A lot of people like fishing the mussel farms for snapper, and there's a good reason why: they provide great cover and an unlimited food source for the fish. Fishing in the farms, you have to consider the potential risk of losing the big fish when hooked, due to the hanging ropes of mussels.
We anchor up outside of the mussel farms. Locate the anchor ropes which hold the farms in position, and anchor up current of these, about 50 meters out of the farms in between the big anchor blocks. This positioning takes a bit of working out but now, we have the locations marked on our chartplotter which makes it easy every time we return.
The trick is to pump berley into the farms and get the fish to come to you. This method works very well and means you have a great chance of hooking the big snapper and kingfish that come out for the free feed. Make sure you free spool your bait as natural as possible with as little weight as required to get to the bottom. We have found fresh mackerel or big pilchards to be the perfect bait. Topcatch have some high grade pilchards which are great as the good quality baits seem to last a lot longer than the seconds.
When straylining for snapper I love to fish drum reels and mono. It just gives you a great ability to stay connected to the baits.
After the tide was complete, we had caught a heap of snapper so we went for a play with the local bronze whaler population. These fish are great and run hard giving new anglers the opportunity to feel what a big powerful fish feels like on the end of the rod.
Make sure if you are going to target these fish that you use barbless hooks and release them on the beaches so everybody including the sharks are safe. Get some nice photos and return the sharks unharmed. The bronze whaler sharks are so important to the eco-system: they clean up all the fish scraps that end up in the oceans and remove the unhealthy fish.
If you plan on targeting bronze whalers head into your local Top Catch store and get them to rig up some mono traces for you.