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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to target black snappers. How far out do you guys go that have success consistently chumming up black snappers? Not looking for spots, just general areas to start my search. Thanks for any help!
 

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Plenty in the bay. Just mainly the bigger ones are offshore. Best time to fish for them is 1/2 hour before high or low tide to the hi or low tide. They will bite just about any time but not as aggressive. Live bait is best.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I want to target them offshore. I understand that the I-10 bridge rubble holds a lot of blacks. Do I have to go that far? I would rather target them a little closer in if possible.
 

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We caught a really nice one @ 8 miles out. We were in the rectangle between the Paradise hole and the Tug Ocean Wind. If you go to the FWC website, they have a section that shows all of the reefs and wrecks. Look for the big rectangle. That is also where they are dumping the 3 mile bridge rubble. Happy hunting.🧐
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, LY-zer. I have caught some on the Liberty Ship and other near shore wrecks, but not enough to "target" them. I am looking for an area where they are known to be plentiful. I have fished offshore for 25 years and have done great with red snappers, but never focused on the blacks. 8 miles out sounds good. I will look for that rectangle. At least we know that there was one nice one in that area. Anyone else have good success in that area?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We spent the day targeting black snappers yesterday and never even sniffed one. Hit I-10 bridge rubble to SW, blackwater bridge rubble, 3 mile bridge rubble, and other places. Did catch 33" and 30" red snappers on bottom after deciding that our chances of catching black snappers were not looking good. Sure hated to throw them back.
 

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Just curious how you're fishing 'em. I see you're chumming and I assume you're free lining.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Chummed with mendaden primarily which we sliced into small pieces. Also chummed some spanish sardines and cigar minnows. 30# fluorocarbon, 25# main uni to uni knot. Freelining with bait going back at same speed as chum. The current was very swift, and the chum and bait didn't sink very fast. Buried 3/0 circle hooks in cigar minnow chunks. Also tried 3" live pin fish and live cigar minnows with tails cut off. Finally, tried some knocker rigs with 1/2 oz and 1 oz sinkers. It was a bluebird day and extremely calm. My friend used to catch a lot of big blacks at the Russian Freighter years ago before the dive boats fished them out. So we felt that we knew what we were doing. I appreciate any suggestions.
 

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Sounds like you've got the technique down. I like to grind and freeze my chum so they get a taste but don't get filled up too fast. A chum bag made of shrimp net webbing works well. When the current is ripping, chumming and free lining can be a lost cause. I've got a ten pound weight I'll clip on my chum bag in those times and send it to the bottom and bottom fish behind it with lighter tackle like you did. Not as much fun as free lining but can put some fish in the box on those days. With shark populations being what they are these days, sending the bag to the bottom will mean more snapper get eaten and your bag will eventually get eaten too.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Good idea on the weight. We were really handicapped by the swift current. Lastcast might be right about there not being that many blacks around here now, but there were quite a few 10 years ago. I know that people catch some big ones now occasionally, but there might not be enough to target them. There are a lot of small ones inshore however. I would think that there would be a lot offshore too.
 

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There are still good numbers offshore but I do think the population is down slightly this year.
 
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Bridge rubble holds them. Night fishing is best but we don't get out that late anymore. Chumming them to the surface so you can pitch a bait to a black used to work, but like others have said, the numbers aren't what they used to be. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
We finally chummed up some black snappers yesterday. Problem was that there were reds mixed in with them. In the process of catching and releasing the reds, we put chunks of bait right in front of the blacks. They checked it out and turned their noses up at it even with 30# fluorocarbon leaders. We tried to catch them for about an hour. It all ended when a huge shark slammed a nice sized red right at the boat. After that, nothing came up anymore. Can't blame them. There were a lot of sharks wherever we went.
 

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That's about par for the course in most places now. Reds beat the blacks to the bait, go light enough to catch the blacks and the sharks eat 'em. Sharks are out of control. Anybody that says different doesn't fish.
 
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You nailed it. I've pulled off several spots this year just for that reason. If I get jaws to the top.........
 
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