Photo Courtesy of Sport Fishing Magazine
Sure, it’s a great time of year to go after massive yellowfins, but you can also catch plenty of other species that are just as exciting. One of which is the mangrove snapper – a popular fish found during the fall and winter months in Venice, LA. Learn more about this cool catch….
Habitat & Diet: Mangrove snapper (aka gray snapper) is a snapper species commonly found in the western Atlantic Ocean (from Massachusetts to Brazil), the Caribbean Sea, and of course, the Gulf of Mexico.
It is one of the more common snapper species found in warmer regions and calls a variety of habitats home such as brackish or fresh waters, canals to grass flats, and the open water. When snappers are caught in the ocean, they are typically found near bottom structures or reefs at depths from 16 to 600 feet. Mangrove snapper feed on small fish and crustaceans, but have been known to feast on falling bats near the entrances of caverns!
Appearance: Looks wise, mangrove snapper is typically a greyish red, but can change color from bright red to copper red. It has a dark stripe running across its eye and is known for its excellent eyesight. This species can reach a length of 35” though most do not exceed 16”. The largest mangrove caught on record is 44 pounds!
Sport Fishing: Mangroves are commercially important, as they are a popular fish served in restaurants nationwide and prized for their light, flaky flesh. Additionally, they are also a much sought-after game fish. Anglers can use a variety of baits but typically rely on live or frozen shrimp, squid, minnows, and occasionally artificial lures or baits.
Mangrove snappers are caught on light to medium tackle such as spinning tackle (use a medium spinning reel with an eight to twenty-pound test line, depending on how much weight you need the bait to the bottom) or bait-casting (best for offshore fishing as a bait-casting reel will provide greater leverage against the fish). A typical catch ranges anywhere from 8” to 14” when inshore fishing and up to 20” when caught offshore. Larger fish are uncommon, but definitely not rare.
It’s important to note that when it comes to snapper, you want to set up fast. Ideally, you want to use a fast action rod that will allow you to feel the bite and quickly set the hook. Don’t forget that mangrove snappers have incredible eyesight, and therefore, you want to be as low key as possible when it comes to terminal gear. Only use the weight needed to get to the bottom, and use a fluorocarbon leader as it’s nearly invisible in the water.
Are you interested in booking an inshore or offshore chartered fishing trip this fall or winter? Call us today at (504) 909-TUNA for more information or to check availability.