Mike Bonnici reveals the secrets to snapper success in his latest Q&A.
What is the best time of year for snapper? Does the water temp play a big part?
On the Australian East Coast you can catch them all year round however I would say the best times are from May to October.
Time of day and tides, how do they affect your chances of catching snapper?
First and last light are always the best time for reds as they are a very flighty fish and like the cover of darkness. However they can be caught anytime of the day.
Tides are always a funny one for me they are definitely a time when predatory fish will eat but it’s still no guarantee.
What sort of ground do you look for when fishing for snapper? Do you use your charts to work out where you want to go?
Best part about reds is they can be caught from 0-100m+ so there is endless terrain. From a spear fishing background I noticed they would always be on a weed/sand line. Since taking up fishing I have found they can be anywhere from up in the wash to the flat lifeless depths.
If I was in a new area I would look at the charts work out a zone I want to fish then cover the reef with drift lines. Making sure you’re not driving over or near the area you are going to fish is important. I have found using plastics while drifting is the best way to cover ground.
Is there a specific way snapper mark on sonar?
Not really they mark as a normal arch but once you know your’re in the right area you will know what you’re looking at.
What sort of structure are they likely to be found around?
That’s a tough one as they seem to be pretty much everywhere – hard and soft sand, reefs, wrecks, washes they’re on them all.
Does Depth matter?
No not at all.
Plastics vs bait? Do the conditions play a part in your choice?
I really enjoy both forms and both can be very effective. Definitely for bait fishing if there is any strong wind it’s best it’s going the same way as the current. For plastics I like around 5-15knots of breeze so you can cover ground and drift into your spot without spooking the fish.
What’s your preferred tackle?
I use a 15-20lb, 7ft rod, 4000 size reel with 15lb braid and 20lb fluoro leader.
What electronics are you running?
Simrad NSS evo3, S5100 and TM275LH-W transducer.