Red Snapper Fishing Tips

Red Snapper Fishing Tips
Red snapper are a popular recreational and commercial fishing target and a mainstay in Japanese restaurants. Found from the Gulf of Mexico to the Southern Atlantic, this bottom feeding fish can weigh as much as 80 pounds, and can be found at depths of up to 200 feet.

Anglers, note that shallow, sandy floored areas are the domain of juveniles while older and larger snapper are, in general, found in rocky areas at depths of 100 feet or more. Regardless of your target depth, understanding the best methods for red snapper fishing can increase your enjoyment on the water.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Equip yourself with a rod which features a sensitive tip and a stout backbone and butt. Choose a two-speed, bait casting reel. Use the low speed reel when heaving a powerful fish and the high speed for charging fish or while jigging. Connect a tip alarm for an extra advantage.
Step 2
Attach between 50- to 100-pound test for larger fish and to support sinkers; braided lines are less susceptible to stretching and more sensitive. Use up to a 35-ounce sinker to drop the line quickly through rougher currents.
Step 3
Switch to lighter tackle using 20-pound test for shallow waters, since red snapper in these depths are generally smaller.
Step 4
Rig your line with a spreader or boom of stainless steel wire and a 10-foot leader so the snapper are not frightened when you fish deep water. Use 5/0 to 7/0 single or double circle hooks for deep water fishing and use a heavier gauge hook during strong tide flows. When you fish the shallows, rig your line with a snap swivel, running sinker and a 6- to 10-foot leader. Attach a 4/0 single or double circle hook.
Step 5
Chum slightly up current to prepare the area where you want to fish. Dump a bucket of cut pieces of bait fish such as minnows or sardines. Bait your setup with squid---preferably live. Choose shrimp, prawns or bait fish as an alternative.
Step 6
Fish from an anchored boat while jigging your line vertically. Choose spots near artificial reefs such as shipwrecks, deep banks and drilling platforms for best results.

Tips & Warnings

Red snapper have been overfished for decades. As a result, coastal states have regulations to protect the snapper population. Check with the fish and wildlife commission in the state where you intend to fish before you cast out.

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.