Author: Team American Yaker - RIZZO
Fishing For Pensacola Red Snapper From A Kayak
Who needs a boat to go after red snapper?!
Here in Pensacola, Fl, you just need some paddle(or pedal) power and a little know how to go after this highly sought after fish! They are not hard to catch, but finding the big ones can be a bit tricky. These fish fight hard, and will do everything they can to get you tangled into the reef and cut you off.
Go To Red Snapper Setup
My go to snapper setup is my Penn 980 Mag on a Penn Mariner II rod. I have my reel loaded up with 20# mono. My go to rig is a knocker rig using about a 6’ piece of 50# Bullbuster monoleader tied directly to my mainline with an egg weight directly above a 5/0 Mustad Demon circle hook. This allows me to feel every bite as well as bounce the bait around the reef and not get hung up on it. The weight I use typically depends on how fast the current and wind is pushing me and how fast I need to get the bait down. If it is a calm day, I will stick to 1oz so the bait has a more natural, almost free-lined appearance. If I am having to fight current, then I step up to 2-3oz so I can get my bait down to the strike zone before I am pushed off the spot. Speaking of bait, snapper are not very picky.
Anything from live or frozen cigar minnows to frozen squid will catch you a snapper. But some of my biggest snapper have come from ruby lip fish, which we catch on the reefs we are fishing using sabiki rigs. Red snapper fight hard, so always be prepared for the big ones to hit, they have the power to flip a kayak if you aren’t paying attention. Always try to fight the fish with your rod tip towards the bow of the kayak. Also, always keep the rod in your hands but if for some reason you must place it in a rod holder and your bait is down, loosen your drag. A snapper can grab the bait so fast and pull so hard it will flip your kayak. These fish are so much fun to go after so get out there but stay safe! Always use the buddy system and watch out for boats!
-American Yakers member Justin Rabon
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