Fishing Charters: Snapper Catching Techniques

By November 6, 2022December 14th, 2023No Comments

red snapper caught in narooma montague island

When you think about the great old fishing stories, most revolve around catching that big one. Snapper fishing is all about the big one – preferably a monster snapper. The thrill of hooking into a big red, black or golden snapper is unmatched by any other species of fish in the Great Barrier Reef.

Snappers can be found in almost every reef system in Australia and are recognised as one of the greatest game fish on earth. If you’re serious about catching a snapper, read on to learn great techniques to catch these tricky fish.

The Basics of Snapper Catching

There are a few varieties of snapper, including red snapper, black snapper, vermilion snapper, and golden snapper. These are all part of the snapper family, but they taste completely different.

  • Red Snapper

This snapper is the most popular snapper as it suits almost every cooking method. It is a very firm, meaty fish with a mild flavour. Red snapper can be caught all year round from almost every coastal area in Australia.

  • Black Snapper

The black snapper is a very different fish from the red snapper. It’s very soft and has a subtle taste. It’s best for baking or can be used as a substitute for cod. Black snapper is usually only available from December to April and can only be caught from the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Vermilion Snapper

This snapper is Australia’s most underrated fish. It’s an extremely soft, delicate fish that can be baked or steamed. It’s a bit more expensive than the red snapper, but it’s well worth the extra cash. Vermilion snapper can be caught from March to August.

  • Golden Snapper

Golden snapper is another soft, delicate fish that is best served baked or steamed. It’s similar to the vermilion snapper, but it’s more expensive. Golden snapper can be caught from February to May.

Tips for Catching Snapper

  • Cast as close to the coral as possible. The coral is the best place to catch snapper.
  • Always use live bait.
  • Change your bait often when you’re fishing for snapper. When you change your bait, you’ll catch more fish.
  • Fish in deeper waters.
  • Wait for a bite before reeling in.
  • Always be patient when you’re fishing for snapper.

When is the Best Time to Catch a Snapper?

Snappers are migratory fish, so you can catch them any time of the year. However, there are certain times of the year when they are more plentiful. 

November to April is the best time for red snappers. Vermilion snappers are usually caught from March to August. Golden snappers can be caught from February to May. Black snappers can be caught from December to April.

How to Hook a Snapper

You should always keep an eye out for snapper. If you see one, you should cast as close to it as possible. If you’re catching snapper on a line, you should always let it run for a while. When a snapper grabs your line, it will often just run with it. You should reel in slowly, so that the fish doesn’t break the line.

When the fish gets close, you can try to catch it with a net. If you’re using a rod and reel, you should set the hook when the fish bites. When you set the hook, you should yank the rod backwards quickly. It will help you get the fish off the line.


Snapper is one of the most popular fish in Australia. These fish are easy to catch, but they can be tricky. If you follow these snapper catching techniques, you’ll have a better chance of catching them. 

If you’re relatively new to this and need a guide, you can book a fishing charter with a seasoned angler to help you focus on enjoying the experience.