(Etelis carbunculus)

Commonly referred to as Rubys!

Ruby snapper are one of the most highly prized table fish in the country! Its firm, white flesh is moist and tender making the ruby snapper not only one of the finest tasting fish in our oceans but also one of the most valuable. Rubys first came to fame due to the commercial fishing fleet making them widely available to the public over recent years. Most recreational anglers are unfamiliar with this species due to their deep water habitat, although thanks to the modern aid of electric reels the ruby snapper amongst other tasty deep water demersal species are now within reach for many placing the sustainability of the fishery under real pressure!


Ruby snapper can be located from as far south as Albany right up to Exmouth throughout Western Australia and are generally encountered in water depths ranging from 100 – 400 meters. They are also found in deep waters out from all other states apart from the N.T.


Ruby snapper grow to around 30kg in weight and over 120cm in length although a typical sized ruby is around  10kg in most locations.


Ruby snapper prefer areas of sloping reef and rock, and are generally encountered in water depths ranging from 100 – 400 meters in depth.


Ruby snapper are a vibrant red to orange colouration leading down to a white under belly. They have some sharp teeth inside a large mouth and a robust, torpedo shaped body. The tail is forked and has a white tip present on the lower lobe.

Taste rating

  • One Hundred Taste Rating

Ruby snapper taste incredible!

Sport rating

  • Sixty Sport Rating

Ruby snapper like all deep water demersal species are tough fighters when hooked close to structure yet are generally no match for the modern deep water fishing outfits used today.

Tackle requirements

Heavy tackle is needed to target these large deep water fish with 80lb rods coupled with powerful lever drag or electric reels with large line capacities preferred. Large 50 – 80 class game reels with dual speeds are also used by anglers who do not chase deep water species often enough to warrant the expense of electric reels. 80 – 100lb braided lines are a must for fishing such extreme depths and allow anglers to maintain contact with their rig in even the most extreme of water depths. Nylon shock leaders are not necessary as braided lines are generally tied straight to the rig in these depths to increase feel for the angler.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Large, sturdy baits such as whole mullet and squid are best suited to ultra deep water situations and remain intact throughout long descents to the sea floor. Long triple sectioned Paternoster style rigs are preferred for targeting deep water species such as ruby snapper. These rigs are generally made from 150 – 250lb nylon and have large, strong, three way swivels incorporated into them to prevent line twist on such long descents. Large circle style hooks, big baits and bright light sticks are also used to attract fish in the deep, dark, cold water.

Handy hints and tips

Using bait cotton to secure baits to hooks helps when fishing such extreme depths. Using the swell to assist in lifting and winding will save you a lot of energy at the end of a long deep water session!

Preferred fishing times and tides

Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting most fish species 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  deep water demersal’s.


[What The Fish]