Monday, May 1, 2017

How To with Big Dave's land based lessons. How to get tight!

Cubera snapper; what I've learned so far.

The cubera snapper is a fish surrounded by mystique. It is best known as an offshore reef fish capable of reaching monstrous size, over 100 plus lbs in some instances. Inshore, however, the fish are quite rare, often appearing solely as a by catch while snook fishing near inlets. These fish spawn offshore from July to September at night under a full moon, which is when offshore anglers target large fish with baits like live lobster, yellowtail snapper, grunts or blue runners. After the spawn, the fish disperse to parts somewhat unknown. The juvenile fish somehow find they're way to estuaries and brackish water creeks and river mouth's.
I still have a great deal to learn about the precise age and growth of these fish but I've observed a few things about their feeding habits. It would seem that the young fish are almost exclusively predators. Though occasionally they can be caught on shrimp it's most often anglers using small pinfish, mojara or mullet that run into the odd cubera. This rule generally applies to fish under about 10 lbs. Bigger fish definitely show a shift in diet. Those 15-20 lb fish seem to prefer larger mullet to roughly 8 inches, live grunts or, my favorite, fresh cut ladyfish.
In terms of precisely where to target cubera snapper, I've found that they can pop up anywhere at times though they do show a preference for deeper inlets and larger bridges with good depth and strong tides. A lack of heavy urban development and solution definitely helps. Also, I've noticed that any inlet that has a river or river's near by seems to produce more fish. I believe this is because the river is where the fish start their lives. Having a deep water inlet nearby is like having a conveyor belt carrying food to the young fish. It's in areas like these that numbers of cubera snapper sometimes take up residence. This offers patient and observant anglers a great opportunity to make these powerful fish more than just an incidental catch.
I'll get into how I like to target these amazing fish in a future post, until then, tight lines!

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