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October 25, 2001

Sneaky Snapper

Prevent snappers from stealing your bait with this double-hook rig.

When fishing the rich bottom grounds out of Orange Beach, Alabama, you'll soon find out what great bait stealers red snapper can be. An ex-charter captain showed me a way to outsmart these tricky fish.
Start with a 6-foot section of mono leader. (Use the lightest you think you can get away with.) Snell a 5/0 short-shank live-bait hook to the terminal end of the leader. Then, snell a 2/0 short-shank live-bait hook about 4 to 5 inches above the first - use the size of bait you have to determine exactly how far up the leader to snell the forward hook.
This rig works best with a butterflied porgy (menhaden), but also performs well with a live croaker or pinfish. When using the rig with a split porgy, insert the first hook through both lips and then pin the rear hook into one of the sides. For live bait, stick the first hook though both lips but place the second hook near the anal vent.

Maclin Smith Jr.
Fairhope, Alabama