The family of snapper, reef perches is quite diverse and extensive. Includes about 20 genera and up to 120 species. The variety of colors and shapes of fish can surprise any ichthyofauna lover. Most species have an elongated, laterally flattened body, the dorsal fin is usually divided into spiny and soft parts. The mouth is large and movable, there are large teeth on the jaws, and small hair-like teeth on the palate and vomer. A significant part of the snapper can also be called snappers, as well as pargo. The smallest species can be considered Gymnocaesio gymnopterus no more than 16 cm in length. Large species can reach a length of more than 1 m and a weight of about 45 kg. The lifestyle and habitat of snappers coincide with one of the names – reef. The largest number of species is associated with regions with the greatest distribution of reefs, including corals. All snappers are active predators. Gravitating to rocky soils or mangroves, they prefer ambush hunting. May form large clusters. Snappers are able to accumulate toxic substances in the body, and meat of the same species can be poisonous or not. The toxicity is most likely related to the algae that the perches live in. Scientists cannot give an exact answer why. In addition to snappers, the family includes several interesting genera and species that are quite popular with sea fishermen, such as rabirubia or aprions. Rabirubia or Cuban yellowtail is a relatively small fish, about 80 cm long and weighing just over 4 kg. Yellowtails are very beautiful and widespread representatives of the ichthyofauna of the Atlantic region, which, at the same time, are distinguished by caution. Rabirubia are of commercial importance, and are also popular with amateur anglers. Aprions and sharptooths close to them are no less interesting fish with a runaway body, leading a near-bottom-pelargic way of life. Often flocks of aprions can be found on flat areas in the coastal zone. Fish can reach a length of 1 m. Fish of the Cesio family also belong to the snapper family. They live in the waters of the Indian Ocean, preferring reef zones and thickets of aquatic plants. At the same time, all snappers are commercial fish and are actively hunted by the local population.
The most popular amateur fishing for various types of snappers is, of course, spinning tackle. Fishing can be done both “cast” and “plumb” on the appropriate bait. Like most marine predators, snappers are voracious and illegible in the choice of prey, so they can be caught with natural baits. Snappers are definitely worth catching with fly fishing, for example, in mangroves and in shallow water.
Catching snappers on spinning “cast”
When choosing tackle for fishing with a classic spinning rod for catching snapper snappers, it is advisable to proceed from the principle “trophy size – bait size”. In addition, a “board” or “shore fishing” approach should be prioritised. Marine vessels are more convenient for spinning fishing, but there may be limitations here. For specialized coastal fishing of medium-sized snappers, “serious” sea gear is not required: when choosing gear, it is better to deviate from the size of the lures. Although it is worth noting that even medium-sized fish desperately resist and this gives a lot of pleasure to anglers. Snappers often keep in various conditions of the coastal zone, and therefore, with spinning rods from marine boats, it is possible to fish for classic lures: spinners, wobblers, and so on. Reels should be with a good supply of fishing line or cord. In addition to a trouble-free braking system, the coil must be protected from salt water. In many types of sea fishing equipment, very fast wiring is required, which means a high gear ratio of the winding mechanism. According to the principle of operation, the coils can be both multiplier and inertial-free. Accordingly, the rods are selected depending on the reel system. The choice of rods is very diverse, at the moment manufacturers offer a large number of specialized “blanks” for various fishing conditions and types of lures. When fishing with spinning marine fish, fishing technique is very important. To select the correct wiring, it is necessary to consult experienced anglers or guides.
Catching snappers “in a plumb line”
In difficult conditions of deep-sea reefs, the most successful fishing for snappers can be considered vertical baiting or jigging. In this case, you can use various nozzles, including natural ones. When fishing with this method at great depths, in the event of a catch, the haul will occur with a large load on the gear, so rods and reels must first of all be powerful enough. Cords with special markings to determine the length used are very convenient.
Snapper lures include various spinning and fly fishing lures used for fishing in various conditions of coastal fishing and imitating various small inhabitants of reefs, mangroves and other marine thickets. In the case of fishing at great depths, it is possible to use jigs and other equipment for vertical lure. When using rigs for fishing with natural baits, you will need a small live bait or cuttings from fish meat, cephalopods or crustaceans.
Places of fishing and habitat
Most species of snapper live in the Indo-Pacific region of the tropical and subtropical zone. As already mentioned, fish prefer to live and hunt, hiding in various shelters: rocky and coral reefs, algae, mangroves and more. Fish species are quite massive, but the species composition of snappers is much less off the Caribbean and West African coasts compared to the Pacific. However, they are very widely distributed along the coasts of all archipelagos, islands and the mainland, with the exception of some areas of tropical seas, such as the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.
Spawning, in this large family, may differ both regionally and species-wise. On average, maturation of fish occurs at the age of 2-3 years. During the spawning period they form large aggregations. Spawning is portioned, can be stretched for several months. As a rule, it is associated with the temperature regime of water, in peak values of high temperatures. Pelargic caviar. Fertility depends on the species, but in general it is quite large.