Bridge Fishing for Cobra Snapper

Bridge Fishing for Cobra Snapper

Bridge cobra snapper fishing
The 15- to 20-pound cobra snappers that litter the bridges of the Florida Keys will give you all the fight you want.
Captain Brandon Storen

Admittedly, Capt. Brandon Storen initially took it as an inconvenience, but he soon realized he was asking for great fishing in the Florida Keys that would go largely unnoticed.

“During the time we were fishing for bridge tarpon in the spring, we would occasionally encounter some bycatch of cobra snapper,” Storen said. “I think they have fun because of all the people fishing for tarpon; there’s a lot of smell in the water. It’s mostly just the smell of the baits. Some people like tarpon (with cut bait), but I don’t because it brings in a lot of unwanted species like minnows.” Nurse shark.

Being the most ferocious of the snapper clan, the powerful, fighting copira is a straight stretcher. As Storen points out, these aren’t the giant fish that anglers catch at night over deep-water reefs with legal-sized lobster as bait, but the 15- to 20-pounders common in the Keys’ bridges will still give you all the fight you want.

How to Target the Cubera Snapper in the Florida Keys

Florida copira snapper
A 7-foot medium-heavy spinning rod with a 6500 series reel holding 65-pound braid will handle most bridge cobras.
Captain Brandon Storen

If you want to target these cubes near bridges, Storin has some tips.

when: April and May are peak time, but small and medium-sized cubs hang around the bridges throughout most of the year. Cold weather will slow the bite when high winds muddy the water. During these circumstances do not waste your time.

Storen said he has caught cobras in both incoming and outgoing waters, but the fish seem to be more aggressive when the tide is changing. Fish can feed more easily during slower water than at low tide – ideal conditions are when the heavy bridge current slows down and starts moving again.

“They’re definitely more active at night, so nocturnal movement is great, but also the first and last hour of the day can be good,” Storen said. “If you hunt them during the day, I bet you won’t encounter many of them during the full moon.”

where: Storen does most of the routing work around the Channel 2 and Channel 5 bridges in Islamorada and the Long Key area. Most major bridges in the Florida Keys will attract cuberas.

how: Based on tarpon fishing rip-offs, Storen can attest that copira snappers such as a large boned mullet on a fish spotting rig or a pinfish were drifting near the pilings. If he’s specifically targeting cobira, Storen will catch a smaller boned mullet or live pinfish on the bottom.

“I will definitely be fishing baits near the pilings and near the bottom,” Storen said. “You’ll want to make a fresh presentation so the scent gets to where the cubes are.”

counters: A 7-foot medium-heavy spinning rod with a 6500 series reel holding 65-pound braid will handle most bridged cobra, along with plentiful mutton snapper. Storen uses a 60-pound fluorocarbon leader for tarpon, but will drop to 40 pounds for wary snapper.

Tips for catching Cubers Snapper

Cobra fishing
Most major bridges in the Florida Keys will attract cuberas. Boneless mullet or live pinfish are preferred baits.
Captain Brandon Storen

On the ground: For anglers who sit on Keys fishing platforms like the popular pedestrian-friendly Channel 2 and Channel 5 structures, a chum bag and massive live shrimp can accomplish big things.

what are you expecting: The size of the bait will determine how long an angler should wait to set the hook, Storen says. A large meal may require a small bite, but these fish are very aggressive, so they will snatch a smaller offering and try to snatch the rod out of your hand.

“If you feel them picking up the bait and putting it in their mouth, give them a few seconds, but once they get a good bite, they’ll run hard,” Storen said. “If you feel them hitting it, open the bail to let them get it. I use Owner Mutu circle hooks, so once they get On the bait, I let them tighten in. Then you just have to (tighten) the drag and deal with that run.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *