The world record Cuberra Snapper was caught in Freeport, Texas and weighed over 150lbs. This catch was a rare accomplishment though as most them weigh between 20lbs. and 90lbs. They are burnt orange in color with flecks of brown along the dorsal fin. They are close relatives to the Dog Snapper with the only obvious difference being that the Cuberra lacks the canine-looking fangs of the Dog Snapper.
Catching huge Cuberra Snappers is a feat worthy of the most dedicated angler. Using relatively standard equipment and this unusual fishing tactic, you too can enjoy success on these hard-fightin’ monsters.
First, we rig our live Bonita (also called Black Tuna) to a Penn International 50W off both long outriggers. Each of the tunas are trolled with a J hook in the head of the fish and a circle hook in the fish’s back. The speed is set at a brisk 2.5 knots to keep up with the Bonitas. Be patient for about forty-five minutes. Though the surface seems calm, eighty feet under the deck those two feisty Bonitas are making a big fuss.
The big Cuberra Snappers will start poking their heads out of their deep hidden holes in the reef to investigate what the fuss is about. Realize that a fully-grown Cuberra Snapper is not stupid; A 40lbs. Cuberra is 25 years old, a 60lbs. over 40 years old and over their long lives their instincts are honed to avoid being caught. On the rare occasion they hit a a hook, they are typically close to their hole in the reef and can cut the line on a coral chunk. However, if you can create a big enough believe it is safe to eat and will come up to feed.
Now reel up the baitfish and reverse the hooks in the black tuna, inserting the circle hook just below the fish’s rear to force the baitfish to swim straight to the bottom. With the Cuberra out of the reef, he can’t resist a tasty meal swimming right towards him.
HOLD ON! Usually the cuberras will be within 40ft. of the surface and they are STRONG! You will need at least 25lbs. of drag, and perhaps an extra crewman to keep you in the boat. Be prepared for a tough quarter-hour duel; these fish are not the most mobile once hooked but they are strong as ox. Catching these great tasting trophies are truly a high point in any fisherman’s career.