Jigging for snapper I like to use the Zest leaf jigs. The only reason I use them is because they are the first jigs I used for snapper and I have had no reason to change. Using an over head reel is always better to use for jigging, you have far better control on the drop and if a fish takes your jig on the drop it’s easier to feel. They type of over head reel you choose is up to you I use my Diawa Sealine. As long a your reel has a smooth powerful drag then your in for some good jigging fun. If you’re unsure about a good reel then just stick with a brand with a good reputation like the Diawa, Shimano, and Penn all these reels are of good quality. Using a good quality spinning real will work as well; basically it’s just what reel you’re used to.
I have always used the Zest leaf jigs simply because they work, I have no doubts that other jigs will do the same job but for me why change what works. The general rule is the colour jig you choose should imitate the Bait fish that are in your area. But in saying that I like the Black and the Pink. I don’t use a variety of Zest jigs as I don’t jig for snapper that often so I only carry a two. The jigs I use are suited for depths up to 80 meters any deeper then that then I don’t bother with the Snapper jigs I will put on the heavier kingfish jigs. Snapper are like many other species of fish, if they are on the bite and are hungry then they will take a jig, a bait, practically anything you throw at them. When jigging for snapper it’s recommended you try a variety of colours that’s a load of rubbish like I said if the snapper are hungry they will take whatever jig you throw at them. Jigging for snapper is just like jigging for any other fish. The only trouble with using Zest snapper jigs are the kingfish will have a go at them. I have caught John Dory, Gurnard, Kahawai, mackerel, and of course Kingfish. I only use one reel for Jigging weather it’s for Snapper, Kingfish or any other fish; the goal is to keep it simple. Carry a couple of snapper jigs, a couple of Kingfish jigs, a couple of poppers and that’s all you need. If you’re going to specialise only in Jigging for snapper then by all means target gear to suit your chosen method of fishing. I have only one boat reel and two overhead reels, one is the Diawa Sealine which I use for, Bait, Jigging, Trolling, Poppers and I have a Penn reel for deep water and that’s mainly for Hapuku. My Diawa reel is spooled with 24kg braid and I use the Band Fishing Rig to attach all my terminal tackle.
When jigging for snapper I like to my jigs to head straight for the bottom once, once on the bottom I give the rod 2 or 3 quick flicks then wind up quick for about 3 seconds then repeat the process, if the fish are hungry they will usually attack you jig on the first drop. Sometimes the fish will hit your jig on the drop, if this happens then take the reel off free spool or you’re going to get in trouble especially if you’re using braid, braid line will cut you to pieces if you’re not careful. This happened to one guy I was fishing with a snapper hit his jig on the way down, he left his reel in free spool and all of a sudden the snapper took off, he grabbed his line off the reel to try to slow it down but the braid just cut through his fingers and hand like it was butter, he didn't even know he was cut until all the blood started to shoot out. So be careful when using braid for any type of fishing. Another good tip when jigging for snapper is not to strike just let the fish and rod do the work. Wait until the weight of the fish comes on the rod then slowly wind then strike, the fish will be hooked the set properly in its mouth and you’re in business. If you’re using the Band Fishing Rig it will assist in the hook up and will work on automatically in playing the fish.
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