Western Australia Snapper Fishing Tips
Snapper through WA can be locate from Coral Bay in the north and as far as the South Australian boarder down in the deep south. Generally, smaller models around the 4-8kg will be found dwelling in the inshore waters and are accessible to the land based anglers. But if you are chasing the bigger fish you will need to get out to the deeper water, somewhere around 100m deep, and look for some structure or broken gravely ground. Snapper spawn from October and their spawning behaviour can last anything between 3-5 months. This behaviour tends to make the fish form very large aggregations. Now is the time to get out and get among the fish as the WA ban has been lifted on 16 December.
- Big fish can still be found in 8-10 meters of water, so don’t fall into the trap of just heading straight out to the deep water. Head west from Perth, and get yourself out beyond the first line of reef. Once you have done this sound up some reef or broken ground somewhere around the depths of 8-12m. Snapper tend to dwell along the boundaries of the reef looking for some crustaceans, or some soft bait such as squid or bait fish.
- Another good spot is cray pots, they act as large berley pots in the water so if you do see some markers for cray pots, it pays to anchor up and cast back near them.
- The old saying, ‘no run no fun’ is so true. So make sure you are prepared for the tidal movement, one of the most important things is the time of day that you fish. Dawn is great so get set up and into position will before the sun breaks as the bites will start to shut down once the sun stretches beyond the height above the skyline. Once this occurs its time to turn your attention to a different species until later in the afternoon. As snapper will come back on the bite in numbers around dusk. It’s not to say you won’t land a good fish in the daylight hours, but you won’t get them in great numbers like you will at dusk and dawn. Then it’s time to go chasing other species until the late afternoon twilight period when the snapper come back on.
- However, if you are going to target snapper during the day, and if you are fishing in deep water, then you can fish for them any time of day, as the light of day will find it difficult to penetrate down into the depths. If you are going to fish in the shallow water for snapper during the daylight hours, you will find the fish to be more cooperative on an overcast day with a strong wind churning up the surface of the sea. When fishing the daylight try to keep your hook size down, fish with lighter sinkers or none at all if possible, or a little more extreme but load your reels with darker line or a fluorocarbon leader. Try to reduce the amount of noise imitating from your vessel.
- Soft plastic lures are a good option when targeting big WA snapper.
- I personally have the most success with the z-man paddle tails in white from sizes from 5-9 inches. If using paddle tails, I find that a good combo of jig head range from 1/2oz to a few ounces, this all just depends on the size of the tail. To work the lure I just drift and let the vessel’s momentum influence the action essential to tempt a good snapper. This way you can fish a few rods, just ensure you keep the lures off the bottom, if fishing reef.
- If fishing with bait I use a paternoster rig or twin snelled rig. Generally, if I use the paternoster it will be a flasher rig. Specifically it will be a Super Ultra Violate flasher rig, especially when fishing the deep water as these rigs have the glowing properties that will attract the fish in the deep dark water.
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