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Everything You Need To Know About Mutton Snapper

Author: Bullbuster Team

About Mutton Snapper

Mutton Snapper

Mutton snapper can be up to 2-1 / 2 feet long and have a distinct bluish line from the snout to the eye. This fish is known to be finicky eaters. Mutton snappers can be found from Massachusetts to Brazil, but are most common in the waters of South Florida, the Bahamas,  and the rest of the Caribbean. Fishermen can catch snapper both in the sea and off utilizing a variety of baits. Mutton feeds on small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.

Mutton Snapper Feeding Habits

The prey of mutton snapper changes throughout its life. As larvae, it feeds on plankton near the surface of the water. However, as it matures, it moves to the shallow grass beds and feeds on larger plankton and small animals. As an adult the mutton snapper will consume; Fish, shrimp, crabs, octopus, squid and snails, and feeds both day and night picking at food items all through the day.

Mutton Snapper Spawning

This fish breed between May and October, with a breeding peak in July and August. Mutton snapper reaches sexual maturity in about five years, or when it reaches a length of 40 centimeters, and spawning is associated with lunar cycles. It's spawned throughout its entire geographic range, though mainly in the northeastern Caribbean and usually, returns to the same site to produce year after year. After spawning, adult fish move to deeper water.

Mutton Snapper General Tackle Tips

To target mutton snapper, use standard medium-weight seawater conventional tackle with  15 to 20 lbs monofilament.  If you are targeting large muttons near structure such as wrecks, you can beef up your gear to larger conventionals 30-50Lb monofilament.

If you are fishing them inshore, then downsize your gear. Snappers are very clever, especially in heavy fishing areas, so it is advisable to use a long leader preferably fluorocarbon.  (as light as you can get away with) and not use extra snaps or swivels or other tackle. Wire leaders severely limit the number of bites you get so they are not recommend.  .

If you want to learn how to make rigs for muttons, take a look at this article on the best videos on the web for making bottom fishing rigs. The video below is a preview of the article and a video ptu together by the IGFA featuring world famous Captain Bouncer Smith. 

Where To Find Mutton Snapper

Inshore Mutton Snapper

Muttons can be caught inshore near reefs and along mangroves.  They are also prevalent along “Cuts” or Inlets where there is a good amount of tidal flow.

Mutton Snapper On The Reef

Muttons can be found along nearshore reef areas.  They tend to congregate in the sand just outside of extreme rock/reef formations.  

Mutton Snappers On Offshore Wrecks

Mutton Snapper often congregate on sand around offshore wrecks. If you are have dropped on a wreck for amberjacks or grouper and have passed the wreck, allow yourself to continue drifting because this is often when you will get the bite from a massive mutton.

Best Baits For Catching Mutton Snapper

When fishing for muttons inshore or on reefs chum heavily, you can fish your baits nears the bottom or send them back into the current.

Live Baits

The best live baits for catching mutton snapper include:


Goggle Eye


Dead Baits




Wrap Up

Once a mutton recognizes that it has been hoodwinked it will run along the ocean floor or trying to get back into structure.  The best encouragement is when you look down through that clear blue water and see pink. That splash of pink gets bigger as it near the surface. This delivers the shot of adrenaline you need to end the fight and hold of the long leader, then smoothly lead the fish into your fish box for your fish fry!

Even though, muttons snapper are easy to catch,some finesse is required. The most important rule is that the presentation of the bait is very essential. Use only the freshest bait and light sinker to keep it still on the bottom. the rough state of water and slow bobbing motions will be essential to compensate for the movements of the seas. Using a knocker rig or a jig to naturally float the bait in the current is also an excellent way to go. This is why holding the rod will be better than placing it in the rod holder when fishing mutton snapper.

A good tip for the shallows water is to drift the bait in chum slick on weight or on a very low weight on a knocker rig. Mutton snapper loves this. And chumming is also very good to get them to the surface, where you can try your luck with flies or jigs. Consider the following tips and tricks when trying to catch mutton snappers.

How To Cook Mutton Snapper

(Check Out Recipes For Mutton Snapper)

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