Long Key Bridge or even Channel 2 Bridge, which is close by, are great places to catch mangrove snapper. Many times the snapper are just a short distance away, but have to be chummed up. Either buy chum or castnet some glass minnows for chum. You can chum the snapper from a distance away. Even if they do not want to eat, chumming will usually get them to eat.
Another thing is make sure you have some lighter tackle to downsize to if they will not bite. Smaller hooks, smaller fluorocarbon leader etc. You should definitely be using fluorocarbon leader because of the invisibility factor. If you are using braided line as your main line, I would make sure that the fluorocarbon leader is at least 48 inches long (4 feet). Braided line in any color is very visible to fish and intrusive in their world.
Use the lightest weight possible to get the bait into the strike zone and keep it in the strike zone. Snapper have exceptional vision and get weary. Avoid using terminal tackle with heavy leaders, snap swivels or crimped wire when you fish for snapper.
Snapper will eat cut bait, but the baits need to be in cut into neat chunks — square or rectangular shaped pieces work well. Once a piece of bait has been shredded and chewed by smaller fish, it's time to put on fresh bait if you want to catch Lutjanus argentimaculatus.
Captain David M Rieumont
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