Monster Mangrove snapper caught in key largo creek
September 29, 2018- Caught this 20 inch mangrove snapper bottom fishing, thread herring on a 2/0 long shaft eagle claw hook using 15 pound test, 40 lbs fluorocarbon leader.This monster Pulled like a freight train, directly in the mangrove roots but i was able get him free after 1 solid minute waiting. I should of used 20lbs test at the spot but i always have better success using 15lbs test mono.
It was caught in a specific spot in jew fish creek, key largo near Gilbert’s resort – ( the fist canal near the entrance). This spot is deep and monster mangrove snapper’s live below. The depth ranges from 9 to 12 feet , heavy chum is key to bringing them out of the mangrove roots. I chum for 30 minutes before i even start to fish. be patient!
The best bait for mangrove snappers is thread herring (Frozen )
Using frozen thread herring is crucial and no other bait is needed unless your using the live bait that is surrounding the area. Arm yourself with a good cooler to not let the bait un-freeze, the harder the bait the better, so keep it on ice and make sure it does not thaw. Cutting the herring in 2 pieces is what works best to get the big ones to bite. Make sure to smash the head of the bait before. Also hooking it once below on the belly side is all you do. If you put a small piece, chances are you will catch a small snapper. The big snapper will let the small snapper sample the big piece until the big one takes it from her. The trick here is patience.
The best hooks for mangrove snapper
I use a long shaft hook preferably eagle claw from 1/0 to 4/0 depends on the size of bait i put on. I only use them for bottom fishing mangos. long shaft is best to use because it is easier to unhook the fish once caught. You can use a smaller shaft hook but it will take twice as long to unhook them, especially when they swallow it to the gill.
I use from 15-25 pound mono-filament , preferably Ande, with a yozuri fluorocarbon pink leader 40lbs . 40 lbs fluorocarbon leader is enough but for fishing in more rockier bottoms i prefer 50 LBS fluorocarbon leader. I never use wire, mangrove snapper especially the big ones are leader shy ( metal leader is more visible than fluorocarbon )
20 inch Mangrove snapper
The best rig to catch mangrove snapper
The best rig for mangrove snapper also depends the bottom your fishing, but a simple knocker rig on a fluorocarbon leader works good. Chances are you’l fish the edge of the mangrove, less likely to get locked up. However, If your fishing a rocky bottom with or without current, use a chicken rig and you save a ton of hooks, from lock ups.
My favorite rig for mangrove snapper is a simple swivel tide to a fluorocarbon leader to a long shaft hook using a loop knot- this knot is crucial for bait flow and presentation,. . This method saves me on fluorocarbon leader as i go through it pretty fast.
It may look as though i’m holding her outside of the boat but i can assure you it was inside. I’ve seen many of mishaps where fish just land back in the water.