Commonly referred to as Reds in W.A!
Red snapper are a fine table species that is generally encountered in the cooler south western waters around Esperance W.A. They are a sharp, spiky fish to hold and have been known to slice through light leader materials and soft, wet hands during capture. Reds are highly sought after for their firm, white, tasty flesh and good looks. Red snapper are often confused with the Nannygai species although there are significant differences between the two.
Red snapper can be located from as far south as Albany right up to Jurien Bay throughout Western Australia and also S.A., VIC,
N.S.W. and Tasmania.
Red snapper grow to around 6kg in weight although a typical sized red is around 2kg in most locations.
Red snapper prefer areas of reef and rock and are generally encountered in water depths ranging from 30 – 200 meters in depth.
Red snapper are easily recognised by their bright red colouration and white horizontal striping. They have six dorsal spines present compared to the closely related nannygai which has seven. Reds also grow larger than nannygai which have a yellow eye colouring.
Red snapper taken from the clean, crisp south west ocean taste incredible!
Red snapper are tough fighters and are typically quite a struggle on light rod and reel combos.
Light to medium spin or overhead tackle is well suited to targeting Red snapper from a boat with light braided, gel spun or nylon lines with a breaking strain of 12 – 30lb proving ideal. 40 – 80lb nylon or fluoro carbon leaders should be attached to bright braided or gel spun lines to prevent fish from seeing the line and also to help prevent chafe offs on rough structures, teeth and gills. Medium bottom fishing or jigging outfits in either spin or overhead styles are more typically suited for fishing deeper water to 200 meters. Heavier leader materials are also needed for deeper water.
Red snapper will respond to a variety of standard bottom fishing baits such as cut fish strips, squid and octopus with lures such as soft plastics, metal jigs and fly’s also proving deadly on this species in shallow waters. Paternoster or drift baiting rigs made from 80 – 120lb nylon are normally used to target reds in deeper water to 200 meters and large circle styled hooks are also popular.
Try to use fresh baits when possible and present them as naturally as possible. Remember to let the fish eat the bait down before striking! Oh and watch out! They are the sharpest, spikiest little fish you will find and will slice soft, wet hands badly!
Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting Red snapper around most areas although some deep water locations will also produce good numbers of fish during low and falling tides. New moon phases are also preferable for most fish species including red snapper.