Rev Heads for Snapper
By: Warren Morgenstern
Targeting Snapper on soft plastics is a proven technique and has become quite mainstream. It is an accepted technique not only by lure fishermen, but also by many die-hard bait fishermen who used to float line and live bait for this prized target.
There are a large selection of jigheads that can be used as long as they have heavy duty hooks. Revheads certainly are not the latest new jighead on the market - in fact they have been around for quite a few years. They have been highly successful in Fresh Water for species like Bass, Yellowbelly, Redfin, and for Flathead in the Salt, and is a must have for targeting Jewies (Mulloway) on plastics. They have however been mostly overlooked as a super effective lure for targeting Snapper.
I have been using Revheads almost exclusively for Snapper over the last 4 years with great success, and have converted anyone who comes fishing with me. I target Snapper in the 10 to 50 metre depth range. The technique used is to target mid-water fish that are actively hunting. A presentation where the soft plastic is falling slowly through the water column to the bottom is ideal. The most effective plastic for this technique is a jerk-bait style of plastic in the 5 to 8 inch length.
Revheads have a keel on the bottom with a swivel and blade attached (both Colorado or Willows). As the lure decends and the blade spins it sends out flash and more importantly for Snapper a pulse or vibration. Where these Jigheads come into their own is on the fall. The drag on the water from the blade spinning slows the speed of the drop and helps the soft plastic glide forward seductively. The pulse and glide imitates a stunned bait fish perfectly and makes this presentation irresistible to Snapper.
When fishing Revheads cast the lure forward or in front of the drift, and let out enough line to reach the bottom – depending on depth and speed of drift. Once the lure has reached the back of the boat, or the lure has reached the bottom I give it a couple of hops and then wind it in and cast it out again. All my quality fish have come from the drop. Don’t hop or shake the lure on the drop, just let the Revhead do its job. Save the rod action until the lure is on the bottom, where the smaller fish and other species are. The longer your presentation is in the water column rather than on the bottom the chances of active snapper finding it will increase. Even in 40 metres of water I have hooked fish on seconds after the plastic has hit the surface, and screamed line off before the bail arm is closed.
The Revheads are also deadly in the rod holder while drifting. I try to have the lure sitting somewhere in the bottom third of the water column, as you drift the blade slowly spins away doing all the work for you. Make sure you have good rod holders because the Snapper don’t mess around, they hit aggressively and set the hook solidly. Some days the rod holders can catch more fish than the angler.
For Snapper I use the Revheads built on heavy duty mustad hooks. They hold their point exceptionally well and give excellent penetration, which you can lose on thick guage hooks. 4/0 are suited perfectly for 20pound braid, I use 6/0 when using 30pound, and use 8/0 for anything heavier.
Bycatches while fishing Revheads this way are Tuna, Cobia, Mackerel, and King Fish – so far. As you can see I love Revheads, next time you are targeting Snapper you should try them too.
Ps. I did a trip off Mooloolabah to get some new photographs for this article. Unfortunately we didn’t get any Snapper, but boated a 5kg Tuna, 6 Cobia between 7-11kg and hooked 2 Sail Fish. It was an awesome morning. My biggest Snapper so far on Revheads was a 7.8kg fish and have had many memorable sessions and captures including a 25kg Spanish Mackerel off Seventeen Seventy.