Mangrove snappers are the “every man’s fish”- from your roadside fishing spot to the big commercial boats, you can find mangroves being hauled in for good eating all over Florida.
Mangrove snapper are also known as grey snapper and they are very common in the Florida Keys.
Key West Fishing Trips
They don’t grow as large as the cubera or Mutton snapper and are not considered as good eating as the Mutton or yellowtail. They are popular to eat and the smaller ones are considered better to eat than the large fish.
They are strong fighting fish for their size and can be a blast to catch on light tackle.
They like to bite, so be careful taking the hook out of their mouth – they will try to get you!
They are everywhere!
Mangroves can be found pretty much everywhere, from inshore around mangroves to out near the edge of the reef. They are very common on inshore patch reefs and also are very common on any structure on the gulf side.
They can be casted to around the nooks and crannies of mangrove islands and channels or you can get them balled up behind the boat in a chum slick.
It’s common to use cut bait on a small lead head jig to target them.
Huge schools in the Spring
In the Spring and early Summer they will travel to the reef from theGgulf and form large spawning aggregations. They can be very easy to catch this time of year and they can sometimes be caught as fast as you can put the bait in the water.
The small ones tend to eat first though, so if you are trying to get bigger fish this can be a problem.
Pro Tip: Sometimes using bigger pinfish for bait will keep the small ones away and let you catch the bigger ones.
They will eat a variety of baits
Mangroves will eat just about anything when in the mood. Live and dead fish, shrimp etc. The larger ones can be pretty line-shy though, and in areas where there is a lot of fishing pressure, they can be hard to get to take a bait.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these Mangrove snapper fishing tips- happy fishing!