Snapper, known as pink snapper in Western Australia, are a much-loved Australian species, appreciated as much for their eating quality as they are for their sporting attributes. Snapper can be caught in estuary, bay and offshore environments along our east, west and south coasts, and although these stocks have certain quirks and habits, one thing they have in common is that they love soft plastics.
The peak times for snapper around Australia vary, however in more northern waters they tend to be a winter fish, while in southern areas their peak is in summer. Snapper are known to migrate seasonally, however there is usually a contingent of fish that don’t travel with the pack. An example is the fact that some anglers choose to target snapper in Port Phillip Bay during winter, despite the fact that the ‘season’ here is accepted as being in spring and early summer.
Choosing soft plastics for snapper is not an exact science, and there is a whole range of plastics that have proven themselves in the past. Berkely Gulp! Saltwater Jerk Shadsor ZMan Scented Jerk ShadZ soft plastics are a widely-used tool for snapper these days. When paired with Tackle Tactics Headlockz Extreme or HD jig heads, anglers can achieve the erratic action that snapper just love.
Something to remember is that snapper love to eat soft plastics as they are falling back to the bottom, so allowing plenty of fall time between twitches and jerks will generally bring more bites. Once you are familiar with the depth you’re fishing and the structure on the bottom, it might be a good idea to find a jig head weight that allows for a slow fall, while also being able to find the bottom, as this will maximise your chances of tangling with a monster red.
So when the time is right in your part of the world, make sure to utilise this incredibly effective technique. Whether you’re chasing a feed for the family, or simply wanting to lock horns with an Aussie icon of the saltwater, chasing snapper with soft plastics is equally challenging and rewarding!
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