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Snapper Trolling

March 11, 2021 2 min read

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Snapper Trolling by Addict Tackle

There’s a bunch of ways to enjoy these great fighters, and now we can add trolling to that list! While this is a relatively underrated technique for this species, results have shown just how deadly it can be, and it’s a great way to maximise your chances when motoring between spots! Anglers in Brisbane, Hervey Bay, Port Phillip Bay and Western Port have been trolling for snapper for many years, and only now are their secrets starting to seep out into the angling community!

The first thing to remember is that despite what is commonly believed, snapper aren’t strictly a bottom fish; they will hang out wherever there is decent food, safety, or both!

Trolling for snapper isn’t just a matter of blindly trolling around until you find them however, and focussing on certain types of underwater topography will improve your results.

While we tend to find snapper schooled up on small reef systems or coral, rock or weed, the areas in between them can be barren and fishless. However, certain formations such as drop-offs, small channels and current lines can provide food and sanctuary for travelling fish. Snapper will also sometimes join in on a bait ball assault with other species, so any bust-up can’t be ruled out as a chance for a snapper. 

To reiterate, snapper aren’t strictly a bottom fish, and it’s worth noting that they will rise for anything that looks good enough! This is why many snapper trollers choose to troll lures mid-water to avoid snagging up, and in turn they will encourage the fish to swim up to hit their lures. It works surprisingly well! Sometimes, trolling lures 50ft above the bottom will still draw fish into striking!

Trolling speed doesn’t have to be dead slow either, with speeds of 5-8km/h working well. This speed also allows the angler to cover more water, or get to their next ‘ground’ a little faster than if trolling at slower speeds. 

Of course, hardbodies are the preferred lure types for this style, and there’s a huge range that will work. Lure size will depends on where you’re fishing and the size of the snapper that live in the area, but anything from 60-150mm can be deadly on its day. Roughly matching the size of the bait species in the area is a good start. In any case, it’s not something to worry about too much, as hungry snapper are fairly opportunistic fish. 

The Chasebaits Gutsy Minnow 80mm Hard Body Lure, Halco RMG Scorpion Hard Body Lure, Nomad Design DTX Minnow Floating 120 and Rapala X-Rap Deep Diving Slashbait 10cm Hard Body Lure are a few great lures to try out on the troll for snapper. 

If you’re a snapper nut, or just want a more relaxing method of chasing these much-loved fish, add trolling to your bag of tricks!

1 Response

Frank Frok
Frank Frok

February 15, 2024

Hi Mark, good information. Also, have you done any live/fresh bait trolling and how is it done with downrigger? Thank you, Frank

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