Fish structure for mangrove snapper action
Mangrove snapper remain a mainstay for local fishers for another week around Anna Maria Island.
Just about any kind of structure you can find, whether you’re in Tampa Bay, Anna Maria Sound, Sarasota Bay or the Gulf of Mexico is going to have snapper on it. These tasty fish are taking up residence around docks, piers, bridges, ledges and artificial reefs, which makes them a great species to target, primarily due to their abundance. Not to mention they also taste great beer-battered and fried.
To target these fish, I’m using a simple rig consisting of 4 or 5 feet of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader combined with a 1/2-ouncesinker which I let slide to the eye of a 1/0 circle hook. This rig is ideal when targeting these fish on the bottom or when they are down deep.
Now, you can also chum these fish and by doing this you’ll need to remove the egg sinker from the rig I just mentioned. You see, when chumming these snapper, they tend to rise up from the sea floor — in numbers mind you. This being said, it works better to just free-line a shiner to the fish since they are closer to the surface.
Remember, when free-lining your shiners, its best to either cut them in half or stun then a little so they gradually sink down with the chum.
Remember, mangrove snapper need to be at least 10-inches to be legal size. You can keep 5 fish per person per day. As far as the 10-inch minimum size limit goes, most anglers start keeping fish that have reached at least 12-inches in order to get a decent fillet off the fish.