Steve Riley

Exmouth Fishing Personality

Steve is a fishing tragic, tackle store owner and long-time resident of Exmouth in Western Australia. He’s enthusiastic about sharing his fishing knowledge with our listeners – and he has some pretty damn good stuff to say. It’s hard to feel sorry for Steve – the only thing most anglers could think of that’s better than living in Exmouth is living in Exmouth and owning a tackle store…….

Steve’s Goldband Snapper Jigging Tips

  • Goldband snapper are found in depths from 50 to 250m, but Steve tends to fish for them in around 100m, within 1km or so of chore from Exmouth.
  • Look for areas where there are small sandstone ledges of 0.5 to 4m in 100m of water. Once found, move around until you find fish with your sounder – they can move to different areas and be in front or behind ledges on any given tide. Goldband can usually be recognised by their habit of sitting just above the bottom (1-2 m), where other species like red emperor are right on the bottom.
  • You want as little bot movement as possible for this style of fishing as you need to work the lure vertically beneath the boat. Currents in excess of 0.8-0.9 knots make it hard to get the jig down into the zone and keep it there.
  • Fishing the neapish tides or the period from a couple of hours either side of a tide change can help with finding low current conditions. Likewise, the quarter moon leading into a new moon tends to result in currents suited to targeting goldband snapper.
  • Once fish are found, figure out the drift and make your way upwind/current so that when you drift over the fish your lure is already working just above the bottom.
  • It’s important for the jig to be able to work, so avoid heavy line and stiff leader, the more supple, the better. Fish will almost always hit the jig as it’s fluttering down towards the bottom.

Steve’s Slow Pitch Jigging Tackle

  • In contrast to the traditional broomstick rods of old, relatively light, soft rods can be used for targeting goldband snapper, making it more sporting and more pleasant fishing. The Oceans Legacy Elementus PE4 or Shimano Grappler in PE2 or PE3 are good jigging rod options. Depending on whether you go for overhead or spin, Steve likes the Maxel Rage 25H or Transformer F40 overhead, which has massive drag for a very small reel. A quality spin reel such as a Penn Slammer 5500 is fine if you prefer spin gear. Loading the reel with PE3 braid and adding 1.5 to 2m supple 60lb nylon leader will create a deadly slow pitch jig rod.

Steve’s Goldband Snapper Fishing Jigs

  • The Oceans Legacy Hybrid in 200-260g sizes is hands-down Steve’s favourite jig, having a great action and a great range of colours with lots of UV. Steve particularly likes the UV green natural colour and fishes them with two 2/0 assist hooks on the top, or two on top and two on bottom. These lures are simply dropped to the bottom, then wound back half a turn before lifting the rod as high as you can and allowing the lure to flutter back down. Bites come when the lure is on the fall.
  • The Samaki Ribcage or Wingman are also good jigs, especially for beginners due to their low price point. Berkley, Shimano, Daiwa and many others also offer a good range of slow pitch jigs at varying price points. Look for the wider jigs that are weighted to flutter, rather than the slender tail-weighted varieties. These jig are all fished in the same way as the Oceans Legacy Hybrid

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