By: Heather Born
To me, no fish tastes quite as good as snapper. Whether it be queen, hogfish, mangrove, yellowtail or mutton, the wide variety of snapper there is to cook is sure to never fail you in the kitchen or out there on the water.
Sure, the pelagic fish such as mahi and even tuna have never let me down when it comes to cooking, but when you want to change things up a bit as the summer months start creeping to an end, deep dropping for yelloweye snapper becomes my favorite go to.
Schools of yelloweye snapper can be found congregating in depths of 200-500 feet and are found around rock piles and any form of structured bottom. These fish usually average around 5 – 15 pounds. I prefer to catch these with an electric reel, however it’s definitely possible to use a conventional reel if you prefer, as these fish are also found shallow enough to do so.
On a recent trip out, we caught plenty of snapper in 350-feet of water using an electric reel. We were using a 10-foot chicken rig with 3-way swivels and using squid as bait attached to a total of five 8/0 circle hooks with 100 lb. monofilament and dropping a 3-pound lead to the bottom. We were able to dodge the sharks and barracudas allowing us to catch multiples of yelloweye at once and we were also lucky enough to bring up a few vermillion snapper.
Yelloweye snapper are also known as silk snapper and are excellent to eat as they have a flaky white meat with a delicate texture. Makes for a great fish taco dinner!