Bradley Smoker Fishing Guide: Introduction to Fishing for Snapper

Bradley Smoker Fishing Guide: Introduction to Fishing for Snapper

Snapper are a super popular family of gamefish commonly found in warmer ocean waters. There are plenty of different species including cubera snapper, red snapper, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, and yellowtail snapper.

All found within the same waters and similar in size and personality, they are all tough fighters. That will do anything to break off your line in the rocky areas that they live in. 

All species of snappers have mouths full of sharp teeth that they use to grab onto fish, crabs, and other prey. They are found in all warmer waters throughout the world and are considered to be one of the best-tasting fish in the ocean. 

Best Tackle to Use

Snappers can grow to fairly big sizes and are very hard fighters. As such, you will need fishing tackle that can handle the job. Many veteran snapper anglers recommend using:

  • Medium to medium/heavy rod
  • 65 to 80lb braided line
  • Midsize conventional reel
  • 60lb test leader

Baits and Lures for Snappers

Snappers eat a diet of smaller prey creatures, including fish, squid, crabs, and shrimp. If you are using cut bait to fish for snapper, the favorites are both fish and squid that are fished down deep. If you prefer to use live bait, the best options are:

  • Minnows
  • Mullet
  • Larger sardines
  • Threadfin herring
  • Pinfish

You can either buy these baitfish from a local tackle shop or use a small casting net to catch them yourself. And while using bait is by far the most preferred way of catching all species of snapper. You can also use a variety of different artificial lures in order to catch them as well. Try using things like vertical jigs and soft plastics that mimic natural baitfish. 

Where to Find and Fish for Snapper

Finding snappers is fairly easy as long as you are in warm water, as they are almost always around structure in deep water. Younger fish and juveniles will live over sandy or muddy bottoms, but once they become mature adults, they will always move around structure. Try fishing around things like:

  •  Reefs
  • Ledges
  • Rocks
  • Wrecks
  • Other manmade structures like bridges or jetties

Snappers can be found at a variety of different depths, anywhere between 30 to 300 feet down. They are most commonly found between 100 and 200 feet, therefore try and fish down deep and work your way up. 


Snappers are a wonderful fish to target and catch. Not only will they give you the fight of a lifetime, Above all if you do manage to land one of them, you will have some of the best table fares that the ocean can provide. With a little bit of preparation, you can find a big group of snappers and have the fishing trip of a lifetime!