Pagrus auratus, snapper or pinkies.
Pink snapper are not readily mistaken for any other species; they have a distinctive pink to silver to copper colouration with bright blue spots on the ventral surface of juveniles. Males will often develop a humped head and nose with age. Snapper will form schools of similar sized fish, but become more solitary as they grow larger. Pink snapper are a slow growing fish that can reach a maximum size of 16kg, but are more often caught at between 2-8kg.
Found from Coral Bay in the north to the South Australian border in the south. Small snapper of 4-8kg can be caught in shallow inshore waters, even right from the beach. But the large snapper are most often found associated with structures such as offshore reefs or broken ground (eg: gravel patches) in anything from shallow to deep water of more than 100m. Beginning in around October and lasting 3-5 months snapper form predictable spawning aggregations in locations such as Shark Bay and Cockburn Sound.
Rigs and Techniques
A 6-8kg spinning rod with 6-10kg line and about a 20kg mono leader will do just fine when fishing for pink snapper. Sometimes the heaviest gear isn’t the best for catching big pinkies.
Snapper are fished most often on baits such as mulies, slimy mackerel, pilchard, squid and octopus. The bait is often floated or lightly weighted in shallow waters or attached to larger fixed sinkers for fishing in deeper water. A berley trail is a good idea when catching pink snapper – try to drop some fish cubes down to the bottom. You want to drop your bait just at the edge of structures like reefs and drop offs and bottom bounce the bait. Snapper can also be caught on leadhead jigs and metal lures.