100 Tips for Catching Snapper (2012)

For a start snapper are geographically widespread, good looking (in a rather pink, fishy way), and occupy all sorts of submarine environments; they also fight well, taste good and can be caught using a wide variety of methods.

I’ve been fortunate enough to catch snapper in many different locations using virtually every technique you can think of. However, most people don’t work for a fishing magazine, so are not in a position to do the same. Consequently, this festive season may well see many of you in an unfamiliar area with that new slow-jigging/surfcasting/soft-baiting outfit you got for Christmas, and possibly very little idea how to catch snapper on it. That’s why I’ve chosen 100 snapper-catching tips encompassing ten of the most popular fishing methods to help get you underway. And keep in mind that many of these tips can apply to some other techniques, too.

 

Lightweight stray-lining with bait

Basic scenario:

Fishing from boats over reasonably sandy, shallow (generally 15 metres or less), comparatively protected areas that often occur in bays, estuaries and harbour channels/edges.

100 tips for catching snapper1) Look for holes and channels with your fish-finder. Position your boat to take advantage of drop-offs, the sides of banks or deeper channel edges.

2) Berley makes success far more likely. If the current’s not too strong or the water too deep, it can be released from the surface. Tie frozen berley in a mesh bag close to the boat’s stern. Otherwise, place a dive-weight, ‘puka bomb’ or similar into the mesh bag and lower it on some cord until it’s positioned a metre off the sea floor, or place it in a Wobble Pot and do the same.

3) Cast well back behind the boat, as the bigger, more wary fish tend to hang back in the berley trail well away from the boat’s noises and shadow. Use reels that cast well on long rods (i.e. over two metres), and be sure to feed more line out by hand after casting so the bait can descend freely to the sea floor. When the line suddenly slackens, you’ll be there, so engage the reel and wind out any slack line.

 

4) A whole pilchard or squid bait is fine when larger fish are present (1.5-3kg, say), provided they are not too big, but it’s often better to cut them in half diagonally, creating long, slim baits that are easily swallowed. Try cutting ‘tentacles’ into the remaining squid hoods to give them some added movement, scent and appeal.

5) Give lightly-weighted, double circle-hook rigs a go (see diagram on page 40). The two hooks cover long, slim baits more effectively and provide excellent hook-up rates with a little practice. For consistent success, secure your baits in a streamlined manner with the hook points and barbs well exposed. Also, DON’T STRIKE WHEN YOU GET BITES! Instead, pull back slowly and firmly in response to a bite until the rod loads up – or doesn’t.

6) Keep traces reasonably short and light: 30-50cm of 15-24kg is good – just enough to rig around the bait, but not much more, so cautious fish won’t be put off by thick line.

7) Use just enough sinker weight to get down, and place the sinker(s) on top of the leading hook if they are under an ounce. Bigger sinkers may impede the rig’s hook-up capabilities. Such rigs cast better than those with sinkers positioned further up the line (i.e. free-running sinker rigs), and also sink more naturally, snag less, and don’t feel as strange to snapper when they pick them up. Jara removable sinkers allow anglers to change weight easily in response to changing tidal strength, while luminous sinkers will keep you hooking up for longer in the gathering gloom.

8) Pre-tie plenty of spare rigs before heading out on the water to make re-rigging as quick and painless as possible.

9) Use line that’s as light as practicable for the circumstances. Nylon often works better than braid when using circle-hook rigs, as its rather elastic qualities help to disguise the angler’s presence until it’s too late. Around 4-8kg nylon is generally effective.

10) Don’t be afraid to deploy two or three outfits set at different angles/distances, as the combination of long, light-tipped rods, mono line and circle-hook rigs can be very effective when left in the rod holder, reel in gear. Just wait for the ‘benders’!

Heavy-duty stray-lining from boats

Basic scenario:

This often involves a wide variety of snapper sizes being encountered, from pannies to trophies, generally from quite rugged territory in depths up to 50 metres. You can either anchor-up or drift-fish, although wind and tidal stream may determine what’s actually possible.

100 tips for catching snapper11) If anchoring, look for structure, which can be anything from deep down to shallow and/or exposed, with the presence of current helping your cause. Position the boat so it’s up-current of the structure, leaving enough space to cast your baits (especially in shallower water) and then to drift down – you don’t want the current whisking your bait well past the target area.

12) Use berley to draw fish from further away and/or out of gnarly territory to where your baits are positioned, which may be over sand or in less difficult terrain. Set the berley so it is likely to waft down to the structure, but not so deep it gets snagged on the bottom.

