Chris’ Shark Bay Topwater Snapper Tips
- Shark Bay offers extraordinary fishing for snapper by wading or kayaking and targeting them on topwater lures. At times the knobby heads of 70 plus cm snapper are fully out of the water as snapper smack floating stickbaits. The snapper even get airborne at times after being hooked.
- Shark Bay holds large numbers of snapper and they tend to come into the many weed beds along the extensive shoreline to feed on baitfish. Look for areas where there is a metre or so of water around weed beds with a drop off with reef nearby.
- Snapper tend to sit on the down-current side of the weed beds waiting for small baitfish to be washed out of the weed by the tidal currents.
- This style of fishing seems to work best on the bigger tides around the full moon. Water flow is critical.
- Large parts of Shark Bay are inaccessible to boats and the only way to access them is via kayak or wade fishing.
- Topwater snapper in Shark Bay is a summer pursuit and works best when the water temperatures around the shallow weed beds are over 30 C. Shark Bay tends to be a windy place in summer, but that doesn’t seem to bother the snapper. Clear, sunny days fish best, with the sun high in the sky – on cloudy days Chris struggles to catch fish on the surface but can usually still catch them on a sunken plastic.
- Snapper can hide remarkably well in a metre or less of water and often all you’ll see is a subtle flash or glint of colour. When you run a lure through, ten fish can materialise behind it.
- Snapper in Shark Bay tend to move about in groups of 10-20 fish and they tend to be quite mobile and will be on one weed bed one day and another one the next day
Chris’ Topwater Snapper Fishing Tackle
- Chris takes an 8lb, 10lb and 20lb outfit for topwater snapper fishing, but finds that the 10lb outfit is the most useful.
- A 3-6kg, 7’4” Daiwa Rebellion rod with a 3000 size Daiwa Luvias Reel, 10lb braided line and 16-20 lb fluorocarbon leader is a perfect option.
Chris’ Shark Bay Snapper Fishing Lures
- A Daiwa Infeet Slippery Dog stickbait in the 97mm size is the only lure that Chris needs for topwater snapper when conditions are right. Long casts to where the fish are and cranking the lure back at a constant and fairly fast rate is the best approach.
- If the fishing is tough and you don’t want to resort to sub-surface fishing with soft plastics it can be worth trying a 140mm Duo Realis floating stickbait. This is a large, noisy lure and will spook plenty of snapper, but if the bite is flow and you’re prepared to spook some fish you’ll eventually find a fish that will take it.
Daiwa Australia have sponsored Chris for some time and produce the rods and reels he uses in this episode.
BKK Hooks are Chris’ terminal tackle sponsor and produce hooks that are incredibly sharp and strong.
Nomad Design produce a tough and highly efefctive range of lures for Aussie conditions
Tide Apparel keep Chris looking good and protected from the sun.