Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page.

Snapper on the fly.

Mark Hoffman, one of my epals from down under, sent me some excellent pictures the other day. Mark tends to fly fish from the shore and has been developing his talent for catching snappers on fly gear. It's not that different from catching bass, pollack or mackerel - except for the appearance of the fish (I'd love to try catching one) so here's what he said -

Greetings Mike,

Been in a bit of a fishing hiatus due to a change of job. Got out today to my local upper harbour sandbank - lousy weather with a 20-30 km/h straight on shore "breeze" that created some dirty water and a 3pm high tide - basically everything wrong that could be. However, despite being battered by half-metre waves for three hours of wading I managed to pull out two snapper which is a first in such dirty water and in the middle of the day (early morning has been the only successful time period up to now). I used fluro lime green shrimpy/clouser patterns in deference to the water turbidity and they have been a winner for me this summer.

I used my trusty 9ft, 7wt with a Hi-D sinker even though the water was only 1-2m deep as the wind was such a chore to try to penetrate - a fat floater would have been impossible to cast! Hope you enjoy the pics. Also included a pic of a small kahawai I hooked recently (aka Äustralian Salmon ) which is the only non-snapper species I've had this year.



Sounds great doen't it? I can empathise with trying to belt a fly line into a stiff onshore wind, I'm sure that I'd have given up and picked up the spinning rod. Mark's obviously made of sterner stuff. I asked him whether I could use his material and a bit more about the tactics and conditions. He followed up with some extra information -

Hi Mike,

Feel free to use the pictures on your site - I know I enjoy seeing your images and those of other people that you post. Yes using a thin sinking line makes a considerable difference - fortunately the location is virtually snag free so I can get away with dragging the flyline along the bottom for basically all of the retrieve as the water is a max of 2m deep. In fact on that trip I had one live cockle actually clamped onto the flyline! I "hooked" two or three other cockles during the session. I seem to do well with shellfish - Ï have also "hooked" freshwater mussels in one lake while trout fishing. Must admit the bottom structure is tough on the leader - I am using 5kg mono which is scratched to a milky white after a few hours of being dragged over hundreds of shells.

My aim for the near future is to try and get a flounder on the fly - a suitable mudflat is about a hundred metres from the sand banks where I fish for the snapper, so it looks like I could have a bob either way in one outing. Will let you know how that one works out - will give those yellow and black plastic eel baits you sent down a while ago a try for them as they had suitable sized hooks.



Again I replied and Mark sent me another picture so good that I've tagged it on. He said -

Greetings Mike,

Just another brag picture from the weekend- had tied up some shrimp patterns from some pink plastic tubing a while ago and got a snapper on it. Nothing like tying up something new and having it work!



I love these 'real fishing' emails that I get. Even if I've never been near a snapper I can almost feel the wind in my face and the rasp of the flyline over the cockle shells. Wonderful!

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com

Fluro lime green shrimpy/clouser.

Doesn't the fish look good with that fly in its mouth?'

Close up.

I see what Mark means about cockles.'


Fancy a big one of these on a fly?'

Pink plastic shrimp.

Obviously weighted to get down and drag over the cockles.'