Radio and Television TV Presenter
Michael is a well known fishing personality, co-host of Sydney Radio 2GB’s Fishing and Outdoors show (and associated podcast) and co-host of the Reel Action TV show on 10 Play. Guesty is a NSW North Coast Local and loves to talk about the quality fishing available in his back yard.
Guesty’s Top Tips For Coff’s Harbour Snapper
- Snapper move up and down in the water column, they’re not always at the bottom and are often mid water or even high in the water column. Your lure doesn’t always need to plummet to the bottom, so fish as light a jig head as you can, especially around the turn of the tide when they can come well up towards the surface,
- Getting a burley trail going and wafting a curly tail soft plastic through it is a great way to catch snapper.
- Drift fishing shallow reefs is great – cast the lure ahead of the drifting boat as fast as you can, let it sink well down and then hop the lure along the bottom towards the boat. Snapper are timid in shallow water, so once the lure is close to the boat, crank it in and cast again, don’t waste time fishing vertically in shallow water.
- As the water warms heading into summer the snapper will head out into deeper water. Check the water temps online and if it’s warm, head further out.
- Look for bait balls of slimey mackerel, scad, pilchards, anchovies on the front (northern) edges of reefs. Snapper will usually be on the gravel in front of these reefs when the bait are schooled up.
- Guesty likes the lead up to the new moon for snapper fishing. The lead-up to the full moon is also good, but the period for 4-5days following a full moon is always tough.
- Low light periods at dawn and dusk are great for snapper fishing, especially if these coincide with tide changes at dawn and dusk. Overcast days with about 15 knots of wind would be perfect for this style of fishing.
- Watch the weather maps and try and find a day when the barometric pressure is rising. Snapper are sensitive to pressure and often bite poorly when the barometric pressure is falling.
- If the fishing is tough, try moving to water of a different character, mix up the jig head weights and keeping working to find a patch of fish that are willing to play.
Guesty’s Tackle Recommendations Snapper Fishing
- A long, 6-10 kg line class spinning rod with a light tip is a good choice for this style of fishing. Guesty likes the 7’4” Penn Regiment with a 4000 size spin reel with 15lb braid and a 20lb fluorocarbon leader.
- Jig heads need to match the plastics you’re fishing. As a guide, using 15lb braid in 15m of water a 1/8 to 1/4 oz jig head is a good starting point. If wind and current are strong you may need to move up to 3/8 oz.
Guesty’s Top Snapper Lures
- 7” Berkley Gulp Jerk Shad in Blue Pepper Neon. Cast these long ahead of the boat and maintain contact with the lure. The trick is to let the lure sink without being pulled back towards the boat, but also without belly in the line, being prepared to wind hard if the lure gets taken before it gets close to the bottom. Once the lure is well down give it a couple of aggressive rips and then let it sink again without reaching bottom where the rubbish fish are.
- Berkley Curly Tail Nemesis is great when the fish are a bit quiet as it has a slower sink rate and plenty of action as it falls. It’s worked the same way as the jerk shad, but the rod action is a more gentle lift and hop, rather than aggressive rips.
- Gulp King Shrimps work exceptionally well around the new moon when the king prawns are moving. Let this lure sink close to the bottom, give it a series of erratic jerks and then let it glide like a prawn back towards the bottom.