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Mangrove Snapper Fishing

During the transition from fall to winter, the weather gets a tad dicey and there will be days when venturing offshore is not that desirable. What to do? Seek inshore fishing options and look no further than mangrove snapper. Along Florida's Gulf coast there will be ample spring feed creeks and rivers that provide warmer water to snapper fish that are less tolerant to cooler water temps. These warmer nutrient rich waters provide shelter and plenty of food to small to medium sized mangrove snapper. As these fish mature and grow, they will start moving offshore for protection in the winter. But, the legal minimum size limit in Florida, according to the FWC, is 10" with a bag limit of 5 per person and aggregate of 10 total. Many of the fish you will encounter in the creeks and rivers will be in the 10"-15" range, typically. These fish make for great eats.

Mangrove snapper are one of the best eating fishes in the coastal waters of Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. If you want to chow down on some snapper, grovers are a great option for windy cold days. These snapper fish, especially in the size you will encounter, make for great fishing action when kids are onboard. Think about it. You get to catch excellent table fare and keep the kids busy reeling in fish.

Capt. William Toney is one of the finest inshore fishing guides in Florida. He has a very simple method of teaching his methods and his collection of inshore fishing instructional videos can teach you how to catch saltwater fish of several species.

For this In The Spread fishing video, William will dissect how to catch mangrove snapper in coastal rivers. The first objective he covers is how to find fish. What are you looking for when searching for productive waters to fish. William recommends pinch points or choke points in the river or moving water. Look for places where points or rocky structure comes out into the river near channels. Channel edges are another great spot to cast baits. You will want current. The more current you have, the bigger the snapper fish you will catch. Tides play a big part in the movement of water, even up in rivers. Check the tides and know when the most water will be pushing through you desired spot.

The next big area of focus is which bait to use. What do mangrove snapper like to eat. They will eat most anything, but one of the more lethal offerings is live bait, live shrimp to be exact. Freshly dead will work, as well, but live is best. William will show you how to hook live shrimp thru the tail and the head. He will also point out how not to kill the shrimp when you stick a hook in its head. He will explain the jigs he likes and why he finds them so useful. You will also learn about just adding a split shot to a bait hook. These are simple yet excellent ways to live bait snapper fish. Once the bite heats up, you can switch to artificial lures and continue catching fish.

As for the tackle, when you use the right size rod and reel, mangrove snapper can be a lot of fun. We are talking 7' 6" medium light rods with 10 lb mainline and 20 lb leaders. This makes for great action. Learn all the fishing tips on tackle, live bait rigs and bait options William uses for this type of fishing.

Captain William Toney will also cover bait presentation, where you want to cast your baits and who to zero in on where the bigger snapper fish are hanging out. You will also learn about safe boat positioning. Safe boating is safe fishing.

In The Spread tries to work with the very best captains, guides and anglers, so we can bring you the very best fishing knowledge. The more you know, the more you catch. Go with knowledge and fish smarter.

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Fish with Capt. William Toney

Total time: 35:05
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