While the Mangrove Snapper is the most common snapper fish species, the Cubera really is the biggest of the bunch. The Cubera Snapper is the most prestigious member of the snapper clan.
These ferocious fish may grow to more than 100 pounds and stalk their victims at night. For their further protection, these fish have razor-sharp canine teeth that offer them an advantage over their prey in the fight for survival.
In this post, we look at some of the key things you need to know about Cubera snapper fishing.
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What is the Cubera Snapper?
Cubera snapper, sometimes known as the Pacific snapper, resembles other snapper species such as the mangrove red snapper.
They are typically characterized by unique four massive canine teeth, stubby gill rakers, and almost identical fins and body form. Many adults have blue streaks behind their eyes, while the young have a purplish-brown tint.
It’s also worth noting that the cubera snapper is a powerful combatant. This species of snapper may be found inshore all the way from northern Mexico to Peru’s northern coast in the Eastern Pacific.
Is Cubera Snapper Good to Eat?
Yes, Cubera Snapper is an excellent fish to eat. You may compare the flavor to that of pink or mutton snapper or even tripletail while eating this white fish’s delicious white flesh.
In terms of size, the Cubera Snapper is larger than the Pink Snapper; as a result, the Cubera Snapper’s flesh is tougher.
What is Their Habitat?
The Cubera snapper may be found all the way down to Brazil in the western Atlantic, from Florida and Cuba. It’s the largest of the snappers, weighing more than 100 pounds and measuring more than four feet in length.
In the Lutjanidae family, there are around 250 distinct species of snapper divided into 25 genera. Ten of the fifteen species found in North American waters are from the genus Lutjanus. It’s common for anglers to go fishing throughout the months of March, April, and July, as well as August, November, and December. If you don’t catch a Cubera snapper in season, you won’t find one.
This species of snapper may be seen in groups of one or two on coral reefs. The fish spends much of its time along the water’s edge, hiding away behind ledges, overhangs, and rocky outcrops. To avoid being eaten, the young of the species hang out among mangroves and seagrass meadows. Small Cubera snapper may also get into estuaries, mangroves, and freshwater canals and streams.
Cubera Snapper are found in the western Atlantic Ocean’s subtropical and tropical zones. Fishing in the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea is very unusual for this species, which may be found from Miami down to Brazil, encompassing the Gulf of Mexico as well as the Caribbean Sea. You may catch Pacific Cubera Snapper off the coasts of Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Fishermen should expect to see spawning activity from April through July for these species. During the full moon, large schools of these fish congregate, and nighttime fishing is popular for catching them. Belize, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Keys are all recognized breeding locations for this species.
Cubera Snapper Fishing Tips
- Fish, shrimp, and lobster are among the species’ favorite natural prey items. It’s a good idea to use tuna as bait since they will fall right into the Cubera’s mouth. The best bait is fresh pieces of dead fish, but if the reef is shallow, you may also use artificial lures like metal jigs or poppers.
- Cubera Snapper may range in size from medium to giant, and light tackle equipment will no longer be enough to catch them. Fishing for a heavyweight Cubera requires braided lines and high-quality equipment.
- The initial rush of this massive fish is one of the most intense of any fish, making them difficult to reel in. Unless they are swiftly turned around, they will travel straight towards the bottom of the building, which typically results in a cut line.
- Cubera Snapper may be found at depths of 120′-250′ on deeper reefs and wrecks, and boating them requires strong equipment. It’s impossible to prey on Cuberas because of their enormous, thick scales, big lips, and large teeth. They can consume any fish or crustacean which goes into their jaws.
- Don’t underestimate the might of this fish! When caught, a Cubera will fight you tooth and nail, even if it means speeding towards rocks. For this reason, braided lines with fluorocarbon leaders of at least 80 pounds are the best choice.
- Cubera snapper can also be caught with marlin tackle, which is very powerful.
- Catch larger cubera snapper using iron jigs and other huge metal jigs that operate off the bottom. The fish may be enticed to the hook using large fish live bait, such as skipjack tuna. These are handy because the tuna swims straight down towards the snapper cluster. If you want to catch fish with anything other than a hook and line, try feathers, plugs, or spoons.
- It’s important to keep an eye on the pressure point at the front tip of a reef while spearfishing for Cubera snapper. The snapper will be frightened if you go too close to them when swimming over the reef.
- Spiked Cubera snapper battles in circles, so keep it above a barrier as long as possible until it begins to tire. Before you land, try to tangle it in the kelp or get your hands beneath the fish’s gills to make sure it’s safe.
How to Catch Snapper from Shore
To help you reel in these monsters use live lobster and a 150lb leader right off the bottom to capture huge snapper.
With its large mouth and razor-sharp canines, the fish can eat anything small enough to fit in its gullet. At night, aggressive eating is common.
Go fishing four days before and four days following a full moon to boost your chances of capturing large Cuberas.
Cubera snapper fishing shouldn’t be very hard if you follow the tips above. These lonesome bottom dwellers may be found at water depths ranging from 60 to 180 feet, on rocks, reefs, wrecks, and ledges.
Heavy tackle and short stand-up rods are all that’s needed to get these monsters out of the ruins. When bottom fishing at night, it’s best to use braided line since it can be cinched down fast and has a better presentation because it uses less lead.
However, these fish have been extensively targeted for both recreational and commercial purposes due to the formation of recognized spawning aggregations, making them susceptible to extinction. Be sure to check the local regulations on Cubera snapper fishing before you go fishing.