Snapper have been a long time favorite among both inshore anglers and sea food enthusiasts. Hard fighting, aggressive eaters, beautiful colorings, and they make a great dinner – what isn’t there to love about snapper? There are over ten different species of snapper found along the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts of Central America in temperate waters, but the ones anglers enjoy most are red, mullet, mutton, and the giant cubera snapper.
With so many different kinds of snapper their sizes vary, but most snapper are in the 10-40 lb range. Cubera snapper are the largest snapper species and if allowed to prosper can grow to 70-100 lbs. Unfortunately cubera snapper have the dangerous combination of being the largest of the snapper species, delicious to eat, and are also very slow growing so releasing them is very important. All snapper showcase broad tails for powerful strokes and over-sized canine teeth. Cubera snapper are easily identified by their four large canine teeth and deep red colored bodies.
Many species of snapper can be found in brackish water near river mouths and in mangroves. This allows them to feed on smaller fish and crustaceans with the tide as well as use the mangroves as a nursery for their young. The recent destruction of mangroves has had a large impact on snapper, and various other species, for this same reason.
WHAT THEY EAT : Snapper all over the world inhabit and eat in very similar ways. Their diets are primarily made up of other fish, but they will also gladly eat shrimp, squid, octopus and crustaceans. We catch snapper on anything from surface plugs to jigging to bottom fishing in hundreds of feet of water using squid as bait. Snapper are such aggressive feeders they can even be taken on the fly using feathers and streamers.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Snapper are typically a reef dwelling species and can be found in 30 feet of water or 600 feet of water. Adult red snapper and cubera snapper are typically found in deeper offshore waters while mutton snapper, mullet snapper, and mangrove snapper can be found in shallower water.