13) Casting well out the back usually helps your cause. Use either a spinning or freespool outfit with a two-metre-plus rod for better casting performance. Eight to 15-kilo capabilities will suit most people, but good anglers will enjoy the extra bites and sport offered by six-kilo gear.

14) You’ll suffer fewer snags in rocky and/or weedy territory by using circle hooks. The double circle-hook rig does well here, too, but baits and hooks tend to be bigger. In all cases make sure the circle-hooks’ points and barbs remain well exposed.

15) Yellowtail mackerel make very effective baits, alive, dead, halved or used as strip baits. However, skipjack tuna strip baits get more scent in the water, and pilchards are great if you want to see ‘if anything’s down there’.

16) Keep the 18-37kg nylon/fluoro traces short – just long enough to wrap around or ‘sew’ through the bait, then make two or three half-hitches to secure it, with a bit left over to guard against sharp teeth.

17) Hold onto the outfit after casting and continually adjust the line tension, either letting out more line or winding some in as necessary. This decreases the chances of catching snags and moray eels, and you will also react to bites better, teasing the snapper into repeatedly biting the bait until a hook-up occurs.

18) Consider a freespool reel (overhead) outfit for this type of fishing: after casting you’ll be able to leave the reel out of gear, with your fingers either flicking the spool around to take up slack line or being removed to let more out. This means fish can run off with the bait feeling very little pressure – until you engage the reel, wait for the pressure to come on, lift, and the hook bites home.

19) When the fishing’s slow, chop any spare or old bait into small bits and feed these out into the current in a steady trail. This will often turn fish on the feed.

20) If troublesome wind-against-tide conditions are causing your lines to run up under the boat towards the anchor, try setting a sea anchor from the stern. The current is often strong enough to pull the boat back into position so your lines are in the clear again.

Fishing with running-sinker rigs

Basic scenario:

If the current’s so strong you can’t get down with a couple of one-ounce sinkers on your stray-line rigs, it’s time to change over to a running-sinker rig (or the ledger rig discussed next). A running sinker means snapper can run off with the bait, but not feel too much pressure until it’s too late.

100 tips for better snapper fishing21) Long rods are not necessary, but rods with fast tapers (including a lightish tip) are best if you use circle-hook rigs.

22) Drop a heavily weighted berley system to within a metre or two of the bottom, then tie it off so the berley drifts back onto your baits, but its cord stays out the way of hooked fish.

23) Don’t cast out into a fast current, especially if the water’s deeper than 20m. Instead, drop your weighted rig down as freely as possible. The longer you take getting to the bottom, the further away your rig will end up.

 

24) Braid or nylon is suitable (no lighter than 10kg though); braid passes on bites to anglers more efficiently, but nylon is less likely to spook wary fish.

25) Suitable baits include small mackerel and squid, as they’re reasonably streamlined and hard for snapper to remove without hooking up. Fresh kahawai, barracouta and trevally strip baits are good too, cut so they’re long and tapered at one end for half-hitching/securing with the trace. Hooks should always be placed or threaded through hard parts of the bait – usually the skull or skin – and positioned so the points and barbs are well exposed. Avoid big bulky baits (i.e. skipjack heads), as they catch the current and spin, resulting in twisted lines and traces, and/or may fail to reach the bottom at all, even when a heavy sinker is used.

26) Traces don’t need to be 6m (20’) long, as so often recommended. Overly-long traces too often result in poor contact with the bait and missed opportunities, or fish with hooks right down their throats. One metre of 18-30kg trace will do the job.

27) The good old ball sinker suits this style of fishing, as it rolls around in the current, moving the bait and helping to attract the attention of nearby snapper.

28) Sinkers covered in luminous paint can entice extra bites when conditions are gloomy or dark.

29) Lift your bait up a couple of metres every few minutes or so, then drop it back down. Not only will you ensure you’re on the bottom, you’ll reduce the amount of slack line as well, and the rise-and-fall movement often draws snapper in for a closer look.

30) Leave your reel in gear, and if you get a bite on the double circle-hook rig, steadily lift the rod. If you miss the fish, drop the tip and maybe release a little line too, then engage the reel again – you’ll usually get another chance.

 

Fishing with ledger/flasher type rigs

Basic scenario:

100 tip for catching snapper

A ledger/flasher type rig is generally used when fishing in quite deep water (i.e. over 20 metres) that may also be affected by current. It suits beginner anglers really well, and at times nothing works better. A west coast special!

