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“If you’re going offshore you are going to need a lot of chum. Where inshore guys will take a box or two, offshore guys will take a case…”
So one of the questions I got when I went live on Instagram was how to catch snappers offshore. Of course, I am an inshore guy but I have had some chances to learn from some very talented offshore fishermen. I've gotten to fish with Captains Scott Walker and Steven Rodger from Into The Blue TV and learn how they catch really big snappers, because they have it dialed in. One of the key factors you need to pay attention to is the chum.
If you’re going offshore you will need a lot of chum; where the inshore guys take a box or two, the offshore guys will take a case. Particularly for yellow tailing, or muttons they will almost always have a bottom rod down. They will take a commercial chum bag - which is made out of old shrimp net and the top is the size of a hula-hoop which has a piece of hose with a rope going through. The rope is what you will use to tie so that it is just above the surface of the water.
The wave activity is going to disperse the chum really fast and that is why they use so much. Usually I will see these guys start with a 5 pound (or bigger) block of chum (using one of the big blocks of chum saves on a lot of cardboard and trash which is awesome). Once the chum is out you see loads of fish show up and some snappers too, but these guys haven’t even started thinking about fishing…
If you really want to catch the larger snappers you will need to use a larger bait - that could be a jig head and full size pilchard (grey snappers) or a plug of ballyhoo where you cut the head/tail off and drop it down. When the fishing is really good the snappers will come right under the boat, but more often than not these guys will fish way behind the boat and let it drop to the bottom. This is an especially good technique in the shallow water - and big fish are coming in, if you’ve been there for an hour or two hours then those big guys are going to come to get some of the chum.
If you want more information about sand-ball-chumming and hiding live pilchards to avoid the frenzy of fish you will just have to listen to the podcast. If you want to see the pros do it check out this episode of Into The Blue “Bottom Fishing KW Mutton Snappers” its a really good episode.
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See you on the water,