The best time to catch Gray snappers is between June and August. The best methods for catching Gray snapper are bait casting, drift fishing, and cast and retrieve using live shrimp or minnows.
Habitat: Ocean, Coastal Waters
How to identify Gray Snapper
Gray snappers are often referred to as “mangrove snappers” or “mango/black snappers” because of their dark grayish-brown color that can change from copper to vibrant red. They have a dark marking that goes across their eye and is visible when looking down at them in the water. They have reddish-orange markings on their flanks. Their snout is pointed, and their mouths have small teeth and thin lips.
Where to catch Gray Snapper
These fish can be found in the Atlantic from Brazil up to Massachusetts and in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Gulf of Mexico. They live in various water conditions ranging from brackish to fresh. They prefer to hang out near mangroves or structures, such as shipwrecks, on open-water bottoms.
The following are habitats where you can catch Gray Snapper:
- Channel Entrances
- Channels and Holes
- Coastal Waters
- Reefs, Wrecks and Shoals
- Rocky Sea Floor
How to catch Gray Snapper
Anglers with all skill levels have no trouble catching gray snappers. Light to medium tackle works well when paired with live/frozen bait or lures. In deep water, they can grow as long as 20 inches, whereas in shallow water, they only grow to about up to 14 inches long. Anglers typically use a 4J hook with live bait when fishing for gray snappers. Those fishing in open water should let the bait sink so it goes down into the reefs where the fish are hiding. Once it touches the bottom, reel it up a bit to keep it from snagging, then wait for the fish to bite. The best places to look for these fish are near water columns and piers.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Gray Snapper:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Gray Snapper
Live bait, such as mullet, ballyhoo, shrimp, squid, and pilchards work the best for attracting the gray snapper, although lures can also be effective.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Gray Snapper: