Mastering the Art of Snapper Fishing Prep
Knowledge gathering is so important to your success as an angler. So, it’s crucial where you get your knowledge from. I have obtained my understanding of snapper fishing over a 40-year period from countless books, magazines, blogs, and directly from experienced anglers, but most of all my own trial and error. Your own experience will teach you the most. Once you learn something new you need to put the learning into action. One of the best sources of knowledge is from angling club members in your local area. Highly recommend having a few beers down your local club and picking the club member’s brains.
Like with most sports, preparation and practice is key to success. It’s fair to say that snapper is a fish worth putting in a little extra time and effort towards preparation. Ensure you have the right tackle that you can trust in your arsenal.
For most anglers their snapper gear will sit inactive over the colder months, and rightly so, as it can be harder to get a decent snapper during the cooler season, majority of anglers chose to target different species during this time.
Now that spring is only a few days away and the climate starts to warm the snapper will start to flood into the bays and estuaries. Today is the time to start dusting off your gear and check for any tackle gaps in your arsenal in addition get it ready for a big snapper season. Use the time you have now to check your boat/kayak or land-based equipment is safe and fit for active duty. Remember that marine batteries are manufactured differently to your standard car battery, and most should be maintained above 12.4 volts.
During August and September, your social feeds will fill up with those lucky enough to land good snapper, which will get you pumped up for a big season. But make sure the timing is right for your local fishing spot before jumping the gun early. The migration patterns of snapper are like clockwork in most locations, so ensure you have figured out the best time of the season that your spot might fire up. I personally use September to iron out any kinks in my set up, which would include rigs, reels, batteries, lights, fish finder or cameras. For example, I respool any reels that have lost line to ensure I don’t end up getting spooled by a big red. The last thing you want is to finally connect onto a big red, only to get spooled because you failed to take the time to properly prepare your gear.
Anglers can either prepare by making their rigs at home or purchase pre-made rigs. A combination of both is the way to go. Some anglers will make their own rigs and wrap them around a pool noodle. Which is a great solution for one or two sessions, as you will figure out that the hooks will rust if kept too long on a pool noodle exposed to saltwater conditions. A waterproof fishing wallet is probably a better option in order to keep your rigs longer.
Purchased pre-made rigs have an incredible benefit as they usually come in a re-usable sealed package which will protect them from being exposed to the salty elements.
The other preparation that I do throughout September is start collecting bait such as squid, pilchards and other small bait fish. I usually stock up my freezer with nice squid heads, the fresher the better of course. If you can use the freshest bait, you can get your hands on. Another early season tip I have found over the years is not to burley by throwing chunks of pillies into the water. I still burley up using my burley pot, but I don’t feed the fish with chunks of flesh. This method seems to work in the early season. Also, try fishing the top end of the bay where the rivers are flowing warmer water into the tidal lagoon.
Now get out there get your gear ready for a huge snapper season - “Put more fish on the table”