100 tips for catching snapper31) Braid around 15-24kg is well suited to this rig.

32) If making your own terminal rigs, use trace material around 24-37kg (50-80lb). Even though most fish won’t come close to testing such line weights, few people know how to tie really strong dropper loops.

33) Ledger rigs are best armed with 5/0 re-curve hooks, as they hook all sizes of legal snapper and keep them hooked, even where poor angler technique is involved.

34) Use reasonably compact baits not much longer than your thumb such as: half pilchards; squid tentacle clumps; squid bodies with ‘tentacles’ cut into them; and slim cut baits of skipjack, fresh kahawai etc.

35) Tie on a big, streamlined sinker – anything from 6-32oz – although the really heavy sinkers are generally only used in some west coast locations. These sinkers quickly get down past the barracouta and kahawai, and often provide enough pressure to hook any biting snapper for you.

36) Avoid tying overly long droppers, as they can tangle around the trace backbone.

37) Shop-bought flasher rigs – especially high quality ones such as Black Magic Snapper Snatchers and Gamakatsu Snappa Flashes – will help you catch more fish. They’re strongly made and incorporate proven fish attractants such as luminescence, fluorescence, flash and movement.

38) As flasher rigs have two hooks, try two different baits to see what the snapper prefer on the day. Ensure the hook points and barbs are left exposed.

39) When you get a bite, don’t strike. Instead, lift smoothly, and if you don’t hook up, just drop down again. Otherwise, keep the pressure on and wind down, before lifting again, but more firmly this time.

40) This rig really suits drift-fishing, especially if a streamlined sinker is used, as it’s less likely to snag up.

Fishing with metal jigs

Basic scenario:

100 tips for catching snapperWhile the traditional style of metal jig is not as ‘fashionable’ these days, they are just as effective as ever. However, the newer style of knife jig has rejuvenated jig fishing. They look sharp and work very well, too. The main differences between these lures, apart from the flasher graphics, are the knife jig’s slimmer profile and an assist hook attached to the lure’s top eye rather than to the tail end of the lure, as is the case with traditional jigs. Metal jigs are especially well suited to areas with a reasonably clean sea floor, keeping expensive lure losses to an acceptable level.

41) Jigging with metal jigs involves working the jigs in a reasonably vertical manner so they lift and fall (‘yo-yo’) just above the sea floor.

42) A freespool outfit is best for snapper jigging, allowing the user to quickly release more line in response to changing depth (see #49).

43) Use braid (around 8-15kg actual breaking strain) for jigging, as it makes the process so much easier. The thinner the braid, the better it cuts through the water, enabling your line to maintain a vertical position for longer. Two or three metres of 10-15kg trace (depending on jig size) are attached to the lure.

44) Jig weight is largely determined by how deep the water is, along with current strength and drift speed – 60-150g sizes suit most situations. Pink-white is an especially good colour combination, with blue-white and chrome drawing for second place.

45) Replace any treble hooks with a straight single hook of suitable size. It needs a big eye to easily accommodate the split-ring, or it can jam at a crazy angle.

46) Adding flasher material or some carefully tapered luminous/fluoro tubing to the hook’s shank can make the lure even more effective.

47) A slow drift is required for this method to work, so if the wind is pushing the boat along too quickly, deploy a drogue to slow you down.

48) Lob jigs up ahead of your drift so they get to the bottom before the boat drifts past them. This gives more time to lift and drop your lure in an attractive manner before the line angle becomes too acute and you have to wind up and start again.

49) You must respond quickly to depth changes, so leave the reel out of gear. Maintain contact with the seafloor by lifting your finger off the spool to let more line out; when the line slackens, signalling the lure’s reached the bottom, simply lower your rod tip and flick the spool around to retrieve any slack line, before clamping your thumb on the spool again and lifting the rod tip firmly to a 60-75 degree (max.) angle to the water. By dropping the rod tip right down again, you’ve completed a ‘yo-yo’ motion. This action needs to be repeated until you either hook-up while lifting the rod, or bangs or slack line are detected on the jig’s descent. In both cases strike hard immediately; if the rod stays bent, keep the rod tip up, engage the reel, and wind down, maintaining the pressure throughout.

50) Look for any work-up action, because work-ups are perfect for jiggers, but otherwise keep a close eye on your fish-finder at all times. If you see any likely looking sign, mark it on your GPS or drive back up on your wake and ‘bomb’ the marks with your jig.

