Sneaky Snapper Sought In Our Seas

For many reasons snapper are the most sought after fish in our local waters. Apart from being an excellent table fish, snapper are great battlers and to catch one requires a real effort. Traditionally, snapper have been chased over the extensive reef system that stretches from Birubi in the south to Seal Rocks up north. 

Bait fishing had been the preferred fishing method using fresh squid, bonito, slimy mackerel, pilchards or big prawns.  In recent years there has been a move away from the old method preferring ‘plastics’, eliminating the use of berley and a bait freezer.

The use of plastics has revolutionised the art of snapper fishing and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the method is proving to be far more effective. The method used is simple, firstly discover suitable reef habitat using a sounder and fish finder then cut the motor and cast in the direction that your boat is drifting, allowing the lure to sink naturally into the strike zone. Lock the reef into a GPS system for future trips. 

It all seems very uncomplicated however there is one variable that remains.  I’ve always maintained that catching fish is simple – finding them is the hard part!


Fishing writer, author and radio presenter John “Stinker” Clarke can be heard weekly, throughout NSW, on popular ABC Regional Radio fishing program “The Big Fish”. Check him out on or send an email to with your information and questions. 

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