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S11:E3 - “Snapper Family” (2019) - Learn from the best about the many varieties of snapper and the different ways to fish for them.
Being in the Keys, Steve and Scott love that every snapper species can be found easily. There are the mangrove or grey snapper, yellowtail, lane, mutton, and red snapper.
The mangrove snapper are usually found near the mangroves, or large rocks where they can hide and swim around. However, when Steve and Scott went to Louisiana to search for mangrove snapper, these snappers were found near the Northern Gulf by wrecks and bridges. The Captains had realized that the mangrove snappers tend to be much bigger than the ones found in the Keys, and are dirtier in color due to living near oil rigs. These snappers are used to being around a lot of pressure, and mangrove snappers are generally smarter than other snapper species.
The yellowtail snappers are typically found near reefs. These snappers can be caught with chum, but bring live bait with you for an easier catch. Lane snappers are smaller, not commercialized, and are harder to find. However, when found, lane snappers have a limit of how many can be on the boat at the same time.
The mutton snapper is notoriously known for it’s love of swimming in sandy areas. If a snapper dwells in the sandier areas, their color will change from an all pink/red color to a more green/grey color on the top and lower parts of their bodies. Muttons can be caught while you’re drifting out in sea, but a good technique is to anchor your boat and create sandballs for the muttons to go after. A sandball consists of chum, dead bait, and sand, and you can use a sticky substance, like peanut butter, to keep your sandball together. Once you throw the sandball into the water, it will break apart, and the mutton snapper will launch straight towards it when seeing the sand scatter about. This technique will give you a quicker catch, but muttons are aggressive and will try to keep your line as far down as possible when trying to escape.
The last snapper to discuss is the red snapper. The red snapper has been making a comeback in the past few years, and has given anglers more time to fish for them. These fish are good eating fish and are much larger in size when compared to other snappers. Red snappers aren’t too picky when it comes to bait, but will put up a good fight when trying to reel them into the boat.
As always, we had Jason Stemple with us to document this trip in ultra high quality still photos. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
See you next time on Into The Blue
Capt. Scott Walker & Capt. Steve Rodger