Peter’s Top Tips For Snapper Fishing

  • Snapper are everywhere in South-East Queensland and are surprisingly common in shallow water. Peter regularly catches quality fish in water from 0 to 4 metres.
  • Snapper fishing in Moreton Bay is very possible from small boats or kayaks and may even be doable from the shore in some places.
  • Look for areas where there are reef margins of weed beds with tidal current flowing past them, snapper will be feeding around ambush points such as points that create current breaks. They rarely refuse lures presented in these areas.
  • Tides, lunar cycles and time of year are almost irrelevant. Snapper can be caught at any time on any stage of the moon or tide, it’s just a case of figuring out where they are.
  • Whilst fish can be caught any time, the best bite periods are around dawn in the days following new and full moons. Peter likes to start before first light and figure out his drifts to ensure his boat will pass close to the target structures.
  • The two keys to success are to use light tackle and to be very quiet. Even the noise of a trolling motor is enough to spook fish, so carpet your tinny floor and use the wind and current to drift the boat close to ambush points.

Peter’s Preferred Snapper Tackle

  • Peter likes a 7’6” 1-4kg line class spin rod coupled with a 2500 size reel spooled with 6-10 lb braided line and 1m of 10 lb fluorocarbon leader. It’s important for the outfit to be light and to be capable of long casts with light jig heads. Higher quality braided line is more expensive but can be lighter and thinner for its diameter.
  • Snapper are not necessarily leader shy but heavier leaders can impact on the action of small lures.

Peter’s Best Snapper Fishing Lures

  • Zman 2.5” curly tail grubs in motor oil colour are small but very effective on shallow water snapper. They can be worked in various ways but are often taken while the lure is on the drop or stationary. Leaving these lures to sit on the bottom for 30 seconds allows the tail to waft in the current and attract fish.
  • Berkley 2.5” grubs are also good. Peter rates them higher as snapper lures than the Zmans, but they are more prone to being damaged by pickers.
  • Both of the soft plastics are fished on ⅛ oz TT hard jig heads with a 1/0 size hooks, which have better resistance to crushing than standard hooks.
  • Small, relatively deep diving hard body lures such as the Rapala Fat Minnow or Zerek Giant Ruby are very effective. Slowly working these lures or other small, deep diving hard body lures with rolling actions can sometimes give better results than the soft plastics.

Peter Kaye

Fishing Author And Sponsored Angler

Peter is a Brisbane based fishing journalist who has spent many years perfecting the fishing in Moreton Bay. He’s written approximately 100 articles for Fish and Boat magazine and enjoys helping everyday anglers come to terms with lure fishing.

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