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How to Catch Pink Snapper in Western Australia
July 06, 2023

WHERE TO FIND PINK SNAPPER

Pink Snapper, also known as Pinkies, are a highly sought-after species among anglers in Western Australia. These fish can be found in various locations along the coast, and knowing where to look will greatly increase your chances of success. Here are some key areas where you’re likely to find Pink Snapper:

Inshore Reefs: Pink Snapper often inhabit inshore reefs, the rocky outcrops and ledges of our shallow inshore reef systems provide structure and food. Our Inshore Snapper fishery is best through our winter months.

Offshore Reefs: Venturing further out to offshore reefs can yield large Pink Snapper. These reefs provide a rich feeding ground for the fish and are worth exploring especially over the Summer months when the water is clear in our inshore reef systems 

Beaches and Groins: Pink Snapper love to hunt in dirty water. Fishing beaches and Groins off the back of winter storms is the key. The swell generates perfect conditions for the Snapper to hunt. Bringing them close enough for the land based angler to target them in their search for Crabs and Sea urchins. 

PREPARING YOUR BURLEY BAG

Building an effective burley trail is crucial when targeting Pink Snapper in shallow water.

 A well-prepared burley bag will attract fish to your location and increase your chances of a successful catch.  

We fill our burley bag with crushed Pilchards, fish logs, Tuna logs and premium Burley pellets. 

Tie off to the Transom of your boat at the surface. We give our Burley bag a good shake every 15 mins or so to keep a good consistent flow of burley. 

We also have one more really important part to keeping feeding fish around your boat.

That is thru the process known as cubing. Fresh Pilchard cut into pieces approx 2-3cm long.

We throw 4-5 of these into the berey trail out the back of the boat every 10 mins or so. 

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THE GEAR WE RECOMMEND

Having the right gear is essential. Here are our gear recommendations for targeting Pink Snapper in Western Australia:

RODS:

For Inshore fishing a medium spin rod, is around 6 to 7 feet in length. Around PE 2-4 will handle the fight of a Pink Snapper. Offshore Rods Spin or Overhead matched to handle the depth you are fishing we have caught Pink Snappper up to 220mtrs deep. 

REELS:

For Inshore Fishing a 3000 to 5000 size spin reel is sufficient to handle larger Pink Snapper.

Keep that drag maintained because the larger fish will give it a workout. Offshore match the reel to your rod relevant to the depth you are fishing. 

LINE:

Use braided or monofilament lines with a breaking strength of 20-40 pounds. Braided lines offer better sensitivity and allow for greater casting distances. Always add around 2 mtrs of leader we recommend 40lb fluorocarbon it provides three things, invisibility, stretch and abrasion resistance. 

LURES:

Pink Snapper can be targeted using a variety of lures, including soft plastics, metal jigs, and hard-bodied lures. Inshore, Soft Plastics go head to head against bait and can be really effective.

Offshore, Jigs and plastics worked just off the bottom can be effective. And if you haven’t tried it Pinks will hit a bibbed minnow trolled slowly 4-5knts over shallow inshore reef systems.  

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TECHNIQUES TO USE

To increase your chances of catching Pink Snapper, consider employing the following techniques:

Inshore Fishing: Unweighted baits or lightly weighted plastics cast out the back of the boat is very effective in depth up to 20 mtrs. Lots of baits get eaten as they float down thru your berley trail to the bottom.

Bottom Fishing: Offshore Pink Snapper are found near the seabed, so bottom fishing techniques are effective. Use a paternoster rig, a running sinker rig or a Buku Hybrid jig. Bait your hooks with the freshest bait you can get your hands on. Pilchard, Herring or Mullet Fillets all work well.  

Jigging: Jigging is another popular technique for targeting Pink Snapper. Vertical jigging with metal jigs can be effective, especially when fishing over deeper reefs or offshore. Vary your jigging action, such as long lifts followed by short hops or aggressive jerks, to entice strikes.

Droning: Dropping baits from drones off the shore after winter storms is proving to be a very effective way to catch large Pink Snapper. Fresh bait assisted with bait thread being the go. With drops 200 to 400mtrs from shore.  

Dawn and Dusk: Pink Snapper are known to be more active during low-light conditions, such as early morning or late evening. Dirty water has the same effect hence the number of catches after storms and swell..Plan your fishing trips accordingly to take advantage of these feeding periods when the Pink Snapper are more likely to be actively feeding.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR SNAPPER FRESH

Keeping your Pink Snapper fresh after the catch is crucial for maintaining its quality and taste. Here are some tips to ensure your catch stays fresh:

Iki Jimi: Brain spike your fish first thing. 

Bleed the Fish: Then immediately after catching a Pink Snapper, bleed it by cutting under the gills. Then rinse the gill plates with running water. All of these steps are to preserve the quality of the fillets.

Ice or Chill Quickly: Place the Pink Snapper in an ice slurry, consisting of ice and seawater all aimed at preserving the fish, preventing spoilage and maintaining its freshness.

Fillet and Clean: While filleting and cleaning your fish refrain from using fresh water, If needed just wipe the fish with a towel. Adding fresh water will lower the quality of the fish fillets especially if they are going to be stored frozen.

Store Correctly: If you’re not planning to cook the Pink Snapper immediately, store it in a cooler or refrigerator at temperatures below 40°F (4°C). Alternatively, you can vacuum-seal the fish or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before refrigeration or freezing.

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EXPERT TIPS

Here are some expert tips to enhance your Pink Snapper fishing experience in Western Australia:

Research Tides and Moon Phases: Pink Snapper are often more active during larger tidal movements and the new or full moon phases. Study tide charts and lunar calendars to determine the optimal times to fish for Pink Snapper in your area.

Stay Stealthy: Pink Snapper can be easily spooked, so maintain a low profile and minimize noise while fishing. Avoid sudden movements or loud conversations that could alert the fish and decrease your chances of a successful catch.

Stay Informed: Stay updated with local fishing reports, talk to experienced anglers, and join online fishing communities to gain insights into Pink Snapper behaviour, current fishing hotspots, and successful techniques. This information can greatly improve your chances of success.

Respect Bag and Size Limits: Familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations and size limits for Pink Snapper in Western Australia. Adhering to these limits ensures sustainable fishing practices and helps preserve the fishery for future generations.

Remember, fishing for Pink Snapper requires patience, skill, and a bit of luck. Enjoy the process, embrace the challenge, and savour the thrill of reeling in these prized fish in the beautiful waters of Western Australia.

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