Sean with a pan-sized snapper on a Z-Man 2.5” GrubZ.

Simple snapper starters

A 44cm snapper from the kayak on the new TT Rods Copperhead 2-4kg spin rod.
Light spin gear is the go when targeting pan-sized snapper.
Plenty of by-catch when chasing snapper, including bream, flathead trevally and more.

SNAPPER have been a target species for me recently, with a few showing up in local rivers and estuaries. In winter our focus is deeper structure, with 4” plastics such as the Z-Man 4” StreakZ Curly TailZ or 4” Scented Jerk ShadZ fished on 3/8 or 1/2oz 3/0 or 4/0 jig heads getting the bites and fish landed to around 65cm. Simple snapper

Through the warmer months we tend to catch smaller fish, from undersized through to around 50cm, so we fish a smaller profile plastic such as a Z-Man 2.5” Slim SwimZ or GrubZ on a 1/4oz 1/0 jig head. During this period, we generally find fish holding in 2-4m along the channel edges, especially where there is weed and rubble on the edge.Simple snapper

The deeper edges and river mouths you fish would be worth a look. Even better if there’s reasonable current flowing along the edge, in which case we’d target the tide change an hour either side of low or high tide, particularly if the current is extreme. Light spin gear is fun, and we use a 7’ 2-4kg or 3-6kg rod and 30-size reel loaded with 10lb braid and 10-20lb leader.

Cast ahead of the drift and hop the plastic back toward you or hold position with the electric motor and cast up current, hopping the plastic back with the flow. I will pause the plastic on the bottom longer than when flathead fishing, as snapper often pick the plastic up and run off with it. Bites can be subtle, so set the hook and be ready for the afterburners when the snapper realises it’s hooked.Simple snapper

Scent up your soft plastic to encourage fish to pick it up on the pause, bite more aggressively and hold onto the plastic longer – giving you more time to set the hook. There’s by-catch a plenty when chasing snapper using the above techniques and you will find yourself hooked-up to bream, flathead, trevally and more.Simple snapper

The prime bite times are early morning and late afternoon, with early morning a favourite, especially if you can get out there before the boat traffic picks up. A tide change directly after sunrise or before sunset, and you’re on a winner. All the best with the snapper and see you on the water…

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