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Top 10 Tips to Catch Red Snapper in Louisiana

Each year, the red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico (and Louisiana) opens in early June. This is when hundreds if not thousands of fishermen hit the waters trying to catch the allowed limit.

If you are one of these fishing aficionados, then you may be looking for a few tips to catch more red snapper this season. Good news for you – the tips here were curated to help anyone catch more and bigger snapper this year.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Fish All Depths

Generally, red snapper is considered a deep-water dwelling species. However, they won’t always just be found at 200 feet. In some situations, you may find them in water as shallow as 30 feet – if the conditions are right.

There are plenty of areas, especially around Louisiana, where this can occur. Be sure to cover all the shallow depths before moving 10 or more miles offshore just to find the same fish.

2. Fish Around Structures

If you have found a structure, such as rocks, oil platforms, artificial reefs, wrecks, natural reefs, and ledges, then you are going to find red snapper. These fish love these types of structures.

The only time you may not find them is if they are moving to another structure, or to a local spawning area.

3. Save Your Coordinates

Once red snapper have found a great habitat, they aren’t going to venture too far. This means, if you catch a good number of fish in one particular area, save your coordinates. Revisit this area again and again. There’s a good chance the red snapper will still be there.

4. Fish During the Summer Months

Fishing during the summer is the best option for two reasons:

  • The fish are hungry and at the peak of the spawning season
  • The seas are calmest this time of year

These two factors alone make June and even July the perfect months to fish for red snapper off the coast of Louisiana.

5. Consider Chumming Over Shallow Reefs

As mentioned earlier, red snapper won’t always be found in the deeper waters. In some cases, you will be able to find them in just 30 feet of water.

As a result, try chumming these areas with chunked fish. There are several ways this is beneficial. First of all, the fish will go into a frenzy. It will also make the fish move away from the structures they may pull your line into, resulting in it being cut.

6. Live Bait is the Best Option

Red snapper is a “weary” fish. As a result, they may not bite if something seems or looks “off.” For example, if you use fish that are completely dead.

When the fish are being more finicky, live bait is always going to be the best option to get bites. A school of red snapper is always going to try and catch a large, shiny cigar minnow that’s moving about in or on the water.

7. Use a Vertical Jig

While there is some debate on this topic, some have found that certain types of lures work better than others. One lure to try is the vertical jig. This is a metal lure designed for you to drop straight down, i.e. the vertical description in the name.

It is jigged so it appears to be an injured, shiny fish. If you are trying to catch larger red snapper, this is a smart option – especially if the fish are already biting pretty well.

8. Choose Heavy Tackle for Stronger Currents

Do you plan on fishing in locations where stronger currents are present? While this may not be an issue right off the coast of Louisiana, as you reach deeper waters, it can become a problem.

If this is the case, consider using heavy tackle. You don’t need this because the fish are exceptionally larger, but because you will need significant weight to ensure the bait remains in the right location.

If you fail to do this, then your bait may drift away from the desired location. This is going to result in fewer bites during the day.

Also, if you are planning to go out to deeper waters, be sure you have the other gear you may need, as well. This will ensure you can reel in the “big catch.”

9. Use a Fluorocarbon Leader

Something that’s true of all types of snapper – including red snapper – is that they have excellent eyesight. Snapper also have teeth.

Due to the great eyesight, however, no snapper is going to bite on bait if there’s a piece of metal that’s sticking out of it. The good news is, with fluorocarbon line, you have something that’s resistant to cuts and abrasions from teeth.

You do need to use a line that is thick enough – so an 80 to 100-pound leader are the best options. Also, this is nearly invisible when in the water. Regardless of if you are using a braided or monofilament line, the fluorocarbon leader will always help you catch more red snapper.

10. Choose a Reel with a Fast Gear Ratio

Since red snapper is typically found in deeper water. If you are in a good spot, there’s likely going to be a few predators nearby. This includes thing from goliath groupers and sharks.

As a result, you want to get your snapper in your boat as quickly as possible, so predators don’t get them.

Catching Red Snapper in Louisiana: Now You Know the Secrets

If your goal is to catch more red snapper than ever before, the best thing you can do is use the tips here. You will find that your snapper season off the coast of Louisiana is much more successful when you know what to do and how to do it.

If you are interested in catching other fish, such as yellowfin tuna, be sure to check out our blog. We have a wide array of information and resources for fishermen who are dedicated to catching more and bigger fish.