Mangrove Snapper - Fishing Inshore with William Toney

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Instructor: William Toney

Capt. William Toney, a fourth-generation fishing guide, teaches how to catch inshore mangrove snapper. He teaches how to locate productive structure, set up on it, and use various baits and jig heads. Toney emphasizes the importance of structure, live shrimp, and jig heads for optimal fishing. This instructional video is a valuable resource for anglers looking to catch mangrove snapper in the Gulf Coast.

Description / Review / Instructor

When you just don't feel like making a longer run or the seas are on the bumpier side, inshore mangrove snapper is a great option. There is nothing ever wrong with catching grovers. This may be one of the easier species to catch. Believe me, with the fishing tips and techniques we share in this video, you will be in snapper heaven. This species has to be one of the best eating fish in the ocean. They are great on the grill, fried, pan-seared, or any other way you cook fish. So, for those of you that are more inclined to stay near shore, we are going to show you how to catch mangrove snapper inshore with Capt. William Toney.

Why Mangrove Snapper?

Mangrove snapper are so named due to their preference for living around the mangroves that line southern coastal waters when they are young. It is the juvenile fish that are mostly caught inshore. As they mature, the fish will move offshore. A good inshore mangrove snapper will be 14-15 inches and maybe weigh a couple of pounds, maybe a little more. As they move offshore, the fish get upwards of 20 pounds. The beauty of the inshore fish is that you don't have to venture far and they are just as tasty, if not more.

Behavior and Habitat

Snapper tend to be bottom dwellers, but can be found schooling higher up in the water column during feeding periods. The one constant with mangrove snapper is their proclivity to orient around structure. If ever there was a place to find grovers, it is on hard structure. Piers, bridges, jetties, rock piles, oyster beds, ledges, and any shallow reefs are excellent places to find mangrove snapper inshore.

About Capt. William Toney

Capt. William Toney has been fishing the inshore and backcountry waters of Florida his entire life. He has traveled and fished from Louisiana down around Florida and up to North Carolina chasing redfish, snook, sea trout, snapper, and every other inshore species. With the Nature Coast of Florida, in particular Homosasssa, Florida being his home and base for his guiding operation, William is privy to fishing some of the most fertile coastal waters in the state.

Fishing Tips

  • Rigging: The mangrove snapper fishing rig is simple. You have your fluorocarbon leader and a light jig head. William touches on jig head and lure color for inshore fish and the importance of getting them right.
  • Bait: Finger mullet, sardines, pinfish, and crabs are all great baits, but the top bait has to be live shrimp. William will share a few tips for how to hook live shrimp on a jig head.
  • Bite Identification: The classic peck, peck, pull or tap, tap, and then the feel of weight on the line is standard for snapper. The way they fight is also a dead giveaway.
  • Spot Hopping: Once junk fish start taking your baits, it's time to move. Spot hopping is common in snapper fishing.

This is not difficult fishing, it just requires attention to detail. Capt. William Toney quickly breaks down how to get set up on structure so as not to disturb the fish while being in position to put baits on target. We hope the information in this In The Spread video helps you become a better angler.

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Chris Vanthul 04.03.2021


Captain William Toney

Captain William Toney, a Florida native, is a fourth-generation fishing guide known for his expertise in Redfish, Sea Trout, Mangrove Snapper, Snook and other fish species. He is a licensed and insured guide, a Homosassa Guide's Association member, and hosts 'In The Spread', an online fishing instruction platform. Toney's expertise in redfish, tides, and bait presentation is unparalleled, and he shares his knowledge on seasonal fish migration patterns and tidal flows. His dedication to passing on his knowledge to younger generations is invaluable.

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