Fishing with slow-jigs

Basic scenario:

100 tips for catching snapper

The slow-jig family includes both inchiku and madai styles – inchiku lures are long and thin, while madai lures are rounder and more compact. Slow-jigs are super-effective in work-up situations, but most things are, so that’s no real recommendation. However, there are times when they perform better than anything else – a change to a Pirates or Bottom Ship jig has saved a poor fishing day on many occasions. However, they can be spectacularly unproductive, too, with bait and soft-plastics outfishing them, so always take along a range of different lures.

51) Slow-jigs are often fitted with bigger, gruntier hooks these days, so while the whipcord-thin specialist slow-jig rods are lots of fun to use and look amazing in action, a standard soft-plastic outfit will do the job, provided the jig has these heavy-duty hooks. Baitcaster-type outfits work the best.

52) Keep the braid mainline reasonably light (no more than around 8-10kg actual breaking strain when knotted), so that the lure gets down quickly and stays near the bottom for longer. Don’t be tempted to apply too much pressure while fighting fish, as the relatively small hooks used can tear out.

53) Connect the braid to the jig with about two to three metres of 10kg fluorocarbon trace. Unless your knot-tying skills are exceptional, the knots should be retied every dozen fish or so.

54) Try attaching inchiku-type jigs to the fatter end of the lure – or even to the one midway along the body if the water’s not too deep – rather than the seemingly ‘correct’ eyelet at the thin, tapered end. In some situations these positions are much more effective.

55) Lure size can be critical to success, so bring along lures ranging between 60g and 150g.

56) Although a lure colour may not matter one day, at other times it makes ALL the difference! Proven colours include pink-white, blue-chrome, green-yellow/gold and solid orange.

57) These lures should be deployed on the drift. Use a drogue to slow your boat down if the wind’s blowing too hard, or use the heaviest lure you have.

58) The standard technique involves dropping the lure to the bottom, followed by a slow lift and drop, perhaps giving little jiggles and twitches as you do so. As their name suggests, these lures are designed to work better with more subtle manipulations that allow their tendrils and plastic squids to wave around seductively – so avoid moving them too sharply or violently. Most bites occur within half-a-dozen lift and drops, and watch out for bumps or slack line on the initial drop, too – bites may happen in mid-water. If no bites…

59) Try very slowly ‘mechanically jigging’ (winding the reel handle whilst lifting and dropping the rod at the same time) upwards for about 10-20 metres, or to where you estimate fish might be holding as shown on the fish-finder screen, before dropping again and starting over.

60) You can fish slow-jigs from an outfit left in the rod holder if it’s not too rough: thanks to sticky-sharp hooks, they’ll hook snapper by themselves, and unlike standard metal jigs, they’re still catch fish when the line is at quite an angle.

Fishing the 'shallows' with soft-plastics

Basic scenario:

This involves catching snapper on lightly weighted soft-baits in shallow water, usually around rock and reef. Nothing’s more versatile than a soft-plastic rig: soft-baits and snapper are made for each other!

61) Basic equipment: a spinning outfit rather than a baitcaster (especially in water less than 20-metres deep) comprising a 2.15-2.4 metre graphite rod capable of handling 4-8/10kg line weights and a small spinning reel holding at least 200m of 3-10kg braid.

62) Two to three metres of good quality 7-10kg (15-20lb) fluorocarbon trace caters for most situations, but the rockier the ground, the longer the trace should be, as the thicker fluorocarbon line is more resistant to abrasion than the thin braid.

63) Bring along a range of lead-head weights. Basically, a head of 3/8oz or half an ounce suits water from seven to 20 metres deep (on a calm day), while a quarter ounce (or lighter) is sufficient for shallower conditions. In water over 20 metres deep, 5/8oz to 1oz is often needed, especially if the wind’s puffing a bit or the current’s fast. (Again, use a drogue if drifting too quickly.)

64) Lead-heads armed with 3/0 hooks will handle all legal-sized snapper; the hook-up rate is much better than with 5/0s, whereas 2/0s will see more fish simply ripping off.

65) When the fish seem reluctant to bite, experiment with different terminal tackle and fishing strategies. The easiest thing to change is the lure colour, so if using a natural colour – a squid (brown/cream) or baitfish (blue/pearl/green) say – try something much more colourful and garish, such as a ‘Nuclear Chicken’, ‘Lime Tiger’ or ‘Curried Chicken’.

