If you have had the change to enjoy fresh warm, saltwater fish, you know that Snapper is right up there with Grouper. On our Florida boat we have a Raymarine eSeries HybridTouch set-up with C-MAP charts which is our “Ace” when it comes to finding specific bottom obstructions and of course fish.
On a recent outing with my wife Barb & Lek Durr we headed to an irregular bottom out in the Gulf of Mexico knowing that we had to cover a large area if we wanted to hook some nice-size Snapper. While Grouper are close to the obstructions, snapper wander and feed in the general area. Out bait of choice was chunks of Squirrel Fish rigged on a sliding sinker rig. I kept the Yamaha 115 hp 4-stroke outboard running the whole time we fished and put it in and out of gear watching the Raymarine fishfinder closely and combing the irregular bottom.
Larger snapper can be tricky to hook since they like to grab a bait, tear and run. The strike feels more like a hit-and-run, than a grab-and-hold.
When it comes to setting the hook, timing is everything and like Grouper, as soon as they get hooked-up, they swim horizontally along the bottom often getting a line caught on obstructions.
We used Gamakatsu #5/0 hooks with 50 lb. Suffix Fluorocarbon leaders. The key is to hook-up and get-up off the bottom as fast as you can.