Mangrove Snapper Tips…

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Posted by: Captain Woody - Comments Off on Mangrove Snapper Tips…

Why should anglers target them? Although smaller than offshore cousins, inshore gray/mangrove snapper are loads of fun and fairly easy to catch, especially for kids. These alysa3terrific little fighters can often save the day when other fish fail to cooperate.

What are the best times of year to fish for them? Where is the best place to catch them? The bite usually kicks off around April and goes right through the summer. You’ll see anglers fishing around docks, rock piles, artificial reefs, fish attractor’s piers and under bridges. It’s a nice relief to pull up under a bridge, set the anchor, and grab a little piece of shade. Now pop the top on a nice cool beverage and prepare for some marvelous light-tackle action.

What tackle and rigs do you prefer to use to catch them? Light tackle means the same rods and reels you use for everyday snook, trout and redfish. Nothing too heavy as it virtually eliminates the awesome rod bending pull of a 14 to 18 inch snapper. I use a medium-light spinning outfit rigged with braided line and 20 inches of Seaguar fluorocarbon leader. Here’s a method I use when fishing snapper inshore using a knocker-rig. First slide a small soft rubber glow bead onto the leader (small enough that it won’t slide over the leader knot), now slide a quarter or three eights ounce oval slip sinker (depending on current and depth), then another glow bead the same size as before and finish it off with a number one Daiichi circle hook, tied to the leader using a loop knot.

How do you prefer them to be prepared? If you’ve ever cleaned a mess of snapper you know there is plenty of fat which sticks to your knife. To prevent constantly cleaning your knife; as you catch them put them into a cooler with slushy ice. This gels the fat in the body cavity and is easily discarded, after the initial cut. Even though a 12 to 18 inch snapper is small by comparison, fillet them anyway, remove the skin and cut out the rib bones. Now you’re left with a single piece of fish about the size of your hand. Perfect!

Gray/Mangrove Snapper are possibly one of the great delicacies when it comes to inshore fish. And of course fried is the only way to go. Certainly other recipes are good but without a doubt fried snapper is awesome especially when served with a pot of grits, tomato gravy and jalapeno hush puppies… could it possibly get any better.

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