Author: Thomas Klosowski
When the opportunity comes to fill your fish box with fat mangrove snapper it's hard to ignore!
Anyone who has anchored and chummed before this will be a cakewalk for you. The summertime is here and everyone knows the mangroves are moving in. The mangroves that spawn at this time are usually creatures of habit. When you find them thick on a certain segment of a reef or structure you better believe they will be there next season. I suggest you find some patch reefs a mile from the edge of the reef. That seems to be their favorite chill spot. When you fish all day off shore and on your way in you can usually spend a short amount of time to find some decent snapper on the end of your trip. You can also find the snapper around 100 to 150 feet but they are way more abundant in the shallower parts of the reef and easier to hook.
The bait of choice seems to be ballyhoo, cigar minnow plugs, or live pilchards.
Once you find your school of fish you need to set your anchor ahead of the current so your chum will build a chum line to your desired fishing spot. The fish will usually find the sent within 20 to 30 minutes. Catching no fish within an hour usually means to pull anchor and try another spot. Bigger fish are smarter so bullbuster 20lb to 30lb fluorocarbon will trick em to bite. I would present your bait to the very end to the chum line. The bigger fish like to hang out on the outside of all the smaller fish feeding. I would use a size one to three circle hook with a two to three foot bullbuster fluorocarbon leader. Depending on the current will decide the weight of your lead. Fish on the reward with Captain Ryan and First Mate Bernie on the 8pm to 1 trip. Getting to reef after sunset can produce big snapper in numbers!!
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