The Cubera Snapper is a game fish with teeth. And if you get one on the line even half of the weight of the world record 126 lb’er you’re probably in for a fishing experience you won’t soon forget. If that’s the kind of thing you think you might be into, please don’t go anywhere as we take a deep dive into deep dropping for Cubera snapper.
Cubera snapper are basically the big bad boy fish that hangs out in reefs around the Florida Keys and into other areas of South Florida. Structurally advantaged by very large teeth, these fish are liable to consume most anything smaller than themselves and they find themselves exempt from the dining menu of all but the most sea creatures.
So when you are deep dropping for cubera snapper, you would probably want to make sure that your tackle and gear are set up for a dealing with a stubborn fish. But with the tips and tricks we’ll research, you should have a fighting a chance of catching one of these tasty fish. But a friendly heads up: don’t eat the trophy sized guys. They are liable to inspire ciguatera poisoning.
Ciguatera fish poisoning culprits are most commonly barracuda, sea bass, grouper, moray eel—all mostly carnivorous types. The toxins (ciguatoxin and maitotoxin) are made by a small marine organism commonly found around reefs, are generally eaten the more herbivorous fish species. Deep dropping for cubera snapper is definitely a fishing method that targets the species that may contain those toxins, so please play it safe.
As those vegetarian fish get consumed by their larger carnivorous predators, the toxins get more and more concentrated. Staying away from large carnivorous reef fish is definitely your best bet. Ciguatoxin has no taste and no smell and cannot be destroyed by conventional cooking, so it’s awfully hard to take any other types of preventative measures.
Unfortunately, this type of poisoning is becoming more and more common as the coral reef deterioration continues, and although your risk of death is fairly low at one in a thousand, we probably would all want to avoid rolling the dice.
Deeper than Rap
What is deep drop fishing? It’s important to get a handle on the key concepts before you go deep dropping for cubera snapper or any other specific species.
Keeping it Light
A very important concept to keep in mind when you are deep drop fishing is that you are sending your bait down to depths where sunlight just ain’t a thing like it is up here.
However, although they may have other, different sorts of sensory advantages, most fish unless they are at the bottom of the mariana trench, still depend on their eyes to see. And that means it will definitely behoove you to make sure that your baited hooks are all equipped with a light that will serve by attracting the fish, first as a source of light (glowing jellyfish anyone?) and second as a way to call attention to the bait right below it.
Rigging the Game
That brings us on to the topic of how to rig for deep dropping for cubera, or any other species. First off, when you cast a line out for these depths, you’re going to have multiple baits as well. It gives you more bites at the metaphorical apple while you wait for the non-metaphorical cubera to start biting.
For Reel Though
If you’re planning to make this a commonplace thing, the odds are that you’ll want a new fishing reel—an electric eel. Oooh fancy! Well, yes, there are some that are programmable (sounds like work tbh) and others that just have a small electric motor attached. Simple works just fine to haul up the multiple weights, baits, and hopefully fish that you’ll be capturing by deep dropping for cubera.
Our main man, Captain Josh Grau of Catch Of The Day Charters recommends the Avet Pro EX50W-2 Game Reel.
Short end of the Stick
In this instance, it’s okay to have short rods!
If there’s a fighting fish at the end of your setup, you know that you won’t want to have to wonder about whether your 7-8’ rod isn’t flexing just a BIT too much… and as a bonus, those rods are usually available at a more attractive price. Which should be a good way to justify investing in deep dropping for cubera.
It’s not as expensive as those other rigs! (Just show whomever you have to justify your purchases to this article. They’ll get it then, won’t they?).
So what line are you gonna send down to the depths to deep drop for cubera?
100 lb test is what you want to look out for.
The narrower line gets through the water easier, and puts less stress on your reel. Besides less stress on your reel, you’ll also have more line on there anyhow.
You generally don’t want your reel more full than ¾ of its capacity anyway. That adds some more mechanical stress, and that equipment is already doing most of the heavy lifting.
Heavy is the Swivel on the Fishing Line we use for the Leader
Basically, 300lb snap swivel is the minimum you’ll want to use. And there’s also the consideration of how many hooks you’ll want to run.
Different people feel differently about running multiple hooks on one line. Perhaps you’ll go with fewer, so you’ll have to manage less, or maybe for you it’s most important to get the most bang for your buck and be sure that you’re getting the most out of your experience by rigging four to five hooks on a single line.
When it comes to constructing the hook set up, circle hooks are popular and a blinking light on the top swivel where it attaches to the line is par for the course. The filament that you’ll use (300lb test again is standard here) should be crimped; try as you might tying a knot in 300lb is just not the best methods. No need to get Herculean. The local bait shop should be able to guide you on the appropriate crimps.
Heavy Weight Fishing
You’ll want about 4-8lbs on the line, depending on the current. Are you going to be somewhere battling the ocean? Add some more weight. After all, all these pelagic fish are much more common at these deeper depths.
One of the important aspects of deep dropping for cubera is the fact that massive lobsters are really the best cubera bait you can find. I mean, it might hurt a little to not eat that lobster itself—but if you are ready to compete for the big boy cubera, well they have appetites too.
Just like any type of fishing, it helps to pay attention to the phases of the moon. Cubera, despite their penchant for biting whatever’s in front of them, are really hungriest like most fish are at the height of a full moon.
Wrapping it Up
Deep dropping for cubera is a serious fishing mission to go on. It’s not for the faint of heart, but over here, we’re confident you’ve gotten enough information to have a good start.
This is one of those hobbies where a little research can go a long way, to don’t be afraid of trolling the internet for even more information. Happy Fishing!