Snapper belongs to the Lutjaniden family and got his second name (snapper) because of their hunting habits. This fish likes to lie on the bottom of the water waiting for prey and then it suddenly snaps jaws in the required time. Red snapper prefer to eat small fish crustaceans, worms, shrimp and plankton sometimes.

The length of this fish can reach a meter with weigh about 20 pounds and maximum lifespan – 21 year. You can also meet a type with rather shorter life expectancy. Snapper has elongated and compressed body, which allows him to move freely in the clefts of the rock and reef. As for colors, red members dominate. Red snapper has a characteristic feature – squama on the basis of the anal and dorsal fins. The dorsal fin is divided into prickly and soft part by the small notch. Generally the dorsal fin includes ten long and about ten soft spiny rays. These spines snapper can remove in special recesses in the body.

The teeth in the front of the jaws are sharp and long, and the rear part is a little rounded. Mouth wide, with sliding jaws. In the mouth, on the palatine bones there are small hair-like teeth like freshwater perch have. Operculum also has sharp burrs, so you must take caught snappers very carefully.


The main food for snapper is: fish, shellfish and all sorts of crustaceans. They hunt for them among the corals in pits near the rocks and mangroves. This fish has one interesting feature. He often becomes the object of attack of all kinds of marine parasites in the thickets of corals, where he hunts for food. When they finally attacked him, snapper swims to the accumulation of known underwater cleaners, angelfish, and changes its color to bright red. This is a signal to these small fish and they start to clear snapper from the parasites on the body, gills and in mouth. In this case, the predator and its potential victims feel comfortable, everyone doing their job.

Habitats and catching

The most widely snappers represented in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, where you can find about fifty species of this beautiful and strong fish. Some species of snapper reach one meter in length and weigh up to 35 kg. Some anglers also catch species weighing 50 kg, but such luck is rare. Snapper prefer to stay along the coast, near the submerged rocks, reefs and other shelters, at depths ranging from 1 to 400 meters. Sometimes, during the course of the mass of forage fish, they can create large clusters on flat ground floor with sand and shell structure.

Snapper is a very popular fish in sport fishing because of aggressive and excellent fight. We all know about his style of lightning attack the bait as well as the power that he has shown during the playing of. Catching becomes more difficult because fish always try to escape in a variety of underwater cover. If the angler has great skills, his work will be rewarded with a spectacular photo of a bright red snapper and a great product to cook.


If you catching red snapper in fairly shallow water (not deeper than up to 50 or 60 feet), the most appear tackle is baitcasting tackle, heavy spinning or light ocean tackle. Professional anglers advice to jigging for Red Snapper from an anchored boat, because this type of fishing is the most productive. Baitcasting reel armed with 15 or 20 pound braided line, 7-foot rod and a fairly stiff is ideal tackle for lighter jigging offshore.



You can use live or dead bait depending on various factors.

• Every experienced angler during red snapper fishing use live bait, for example, tomatoes, pinfish, cigar minnows or sardine. In this case the bait must be hooked through the eye or nose socket on a 4/0 hook.

• Also you can prefer dead bait, which includes eels, shrimp, strips of amberjack or bonito, squid. For using the dead bait you must to try hooking it onto a Luminous jigging lure, which glows in the dark like the Metallic Sardine, Bluefox Skarpsildas or the Yo-Zuri Blanka.


1. You must know where to go.

The older red snappers, the deeper they will hide from you. A big and adult fish prefer to swim at a depth of 100-500 ft, while the juvenile red snapper you can find in the shallow water over muddy or sandy bottoms. Also fishermen can find this fish along wrecks, ledges, drop-offs and coral reefs.

2. You must use strong line and heavy rods.

Experienced angler must go for lines and tackles in the 50 — 100 lb. class, if he wants to handle the heavy sinkers. The rod must have strong butt and backbone, as well as a sensitive tip. Use the alarm bell on the tip of the rod to indicate when fish bite. Professionals’ advice to prefer braided because of its improved water resistance, minimal stretch and sensitivity.

3. The right techniques are important.

If you want to attract red snapper, the greatest method will be jigging with metal jigs because this fish is a bottom-dweller. Consider glowing in the dark luminous jigs, like Bluefox and Yo-Zuri. Be ready to catch and reel in the snapper as fast as possible, otherwise it head back to the rocky bottom.

4. Use irresistible baits to entice red snapper.

Squid, dead cigar minnows, cut fish and pilchards do well if you’re not in a heavily fished spot. Otherwise, you must change your game up just a bit – start to use small live baitfish to lure in several red snapper with decent size.

Red snapper recipes

Snapper meat is white shade and dense, relatively dry consistency. In addition, the bonus is the almost complete absence of bones in the meat. Snapper highly prized by chefs around the world because of delicious meat, almost boneless, characterized lowfat and unique sea aroma. The most popular among all Costa Rica’s dishes with red snapper is chargrilled fillet marinated in orange and lime juice.

Next recipes aren’t less popular or delicious.

Snapper with allspice seasoning


For the allspice seasoning you must prepare:
• salt and freshly ground black pepper;
• 1 tbsp soy sauce;
• 1 tbsp chilli sauce;
• 3 dried bay leaves;
• 1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper;
• 1 tbsp crushed allspice berries;
• 2 crushed garlic cloves;
• 1 tsp salt.


For the snapper you’ll need:
• Drizzle sunflower oil;
• 2 cleaned and gutted snapper;
• 2 sliced garlic cloves;
• 1 chopped green pepper;
• 1 chopped red pepper;
• 1 chopped onion.

First of all you must preheat the oven to 190C. Mix in a big bowl all of the seasoning ingredients together to prepare the seasoning. Then chop the garlic, peppers and onion. The vegetables must be arranged in the base of an ovenproof dish. Place the snapper on top of the peppers and sprinkle by the seasoning. Use sunflower oil to drizzle and cook it for 20-30 minutes.

Roasted Whole Red Snapper

This dish you can cook by 3 methods, each of which consists of a specific set of ingredients.

Asian method includes:
• 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil;
• 1 minced garlic clove;
• 2 finely chopped scallions;
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger;
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro;
• 1 tablespoon canola oil;
• 1 whole 3-pound cleaned and scaled red snapper.

Mediterranean method includes:
• 1 tablespoon canola oil;
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper;
• 2 minced garlic cloves;
• 2 tablespoons rinsed and finely chopped salted capers;
• 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley.

Caribbean method includes:
• 1 tablespoon canola oil;
• 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice;
• 1 teaspoon chopped thyme;
• 1 seeded and minced serrano chile;
• 1 minced garlic clove;
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger.

Choose one of the flavor combinations, chop together all the ingredients with a pinch of salt and rub the fish with this paste and oil. Before, you must make several 3-inch-long slashes on each side of the fish. Such snapper you can cook in the oven or grilling.


This video will be very useful for amator or professional anglers, who wants to catch the biggest red snapper. Here you can see some techniques of snapper fishing, using different baits and tackles.

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