Snapper Fishing Techniques

Snapper Fishing Techniques
Snapper fishing is the ideal introduction to saltwater fishing. Snappers, or juvenile bluefish, are small enough that a 4-year-old can reel them in, but they fight hard for their size. Snappers along the East Coast of the United States reach 4 inches by mid-July and continue to entice anglers of all ages until early October.


Snappers are bright silver with yellow eyes and sharp teeth. You can expect to begin catching snappers when they reach 4 or 5 inches.


Harbors, saltwater creeks and back bays are typical nurseries for marine life, including snappers. Snappers are caught from beaches, docks, bulkheads and jetties.

Spotting Them

Look for small splashes from schools of juvenile bait fish--snappers chase them in the shallows. The snappers' presence is confirmed by flashes of light several inches below the surface.

Cane Poles

The traditional method of snapper fishing is with a cane pole, 7 feet of line, a bobber and hook. Anglers put a small piece of bait fish on the hook and wait for a snapper to bite. When you hook a snapper, lift the tip of the cane pole and the snapper will come out of the water.

Spinning Rods

The same bobber-and-hook setup can be used on a light spinning pole. The spinning pole gives you added range to reach the snappers when they move farther from the beach.

Snapper Poppers

A cone-shaped float is attached 2 or 3 feet ahead of the hook. Instead of bait, snapper poppers come with a hook that has flashy material on it. Used with a small spinning rod, anglers cast the snapper popper and retrieve it, splashing and popping along the way. Snappers are attracted by the noise.

Article Written By Stephen Byrne

Stephen Byrne is a freelance writer with published articles in "Nor'East Saltwater," "Sportfishing" magazine, "Pacific Coast Sportfishing" and "Salt Water Sportsman." As a fishing charter captain, he was also interviewed for a feature in "Field and Stream." Byrne studied environmental science at the State University of New York at Delhi.

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