John's Journal... Entry 44, Day 1
Catching Red Snapper Off Oil and Gas Rigs
EDITOR'S NOTE: To take the biggest fish of your life on fly tackle, fish with Captain Cliff Jones, one of only two fly-fishing guides in Orange Beach, Alabama. Or, if you want to catch speckled trout at night under the lights and experience an altogether different form of fly-fishing, head to Orange Beach now.
QUESTION: Tell me the secret to catching sneaky rig snapper.
ANSWER: You'll catch the most snapper when you have good live bait and light line like 20-, 16-, 15- or 12-pound-test and no leader.
QUESTION: You often put an egg sinker up the line. When and why do you do that?
QUESTION: What kind of bait do you like to use?
ANSWER: I prefer to fish with live shrimp.
QUESTION: Why are you using live shrimp?
ANSWER: I fish with live shrimp because snapper primarily eat crustaceans, and a shrimp is a crustacean. Snapper love live shrimp, and most red snapper fishermen rarely use live shrimp as bait. So the fish aren't afraid of live shrimp like they are cut bait.
ANSWER: I buy as big a shrimp as I can.
QUESTION: How many shrimp will you usually take out for a day of fishing?
ANSWER: I'll carry four or five dozen, give or take a few, with me. Actually the number I take depends on how many people I've got on the boat.
QUESTION: What else do you take with you besides shrimp?
ANSWER: I take LY's, pinfish or any kind of minnow -- the more alive, the better.
QUESTION: What size hook are you using?
ANSWER: I'm using a No. 2/0 mostly. A lot of times I'll use a pattern 91-74 or 91-54 Eagle Claw 92 live bait hook.
QUESTION: What kind of rod do you use?
ANSWER: A Fenwick Legacy Rod.
QUESTION: Why use the Legacy?
QUESTION: What length is that rod?
ANSWER: It's a 7-footer.
QUESTION: In other words, you can use the same kind of tackle that you use when flipping for bass.
ANSWER: Yeah, sure you can.
QUESTION: You use a baitcasting reel and/or a spinning reel, right?
QUESTION: What pound test line do you like?
ANSWER: I like 12-pound-test the best.
For more information on saltwater fly-fishing, contact Captain Cliff Jones at P.O. Box 1027, Orange Beach, AL 36561, (334) 981-1827, or e-mail him˙at email@example.com. You also can visit his website at www.offshoreflyfishing.com.
Tomorrow: Tips For Catching Rig Snapper