How to Hunt Big snapper! Interview with Nick Croukamp (all things spearfishing)

Ahoy there, fellow spearos! Do ye yearn to learn the secrets to hunting the wily and elusive pink snapper!? Well take heed, because today we are talking with Nick Croukamp from All Things Spearfishing who has speared many of the savviest fish you’ll ever meet in the waters down under.

First off, let’s talk tactics. You can’t just waltz into their territory and expect a pink snapper welcome party. Nope, you need to be sneaky as a ninja to even stand a chance. Here’s the lowdown on Nick’s snapper strategy:

Scouting for Snapper

I start by zeroing in on spots where I’ve spotted snapper before. It’s like detective work, really. Look out for signs of fishy activity – that’s your first clue. The sweet spot for pink snapper is usually between 10 and 20 meters deep, right where the reef kisses the sandy seabed. The snapper often move around over the sand, so hide on the very edge of the reef face out towards the sand and wait. It can help to make a very small amount of noise and throw up a little sand if you see fish in the distance, but as a general rule you should be completely quiet and still when hunting snapper – These critters know you’re lurking.

The Art of Stealth

I can’t stress enough the importance of being well hidden on the bottom and waiting quietly – hidden means putting your body into a slight depression in the reef, hiding under rock overhangs, staying in shadow – and no movement. People often think they are not moving but their heads are moving around – with snapper you can’t do that. Keep your chin tucked in so that your face is facing down and look through the top of your mask – that keeps your eyes in shadow.

Patience is Key

Spot a snapper in the distance? Great! They’ll play hard to get, swimming closer and then darting away. So, here’s where good bottom time becomes your best buddy. The big boys are typically hanging at the back of the pack, so stay put and bide your time. Remember, it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. It should also be noted that snapper vary seasonally in abundance, as well as in different locations around Australia. For example, there is plenty of small snapper in Victorian waters, whereas in other locations one sees far fewer fish but they are usually bigger.

Now, let’s talk about burly. It’s like a snack bar for snapper. These fish can’t resist it. Snapper tend to charge in on burly, grab a piece and leave, or else move quickly from one piece to the next. When targeting Snapper in burley I start with floating alongside the burly in mid water so I do not move at all – I just keep focused and aiming at one of the biggest pieces of burley and hope a snapper charges in to grab it. If they are feeding less aggressively they may move over the bottom and collect the pieces of burley there – when I see them doing that I dive to the bottom and hide where the burley is landing and wait as long as I can, then rinse and repeat. The key thing for snapper is movement and noise. Having a good bottom time and being able to wait motionless is also critical.

So there you have it, sage advice from a Snapper Master based in Perth and beyond. If you’re not hooked on this incredible sport yet, you’re missing out on a world of adventure, camaraderie, and fishy tales. Dive safe, me hearties! 🌊🐟🤙

We have included an episide of Nick’s new podcast “Better Spearfishing” below, as well as a gallery of total froth!

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