66) Still no good? Try changing the lead-head’s weight; a lighter or heavier weight forces a different retrieve speed to be adopted and makes the lure behave differently. Snapper behaviour changes from season to season, day to day and even minute to minute, in response to their metabolism, water temperature, light levels, noise and other external factors. At times they may like a quickly worked and fast-moving lure, while at other times a slowly hovering, twitching lure does the damage.

67) The casting angle can be very important. Generally it’s best to cast ahead or to the side of your drift line. But drift speed, wind direction, tidal speed and direction, along with your lure choice and the fish’s inclinations at the time, combine to produce infinite combinations of circumstances. Sometimes it pays to cast further back and swing the lure, or even directly behind the boat. So if the action is slow, try different casting angles.

68) When fishing in reasonably shallow water (i.e. up to 10 metres), cast as far as possible, engage the reel, wind in any slack braid blowing around, keep the rod tip down, pointing straight along the line, and then watch the line intently as the lure sinks (including the ‘V’ wake lines it creates on the sea’s surface during the descent). If the line behaves strangely at any time, bumping, slackening or suddenly zipping away, strike!

69) In deeper water, up to 20 metres say, it’s better to cast a long way (generally up ahead), flick the rod tip two or three times to produce extra slack line, watch the slack line disappear, then feed out more line just before it tightens, repeating the flicks until you think the lure’s about halfway down. Then engage the reel, remove the worst of the remaining slack, and watch the line intently, keeping your rod pointing along the line for the most direct contact and to give yourself plenty of striking room.

70) If the fishing is really bad, try ‘dragging’ the soft-plastic bait through reasonably clear territory. This involves tying on a reasonably heavy lead-head (5/8-1oz), attaching your favourite soft-plastic, dropping it down to the bottom, and then dragging it along. It’s better to hold onto the outfit; you often get more bites when the rod’s left in the holder, but you can’t respond quickly enough to hook them.

100 tips for catching snapper

Soft-plastics deep down

Basic scenario:

100 tips for catching snapperthis sort of fishing takes place in water from 20-50 metres deep. Although work-up situations offer the best chances for success with heavily weighted soft-plastic rigs, it also pays to check out any likely looking reef structures and fishy marks down near the sea floor or decent marks near schools of baitfish showing in mid-water on the fish-finder. Simply drifting over previously productive areas can also work well, even when there isn’t a fish to be seen on the fish-finder!

71) A standard soft-plastic rig will do (a 5/8-1oz lead-head and 5” tail, for example), especially around work-ups when snapper are taking lures on the way down, but a more heavily weighted rig generally does better. You’ll want a slightly gruntier graphite rod that can set a large ‘worm hook’ from 50 metres or more away for this style of fishing. The reel should hold at least 200m of 10kg braid, with two to three metres of 10kg fluorocarbon trace tied on the end.

72) The main aim is to get down to where the fish are. Two-ounce heads will do this, but even heavier ones (4-6oz) are better, especially when used with inherently active grub (curly) and paddle-tailed soft-plastics, as the weight drags these lures down more quickly, which in turn causes these tails to wiggle harder and create more vibrations. Good weighted systems include the Berkley Nitro Elevator Rig, the Jigstar Swivel Head and the Ocean Angler Cyclops Deepwater Rig.

73) Tough lures work best for this (Z-Mans are hard to beat), as they’re less likely to be pulled off the hook or otherwise be rendered ineffectual by the attentions of fish that don’t hook up.

74) If it’s early/late in the day, particularly gloomy, or the water is especially deep, try using luminescent soft-plastics (Gulp! has some great candidates). Otherwise, many of the weighted systems have the sinker part coated in luminous AND fluorescent paint, covering two bases!

75) Pay attention to your hook size in relation to the soft-plastic tail. You don’t want the hook to dominate the lure or be too obvious, but neither do you want it to be so small it disappears into the lure. The point and barb should remain clear by a few millimetres, except when using soft-plastics designed to be crushed or pushed clear of the hook.

76) Be sure to secure the soft-plastic lure as firmly as possible, as it can get plenty of harsh attention, especially in work-ups, and it’s a long way up and down to keep checking on its ‘operational status’. The Cyclops is supplied with a wire to secure the bait, while others, such as the Nitro Elevator, have ribs on the hook shank to help stop their ‘pants being pulled down’.

