The Top 3 Mangrove Snapper Mistakes [Are You Making These?]


It’s mangrove snapper time!

We recently wrapped up our new mangrove snapper course and got tons of videos with tips and fish catching footage from Capt. Dylan Hubbard.

We can’t wait for you to see it, but through working with Capt. Hubbard and creating this course, I noticed three big mistakes that are just too crucial not to share with everybody.

So I hopped on a call with Capt. Hubbard and got him to address them.

He’ll provide an answer to fix these mistakes, plus he shares three bonus tips as well!

Check it out below and enjoy.

(Note: you’ll learn a ton about mangrove snapper in this video, but if you want your Ph.D. in catching mangrove snapper, check out the course here).

Top 3 Mangrove Snapper Mistakes [VIDEO]

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Pre-Mistake: Presenting Your Bait Incorrectly

In order to make a mistake with mangrove snapper, you need to hook one first!

The first mistake Capt. Hubbard sees is anglers presenting their bait incorrectly.

Mangrove snapper are super intelligent fish and if you’re going out there with a chicken rig or a bunch of crimps and beads, the snapper are going to know something’s up and won’t take your bait.

Also, you need to keep your bait on the bottom.

If the boat is rocking up and down and you’re letting your bait rock up and down with it, or if you’re on a bridge and the current keeps your bait from sitting on the bottom, you won’t catch many mangrove snappers.

Mistake #1: Not Being Fast Enough

offshore mangrove snapper

Mangrove snapper are lightning fast, and if you don’t react as soon as you get a bite, you’ll lose it.

When they feed, they’re coming by and snapping at your bait (hence the name snapper), they’re not waiting around chewing and swallowing, so you need to be ready.

As soon as you feel the bite, start cranking up.

Even Capt. Hubbard mentions that while filming the course he gets caught talking when he gets a bite, and since he’s not paying attention to his rod or line, he misses the fish.

A mistake people often make here is lifting the rod tip to set the hook, and then reeling.

When you’re fishing in deeper water, there’s a bow in your line, so when you lift your rod tip up you’re not actually moving the hook, you’re just decreasing the bow.

Instead, start reeling up first, and then you can raise your rod tip up.

P.S. there are some cheats taught in the course that can help you become faster to catch more fish. Check it out here.

Mistake #2: Not Having The Proper Terminal Tackle

double snell rig pinfish

Since mangrove snapper are such quick biting fish, one of the secrets that make Capt. Hubbard so successful is that he uses a double snell rig.

This rig increases your hookups by at least 50% and can be fished with dead bait or live bait.

Also, in the double snell rig, it’s important to use thinner hooks with thin barbs.

If you use thicker diameter hooks, it’s going to be harder for that hook to penetrate the fish’s mouth and will result in fewer hookups.

Thinner hooks make it easier to penetrate a fish’s mouth and will result in more hookups.

Mistake #3: Not Having The Proper Rod & Reel

offshore mangrove snapper

A high-speed reel is mandatory for offshore snapper.

Capt. Hubbard recommends at least a 4:1 or 5:1 gear ratio and prefers conventional reels, although you can catch lots of mangrove snapper on spinning reels, too.

When using conventional gear, Capt. Hubbard goes with the Diawa Saltiga LD 50 2-Speed (another good option is the Diawa Saltist LD 50 2-Speed).

Although two-speed reels are not necessary for catching most mangrove snapper, he prefers a two-speed reel just in case you run into a big grouper and need some extra power.

When using spinning gear Capt. Hubbard recommends the Shimano Stradic, Diawa Saltiga or Diawa Saltist.

Inshore or nearshore he prefers a 4000-5000 series reel, and offshore he prefers a 6000-7000 series.

Whatever you choose, make sure that it’s a light reel with lots of power.

As far as rods go, you need a sensitive tip to feel the tap-tap of the snapper.

You also need enough backbone to handle bigger mangrove snapper or even the occasional grouper that bites your snapper bait.

Bonus Tip #1: Best Bait For Mangrove Snapper

How To Hook Live Shrimp

When fishing nearshore or inshore, Capt. Hubbard prefers greenbacks or live shrimp.

Once you get 15-20 miles offshore and beyond, he goes with a dead threadfin or sardine plug with a double snell rig.

To get the big mangroves, Capt. Hubbard’s secret weapon is a 3 – 3.5-inch pinfish tail-hooked with the second hook of the snell rig (see photo under mistake #2).

Bonus Tip #2: Best Spots For Mangrove Snapper

Mangrove snapper love structure.

You can find them on

  • bridges
  • jetties
  • piers
  • rock piles
  • ledges
  • artificial reefs
  • wrecks
  • or offshore springs

Anything that holds bait will likely hold mangrove snappers.

Also, mangrove snapper typically school up, so if you’ve found one, there’s most likely more.

P.S. in the course Capt. Hubbard shows his fish finder and how he finds his best spots, so check it out here.


Ready to go out and catch some mangrove snapper?

The tips above will help you improve your snapper game, but check out our Mangrove Snapper Mastery Course if you want to:

  • Have more freedom to catch fish faster (even after work)
  • Out-fish all of your friends
  • Become the angler with all of the amazing mangrove snapper fish pics
  • Become more consistent at finding structure, ledges, and new snapper feeding zones than you ever imagined
  • Have more FUN out on the water

Since we’ve just launched this course, we’re offering it at 65% off for a limited time, so check it out now!

Check out the Mangrove Snapper Mastery course here.

Attention Mangrove Snapper Anglers:

If you want to out-fish your friends, learn the offshore tactics of the pros, quit getting skunked and put a delicious dinner on the table…you need to check out this course.

Check it out here.

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1 year ago

I went a few years back gag grouper and mangrove snapper for the first time and I was at the stern of the boat fishing . Everyone was catching fish except me. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong until an old-timer said to me stop jerking the rod up (mistake # 1 ). He said when you get a bite reel up as fast as you can to get the fish off of the bottom. After that, I became a monster-catching one after another. Thank you for such great info. I will definitely watch the mastery course.

Frank J Gallagher
3 years ago

What about line..? Fluorocarbon, Mono, Braid.., what weight ?

3 years ago

I recommend fluorocarbon leader for less flex since you need quickness for mangroves. Disclaimer, I’m no professional.

1 year ago

Most people recommend flouro, but in all tests I have done (important. others may vary), it breaks at half the strength of equivalent mono on fast strikes, which is what you will have with mangroves. I’ve gone to using 15-20 lb mono when other guys are using 30 lb flouro and I catch just as many and seem to have less break offs than I used to with the 25-30 flouro.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ryan Stoddard
André Pitre
3 years ago

Mangrove snappers mastery should be offer free for salt strong member !

Roy Beatty
3 years ago
Reply to  André Pitre

hey Andre join the tribe it’s awesome and you get all of the courses , I’m a insider since the beginning and have 2, 3 ring binders of the mastery courses I am interested in as a reference ( I’m old fashion paper guy). It’s more than worth the minimal cost.


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

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