Snapper are found around rocks, pilings, markers, mangrove roots, and run the beach in the sand sometimes. I mostly catch them on the rocks, Mangroves “lane, dog,”are always found straight down from piers, bridges, docks, jetties and I always have better luck at tide changes, 1 hour before and 1 hour after.
Mangrove Snapper my rod of choice would be a 20lb test spinner on a stiff rod, the rig would be a bottom rig the weight being enough to hold bottom and may be a barrel, bank or pyrimid, I prefer bank sinkers, I take the 20lb line put wieght on, then a bead and tie to 40lb leader with a double uniknot, no swivel I prefer to use as little metal as possible and then a 1/0 short shank bronze hook attached to the leader by the improved clinch knot. My bait is small summer bait heads or sardine head. I also use live shrimp on a chicken rig, this will keep you busy with hits, all fish love shrimp!
Hold the rod and drop it straight down if no hits move to another area and keep doing it until you find the fish this is very important. I find most people don’t move once they start fishing and you have to if you want to produce alot of fish – go to them they won’t come to you easily. You could chum and it will bring fish but sometimes those fish get scared from the other fish you brought with your chum (SHARK, BIG JACKS) Move Move Move that’s what I say.
It’s possible you will get a Mutton or Snook but rare.
Getting your Muttons, my favorite, I love those fish.
It is best if you have an idea where they have been caught before, they like to move so it’s a good idea to know this moving pattern of an area. They tend to move twice a year – middle of spring “April,May” and the end of fall. They love new moon phases and you are apt to catch more at those times, for this type of fishing you will be staying put unless you know the area and know places where they can be found at different times through the tide changes.
My rod of choice would be 9 to 10 foot conventional stiff rod and fast retrieve is a must you have to be able to get them out of the rocks fast. I use a bottom rig my line is 40lb and I use a bank 5oz to 8oz which ever is needed, I put a bead on and tie line to a 60lb or 80lb leader with double uniknot and use a short shank bronze hook 3/0 to a 6/0 depends on the size of the bait tied with an improved clinch knot.
Muttons I find in gulleys or channels that parallel bridges and concave bottoms surrounded by rocks off piers and within 20 feet of jetties or rock lined roads like US1 in the Florida Keys. I prefer to use the heads of mullet and, my personal favorite, pilchard heads work great in the Keys at night on new moons.
Well now where do I find Muttons? Florida Keys “bridges” and Anglins fishing pier “off the end of the pier as far as you can throw ”
also Dania pier ” end of pier north corner cast far ” Hillsboro Inlet, Boynton Inlet.