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Discussion Starter #1
I have read all the tips about scaling down tackle but don't know where to start looking for the blacks. Are the blacks usually mixed in with the reds on red snapper spots - and one just needs lighter tackle to get the blacks to hit? Or do the blacks like different kind of structure than reds? Thanks in advance for any info!
 

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Bearded Brotula
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I catch more mangroves on spots that aren't as covered up by reds. If I get into mingos, then I will typically pull up some mangroves.
 

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the i10 bridge rubble used to be covered in mangroves but with the recent pressure on ars, i doubt it now. try there with a carolina rig and a dead cig in a few weeks. you may get lucky.
jack
 

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Most spots that hold reds also hold blacks. Chum and they will come. Having red snapper numbers thinned some makes catching the blacks a little easier.
 

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OCD Reel Service/Repair
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You must chum..!! They respond to chum more than others. Sight fish for them on top using spinning gear and light lines. The cut bait must fall and flow just like the chum or they will shy away from it.
 

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From my experience (diving/spearfishing) - I haven't seen many black snapper on smaller artificial reefs. Many more on natural limestone reefs and bridge rubble.
The exception would be the army tank reefs. They like to have a hole to duck into - and they are almost never more than a second away from it.


You really have to be in the right spot to hit them - since they are kind of concentrated around spots they like. We will hit 5 spots and not see any - and then see a dozen on the next spot. To be fair - a lot of fish congregate that way.... doesn't mean you wont see another species along side them.
If I couldn't SEE what was down there - I'd have to fish a bit and move on if I wasnt getting ANY of my target species. Its a crap shoot - even if you have gotten fish there before.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You guys are great. Thanks for everyone's comments. I can't wait to try to find some black snappers this weekend. If anyone thinks of anything else that would be good to know about finding the blacks, please keep the comments coming.
 

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You guys are great. Thanks for everyone's comments. I can't wait to try to find some black snappers this weekend. If anyone thinks of anything else that would be good to know about finding the blacks, please keep the comments coming.
There was a thread within the last couple of months where several people provided some really great tips on catching them. You will probably find it if you do a search on the phrase "black snapper".
 

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When fishing off Grand Isle and Fouchon in Louisiana, we caught a lot of them off oil rigs in fairly shallow (40-60 feet) water. We normally tied off the rig, and tossed chum (cut pogies) up-current, and then fished with either really small pogies or chunks, with the hooks buried and free-lined. Has anyone had success trying that on the rigs off Fort Morgan or Dauphin Island?
 

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Yes, they are around some of the rigs off of Alabama. I use similar technique, but when the water is clear, they are some of the most difficult fish to catch. They will bite a live shrimp in half to avoid the hook. I catch as many on cut pogies free lined with 3-4 pieces of the same size for chum as on live shrimp or croakers. Same with fresh dead and peeled shrimp. You can't stop the free fall of the bait at all because if it falls differently from the chum, they won't bite it. I have watched them eat the chum and the bait with the hook just keep falling. The macaroni in menhaden oil trick is good at getting them worked up a bit and less skittish, but after catching a few, it gets tough. No swivels, main line to 20 lb fluoro and small circle hook. I haven't been able to get them to hit even 30 lb fluoro recently. Usually have several break off or cut the line. At times I even just use the hook on 20 lb mono main line.
 

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Does color really matter....
 

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Thanks, Seaquility. That matches my experience. 20-pound fluoro seems to allow a better presentation (almost like a drift in fly fishing), but the buggers know where every pipe and obstacle is, and they can pop 20 so easily. I caught one almost 10 pounds at a rig off Venice, and I am not sure if she or I was more surprised when I got her out of the rig. We caught some nice ones off Fouchon in rigs in 40-50 feet of water, but have not tried the Fort Morgan/Dauphin Island rigs.
 
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