Capt. Bouncer Smith, a South Florida fishing legend, shares his knowledge on catching cubera snapper, a powerful, finicky reef donkey. He teaches baiting techniques, drag settings, tackle, drift structure, and handling the intense bite and fight. Learn from him to catch cubera snapper and become a smarter fisherman.
Cubera Snapper - Bouncer Smith Tactics(01:34:31)
For the warmer waters of the western Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, the cubera snapper or dog snapper (Lutjanus cyanopterus) is a legendary reef bully. Sometimes mistaken for sharks that snatch your catch before you can reel it in, cubera are voracious, aggressive, and can grow quite large. Anglers can find these beasts near natural reefs, artificial reefs, oil rigs, or rocky bottoms. This fierce predator offers a unique set of angling and tackle challenges.
When it comes to catching cubera snapper, there's one fisherman you'd want to consult. Boasting multiple world records, a wealth of knowledge, and an iconic status in South Florida sport fishing circles, Capt. Bouncer Smith is the go-to expert. Not only is he a master at his craft, but he's also one of the kindest souls you'll ever meet. His expertise in cubera snapper fishing is unparalleled, and he's intimately familiar with the reefs and wrecks of the region.
The amount of drag needed at the bite and during the fight largely determines your tackle setup. For these snapper, you'll need a bit more. We'll delve into the specifics of the rod and reel sizes required to deliver heavy drag. You'll also discover the ideal bait rig, the best hooks for snapper fishing, the perfect gaffs for these toothy adversaries, harnesses, and rigging tools. RJ Boyle will guide you through the tackle intricacies, explaining all the terminal tackle and snapper fishing rigs you'll need.
The bait and its rigging are of utmost importance. We use live lobsters paired with 12/0 hooks. Mangrove snapper, when used within legal limits, make excellent bait. Yellowtail have proven effective, and a trolled bonita around the reef is almost guaranteed to attract attention.
Anglers, brace yourselves. The subtlety yet intensity of the cubera's bite can be disconcerting. They can strip you of your bait in an instant. Once you've mastered the bite rhythm, prepare for a fight. These powerful fish will test your limits for a few intense minutes. It's akin to bull riding – hold on, and you might just come out victorious.
Navigating the boat is crucial in this endeavor. Precise bait placement is key. The last thing you want is to be outmaneuvered by a cubera. Battles with these fish are often short-lived – you'll either quickly triumph or face defeat. Bouncer offers insights on navigating the boat over structures and how to drop bait for optimal hookups without getting too close to obstructions. Power drifting your baits near wrecks or reefs, especially in currents, can be challenging, but with the right techniques, it becomes manageable.
Enjoy the insights shared in the "In The Spread Cubera Snapper Fishing" video and remember: Never Stop Learning.