John's Journal...


The “Therapy”

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: During 30 days of fishing in the spring of 2004, more than 8,000 anglers on 95 boats participated in the Orange Beach Red Snapper World Championship and caught big snapper with more than 28 of them weighing over 25-pounds each. This year’s Championship will take place April 21 – May 20, 2005 with headquarters at Zeke’s Marina. Total tournament monies will be $500,000 with a $200,000 bonus if a new world ‘s record red snapper is caught, but anglers only will pay $5 per fisherman per day to enter the tournament. All proceeds from the tournament will go to support the building of public reefs and conducting red snapper research. You can buy tickets to participate at Blue Water Ships Stores in Foley, Ala., Outcast Bait and Tackle in Pensacola, Fla., and in Orange Beach, Ala. at J&M Tackle, Orange Beach Marina, Outcast Marina, Sam’s Stop & Shop, San Roc Cay Marina, Sportsman Marina, the Rod Room, Top Gun Tackle, Trent Marina and Zeke’s Landing Marina. To learn more about the Championship, visit where Click to enlargeyou also can see a list of captains and their contact information; or call: (251) 981-8565; the Orange Beach Fishing Association at (251) 981-2300; or the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau ( at (800) 745-SAND.

“I normally fish out of my own boat,” reported Robert Weir, Jr., of Carrollton, Georgia, who caught the third-place snapper that weighed 30.30 pounds. “I go to the Gulf of Mexico 10 or 15 times in the spring and the summer to fish for snapper. But since my boat was out of commission, my family and I chartered the ‘Therapy.’ We’d never fished with Captain John Andrews before, and we didn’t know it at the time, but the boat wasn’t entered in the tournament. However, our entire party had bought $5 tickets to enter. We’d already caught a good mess of snapper and went to some natural bottom to fish for grouper. Click to enlargeI was using a vermillion snapper for bait, a standard snapper rig with an egg sinker up the line and a barrel swivel below it, a 5-foot leader and a circle hook. The captain said he’d never caught a snapper on this coral reef during his years of fishing. We were about 45 miles out of Orange Beach when I caught the third-place snapper. I won $10,000 for this biggest snapper I’d ever caught.”

Weir has developed his own techniques for catching big snapper. “You must …
* “use as light a weight as possible to get your bait down but keep the weight from spooking the snapper.
* “fish with fluorocarbon leader instead of monofilament since snapperClick to enlarge can’t see the fluorocarbon as well as they can spot the monofilament.
* “fish much higher in the water than most snapper fishermen do. If the bottom is at 150 feet, I like to keep my bait at about 50 feet off the bottom. I’m convinced that really-big snapper will come up well off the bottom to take a bait.”

The fishermen at Orange Beach, Alabama, know where and how to find and catch some of the biggest red snapper taken from the Gulf of Mexico. Use these tips to help you locate and take gorilla-sized snapper whether you fish during the 2005 Red Snapper World Championship or not.




Check back each day this week for more about MONSTER HAUL OF RED SNAPPER

Day 1: What Scientists Learned in the 2004 Orange Beach Red Snapper World Championship
Day 2: The “Intimidator”
Day 3: The “Hog Wild”
Day 4: The “Therapy”
Day 5: We All Won



Entry 296, Day 4