take advantage of the benefits of braided line. But a good rig is a Carolina style bottom rig. You want to use anywhere between 8 and 32 ounces of lead or an egg sinker work well with a main line attached to a swivel. To protect your knot from the weight itself you want to use a *red bead so that when the weight hits your swivel its not damaging your knot, or that it doesn’t slide over the swivel.

Attached to your swivel is going to be your leader, any where between 30 and 60 pounds; mono or fluorocarbon leader. You want to use a good length of leader. Red Snapper have very good eye sight and especially in areas where there’s a lot of fishing pressure they learn pretty well not to eat baits where they can see the  terminal tackles. So, you want to use a good length of leader between 15 and 30 feet, depending on, again, depth, depending on your tackle. Tied to a 5 ought to 9 ought circle hook, tied to your leader. Baits for Red Snapper: primarily they eat fish, they eat squid, they eat crustaceans, but a nice pilchard, a nice pinfish; pinfish is a great bait for red snapper, goggle eyes. Big Red Snapper love big baits, a palm sized pinfish is not too small and if you butterfly it down on the bottom; they love it, they go crazy for that because it kind of flaps in the current and it drives them crazy.  When you get a bite, you want to give them half a second, because a lot of times they’ll grab the bait and kind of swim around with it. So you want to let them run.

Use Jigs to Catch Red Snapper

Besides live bait, another good way to target red snapper is with jigs. Vertical jigs and also lead head jigs; these work very well as well. Different sizes different types. You can use the jigs plain like this or you tip them with squid, with ballyhoo plugs, different things like that.

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