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Been living in Pensacola for about 6 months and just bought a boat from a buddy that moved away. We went out a couple times during red snapper season and managed to find a few good spots in the bay and catch some 18-20” red snappers using cigar minnows and live pinfish.

With red snapper being closed we want to try the same spots but targeting the smaller snapper species.

Any advice on setup, size of hook, and bait? Thanks!
 

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What Jaster said. Plus chum them up high into the water column, You'll get some good spadefish too.
 

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I have caught gray ("mangrove") snapper in the bay around concrete or rocks, but I don't recall catching mingos or lanes anywhere other than in the Gulf. They might be there, but I have not seen them.
 
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Does that rig produce black (mangrove) snapper in the bay? That would be great if it does, but sounds like a great way to gut hook a bunch of red snapper out of season or release them into dolphin mouths.

I've tried to catch black snapper off my bay snapper spots and have only caught one. I would like to here from others that possibly dive some of these spots and could actually say if their are catchable numbers of black snapper down there. When I used a small rig and live shrimp, all I get are 8 to 20" red snapper. Between gut hooking and porpoises, the percentage that survived wasn't very high, so I stopped trying as to not cause any more damage to a unique resource that gets pounded more and more each year.
 

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Red snapper rarely eat smy small baits.. that said, I have caught a few 20+ in ARS on small circle hooks.
 

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Recently, the spanish mackerel have been so thick in bay, it’s hard to get anything past them. I would say use a Carolina rig with enough led to get it to the bottom. 2/0 hook. live bait (net bait around the bridges) but I’ve lost so much tackle recently to the he damn Spanish...
 

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3ft 15# Seagar leader, 1/0 circle, 30# flat black swivel, smallest weight you can get away with. 2" to 3" live LY's.
 
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