To the untrained eye, it’s a hook and a bait, with a sinker- but to the smart angler, the snapper rig can be a key to success. What options do you have for snapper fishing, here in the 30+m water of south west Victoria?
The standard paternoster is a simple, yet proven design. It’s basically been catching snapper forever. A swivel, leading down to two dropper loops (each with a hook on the dropper) and a sinker below. Maybe add a couple of beads, or three way swivels to replace droppers, but that’s basically all this involves. The best part about a paternoster is the ability to lighten it to 10lb for whiting, or 120lb for sharks. The rig design stays the same. In the Tackle Shack, our ideal and most popular SW snapper/gummy rig would involve: Black Magic swivel to two dropper loops with an 5/0 Black Magic KLT or BKK Circle Glow, and a snapper sinker below (to suit water depth but a 4 or 6oz is most popular). Tie this on a 60 or 80lb Tough Trace and you’re set.
The flasher isn’t as old school as the classic paternoster. Still, they’ve been around a few years and have built a good following of anglers. The flasher differs from the standard paternoster in the hooks. Still running the standard circle hook, the flasher has brightly coloured and flashy materials tied on to the hook. These will push out from the hook in the water, increasing the overall profile of the bait, as well as adding colour and flash to attract fish from a distance and keep them interested. Flashers have also become super popular for whiting in recent years. Our most popular flasher rigs are the Black Magic Snapper Snatcher range, but the Gummy Snatcher and Groper Grabber (tied on 300lb!) are ideal for trumpeter and those other deepwater fish.
Snapper Snacks are fairly new to the market. “Old timer” anglers often see the rigs are are either confused, or amused as to why someone would waste money on such a rig. But with every rig sold, a new angler is converted to the power of the Snack. Plenty of offshore anglers now use nothing else, having seen the Snacks outfish standard rigs time and time again. The Snapper Snack involves a rubber sliding skirt, over an KLT hooked paternoster rig. The Snack offers the bright colours which can be found in a flasher rig, but also adds UV and glow in the dark properties for extra fish appeal. The rubber skirts waft tantalisingly in the current, so if a bait is lost the fish will still be interested. Snapper snacks in the 5/0 suit our snapper perfectly, while the 3/0 is ideal for pinkies and flathead, and the 7/0 for sharks.
So what’s your pick? Plain and simple (and proven), or flashy, bright and innovative? Get out there over the next few weeks and see which rig reigns supreme!