Do You Know what Conditions Make Snapper Come on the Bite?

Snapper -

Do You Know what Conditions Make Snapper Come on the Bite?


Snapper can be found dwelling in and around shallow and deep reefs, with a particular liking to rubbly grounds, within the sheltered bays and also in the deeper offshore systems.  A snapper’s diet consists of octopus, mussels, crustaceans, squid and small fish like bluebait, whitebait and pilchards.  Additionally, Snapper have a special taste for prawn. This is a very inexpensive and accessible bait for all anglers around Australia. 

Snapper are a grazing fish and usually feed whilst they are on the move. This principle is true for both their feeding habits, snapper feed on the bottom for Octopus, crab and other crustaceans and will also feed mid column when hunting squid or small bait fish.  Generally speaking, the first sign that a fisherman is engaged with a decent size snapper will be the running of your line, as it abruptly streams out through the rod runners. Ohh yeah what a feeling?

Snapper will grab your bait and swim for some distance, before they stop and attempt to swallow a bait.  When the run comes to a standstill, this is the optimal time to strike the fish. Now this technique is purely dependent upon the pattern of hook chosen. For example, if fishing with circle hooks, there is no need to strike the fish to ensure a good hook up.

Experience fishermen believe that the most important aspect of snapper fishing comes down to water temperature. The next aspect is the availability of food and also the reproducing nature of the fish. Snapper are sensitive to the variations in the water temperature. A good sounder will provide you with a good understanding of current water temperatures.  There are a number of apps these days that will also assist in forecasting and issuing current water temperatures.

When the wind is still, the higher body of water will become much warmer than the deeper layers. But once solid winds blow up this will help dispense the warmer water and mix in with the cooler water below. This is done as the waves churn up the water. This could also be a reason fishing for snapper tends to be good after a strong blow.

When the water is calm, snapper tend not to come on the chew as frequently, this may be due to the sunlight penetrating the unbroken water, which allows the light to stream into the shallow and medium depth water. Given snapper can be a bit of a shy fish, perhaps they feel there is less cover on those calm sunny conditions?  

When the waters are on the rough side, snapper seem to come on the bite easily. It is often debated among anglers that it because snapper see better in less light? Or is it because the chopped up ocean has the opportunity to discharge food from the weed beds and push marine creatures out of the rocky outcrops and stir up the mud and sand which hide marine life, or is it a combination of all of the above?  The truth is, that it is hard to know, exactly what cause snapper to come onto a hot bite, however, we definitely know that the above mentioned conditions are the ideal time to fish.   

Snapper bite better after dark, There is factual evidence that any type of fish which come on the bite well at dusk and dawn tend to bite very well throughout the night.

Wind direction cannot be really applied to the logic of catching snapper as it would be dependent upon where you are fishing. For example, a westerly will have a different outcome to an angler fishing on the east side of Port Phillip Bay (PPB) than an angler fishing on the western side of PPB. However, from the many angling club members whom I discussed this concept with, the next paragraph covers the mainstream belief of those fishermen.  The greatest wind for snapper fishing in Port Phillip Bay is one from the south- west. This is great if you are fishing at the top end of the bay (City end) along the southern coast the south wind is also the most productive.  

Along the east coast of Australia the nor easterly or sou easterly winds are best. As for rock fishing, the best wind is the one blowing onshore and its direction will of course depend on the direction the coast you are facing. Anglers must take care of large swell in these conditions, as rock fishing can be extremely dangerous to the novice and experienced, all the usual safety precautions should be adhered too. On the local piers around Melbourne, land based fishermen get their best results when the sea is full blown onshore. Which is also relevant to other parts of the country when snapper fishing. 

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