Snapper fish has been widely distributed from northern to southern parts of the world. They also thrive from western to eastern part inhabiting from cold to warm waters. The family Lutjanidae is comprised of about a hundred plus species which are living from shallow to deeper waters. Queen snapper or scientifically named as Etelis oculatus is one of the many species of snapper fish. It is one of the species that thrives on the deepest waters and are difficult to catch. In fact, fishermen occasionally catch this kind of fish and only anglers or the professional fishermen can catch this kind.
Queen Snapper is widely distributed on the western part of the Atlantic Ocean. It covers the waters of North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico and up to the tip eastern part of Brazil. It is said that this specie is abundantly flourishing the relatively warm waters of the Bahamas and Antilles.
Queen Snapper is usually seen on deeper waters for about 130 to 450 meters but the younger ones swim around mid-depths. They typically mingle around rocky bottom where they get their food. They are usually feed on squids and small fish.
Queen snapper’s back color runs from pinkish to deep red including the dorsal and caudal fins. They have relatively small head compared to red snapper but have bigger eyes. The lower sides of this fish are also red up to the belly. All the fins run from deep pink to red. Their snout is relatively short which is shorter than the diameter of the eyes. The overall body characteristic of this fish is slender and elongated. They have canine-like teeth making them hard to bite that serves as their advantage when fighting. Part of the maxilla is covered with scales but the base of anal and dorsal fins are built without scales. The back is covered with scales to a parallel pattern with lateral line. They have no dark spot like other species of snapper fish.
Queen snapper grows for about 100 cm maximum length and has a maximum weight of 30 pounds. Just like other snapper fish they move out of shallow waters to find deeper habitat as they mature. Aside from small fish and squids, adult species also feed on crustaceans. The maturity age of this fish is when they reach 1 year old. They spawn during the months of May and April.
Fishing for queen snapper is relatively difficult because they thrive on deep rocky waters. When you ask fishermen who catch this kid of fish, they will tell you to go deeper for better results. Although they are difficult to catch, they can be lured by baits, live or dead baits. You should practice deep dropping if you want to catch larger ones. Hooks should be well prepared along with your own designed rigs. You should create a rig with circle hooks along with the perfectly customized longer dropper rigs for more effective fishing activity. If you want to catch larger ones, might as well prepare your fishing equipment and get ready to succeed in fishing queen snapper.