77) Be alert for strikes on the descent; those nearest the surface will probably be from kahawai (but ‘check’ a couple first, just in case they’re snapper or kingfish), so resist striking as they’ll soon let the lure go, allowing it to continue its descent down to where the strikes are more likely to be from snapper. So whenever the line suddenly slackens in this zone, strike!

78) Once the bottom is reached, be especially vigilant, as the first few jiggling lifts and drops are generally the most productive. If nothing happens, proceed on a reasonably slow, erratic lift-and-drop retrieve for maybe 10-15 metres, then drop the lure back down again.

79) If the action is slow, try using some sort of scent, such as Z-Man ‘Secret Sauce’, Squidgie S-Factor or similar, as it can really make a difference.

80) Even though the heavy heads help your lure get down and stay there, a drogue may still be necessary when the wind gets up to 15 knots or more.

Stray-lining from the rocks

Basic scenario:

Rocks are not very forgiving and inshore snapper can be big, so your tackle must be sturdy (10-15kg) and castable.

100 tips for catching snapper81) Look for reasonably steep, rocky points with plenty of weed and maybe deep gutters or holes in the vicinity. A bit of whitewater wash is good.

82) Rods should be at least two-metres long, preferably 2.5m to 3m.

83) Consider freespool outfits, as they’re great for stray-lining baits. Otherwise, ‘Baitrunner’-type reels are the go.  

84) Set your berley straight away. A heavy-duty lidded bucket drilled with holes works well as a dispenser. Fill it with frozen berley, secure it to the rocks with a length of rope, and allow it to wash around with the waves. 

85) Keep sinker weight to a minimum, or even go without sinkers completely. Place the sinker on top of the hook; you’ll rarely need more than half an ounce, with a quarter-ounce generally doing the job best.  
86) Using circle hooks will cut down on snags. In very rugged, weedy territory, use just one hook rather than two.

87) Any kahawai caught should be filleted, skinned, and cut into long, thin strip-baits.

88) Don’t cast for the horizon. Alternate long and shorter casts (or use more than one outfit) to locate fish, as the berley often brings snapper right in to your feet. Also, move around if things are slow and look for interesting nearby structure to cast into or near.

89) To keep snags to a minimum, avoid excessive amounts of slack line OR too much tension. Lift or drop your rod tip in time with the swells to maintain good line contact, winding in or letting out more line as required. 

90) If you snag up, don’t immediately put the pressure on the line to try and clear or break it. Instead, wait with minimal pressure on for several minutes – the surging weed will often free your rig, or a fish will bite it clear for you (true!).

Surfcasting
Scenario: We’re talking mainly sandy or pebbly beaches here, although some weed and rock certainly won’t hurt your chances of success!

91) A 4WD or quad-bike will help you find the beach’s best-looking spots. Look for any changes in the lines of swells, indicating holes and channels, as snapper tend to favour these areas. 

92) Wearing a wetsuit is often an advantage, especially on rugged west coast beaches – you’ll stay warmer and safer. Avoid chest waders and consider wearing a PFD.

93) Suitable rods generally need to be at least 3.65m (12’) in length to get baits out a good distance and then hold your line above the breaking swells. 

94) Break-out sinkers are a must on beaches with swells and/or current.

95) Tough baits such as squid and octopus are an advantage when pickers like small snapper, crabs and spotties are around. However, softer baits such as tuatua, pilchards and skipjack tuna can be toughened by salting and refrigerating for a few hours or even days. Use bait-elastic or similar (cotton works, too) to bind baits to your hooks.

96) When crabs are a problem, use any you catch for bait. Remove the legs, cut the carapace down the middle, and tie the bait onto a double-hooked rig with bait-elastic. 

97) The addition of items such as luminous/fluorescent floats, beads and ‘plastic octopus’ add colour, movement and improved visibility, helping to attract curious fish to your bait.

98) If long casts are required, use smaller baits on ledger or pulley rigs, and consider incorporating long-cast aids into your rigs such as an Impact Shield.

99) A rod holder is always useful. Get one with plenty of length, along with a foot plant if possible, so it can be pushed deep into the wet sand and won’t pull over easily.

100) Changing tides create different situations; if your fishing slows, look elsewhere along the beach for new opportunities. 

And, just so you don’t think we’re stingy, here’s a bonus tip…

101) Snapper often move out of the shallows as the sun comes up and back in again as light levels fall towards the end of the day. Therefore, early mornings and late afternoons/early evenings are the times to target snapper from the beach!


January 2012 - Mark Kitteridge
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited