Deep Water Snapper Fishing Tips
In Victoria it is illegal to anchor up in a shipping channel, as they can be very busy and big cargo ships cannot manoeuvre as quickly as a modern conventional power boat. You will be putting yourself and your crew members at risk by doing so. As we have discussed snapper like reefs and they also particularly like the edges and drop-offs of channels. Many old time anglers believe that the thrust of a power boat zipping by will dislodge morsels off the banks or edges of these channels, therefore these areas can make good feeding grounds.
The running sinker rig is most universally used in the deeper areas with a trace one meter or more long with a suicide hook between 3/0-6/0 size being determined by the size of the bait being used. Your sinker weight should be determined by the tidal flow in the area. If there are strong currents in your chosen location, you could use a snapper sinker up to 1kg in weight. How long your leader should be will be dependent upon the type of terrain that you are fishing in. If you are fishing areas of long heavy weed, then it is best to keep your bait above the weed. So you have to make a judgment on the size of your leader.
Most anglers in the bay use line of 10-15 kg (20-30lb) but occasionally even heftier line is adopted. The main motives behind the stronger line are the dangers of nicking or fraying the line on a section of shell or jagged rock and the difficulty of bringing a big fish up from the bottom. In the deep water sharks can also be problematic when connected to a good sized snapper.
In deep water, the first sign of a bite is occasionally only the smallest nibble but more often a long fast run. Either way it is hard to recognise the species and its method of taking a bait. Sometimes when the fish is fighting there is doubt, and many snapper have been lost when an angler has cut his line thinking he has hooked a large stingray.
At times big snapper can give you a sense that you are engaged with a stingray in deep water or in a strong current, as they use their profound flank to stay side-on to the pull of the angler’s line. The larger the fish the bigger the surface area of its flank, so the more struggle there is. Snapper frequently resort to this habit when they begin to tire out. Earlier in the fight they choose to make numerous runs. Maybe the utmost vital point of the fight is when the fish is taken to the surface near the vessel. The space between rod tip and fish is very short and the line will give very little. So it is vital that the fish be permitted to run if it still has the energy to do so. When snapper fight has come to a halt the snapper usually lies on its side. This is the best time to use the gaff or attempt to net the fish.
Snapper sometimes rest from feeding the very moment the tidal flow stops. ”No run no fun”. This also happens with other fish in the bay, most notably King George whiting. At times subtle movement of the bait in an up and down motion will tempt them to start feeding again but more often than not it is a matter of waiting of the tidal flow to commence again.