Spearfishing for Snapper

Let’s get this out of the way first; I’m talking about free-diving.  That’s the real sport in spearfishing; pushing yourself to the limit each dive and battling nature on one breath.   Not SCUBA.  Check out my comparison commentary HERE

Know Your Fish
Each fish has its own personality.  You have to start to learn this personality in order to be a successful spearfisherman.  Understand too, that their personalities change based on conditions such as clarity, water temperature, and even with how the people are diving the reef.

Snapper in a holeSnapper are a staple of most every reef and are usually a good bet even when other fish such as grouper, permit, hogfish, and cobia might be harder to find.

Snapper Traits
Snapper are curious, yet skittish.  They will split if given a reason.  But if you know what perks their curiosity, you can get them to come right to you.  At the reefs, snapper will be in and around structure.  And generally in structure that is appropriate enough to provide shelter if needed.  Typically they run in schools and can be found with baitfish around them.

Maximizing the Kill
On your first few dives to a spot with Snapper, they will naturally be curious and can even leave the relief to come have a look at you.  Move slowly when you are in the water and you won’t give them much of a reason to spook.

If the snapper are naturally hunkering down in the relief or if you have spooked them down a bit after a few dives, you’ll have to start looking into their holes.  Again, go slow and take your time.  Get close enough where your head falls into the hole’s shadow- this way you can see deep into the holes.  Stick your gun deep into the hole (yes we are still talking about spearfishing) and bring it back out slowly.  Often this will peak the snapper’s interest and draw them to you.  Additionally, the gun can help move away baitfish that might be blocking your view of the fish.

Snapper and filetsChoose which one is for dinner, and make it happen!  If you miss the shot when hunting in the holes you might be left with a blunt spear tip, so aim well.

Where to Find Em’
In structures such like rocks, rubble, or towers.  Research to back up why towers are great, even though they provide less protection HERE
A cool video of my buddy Eric pulling some nice snapper HERE
Here’s some guys spearing a pretty gnarly oil rig for snapper HERE

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James Murphy

James Murphy

Partner/Head of Marketing & Sales at SlideMoor
I've lived on the water for most of my life. I have an affinity for all things revolving around the ocean. Recently, my aim has been set on the thrills of spearfishing!
James Murphy

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