Deep drop fishing for spectacular queen snapper

Deep drop fishing

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but I learned something new deep drop fishing for Flame Tail snapper and other monsters of the deep off Brisbane.

Deep drop fishing is fast becoming popular with offshore anglers.

And not just Australia but around the world.

It’s a little more outside the box than general bottom fishing, as waters are deeper.

Deep drop fishing is defined as bottom fishing in very deep water, ranging from 100-500 metres in most areas.

Amazing species can be pulled up from the depths if you have the right equipment.

Typically electric winches are used to lighten the load.

Now, this may seem like cheating, or boring, to traditional fishers.

I myself was a bit skeptical until I tried it.

But it was actually surprisingly fun learning a new technique and the results were “spectacular”.

A 129 cm queen snapper caught deep drop fishing

Trophy fish of the day! A 129 cm Flametail snapper. Who says they only grow to 120?

Our host for the trip was Dick Mayfield from Quality Marine Electronics in Brisbane.

Dick is a marine electronics specialist and not surprisingly, his boat Dick Tracey was decked out with all the latest gear.

Dick’s motto is performance without boundaries and he specialises in the development of high-speed transducer fairings and installation to get the very best out of your equipment.

While not 100% necessary, the 3 KW elliptical AIRMAR transducer and GARMIN 8412 series made finding the fish in 400 m a whole lot easier.

In fact, the weather Gods smiled on us for the day and with very little wind or current, we could see the sinker drop in 400 metres. WOW!

We were accompanied by local fishing guru Pete Flor from Florless RodsPete provided the rods for the day and has been scouting and fishing deep drop country for many years.


Deep drop fishing requires a well fitted out boat, sturdy rods and impeccable weather.

Our host for the day Dick Mayfield and the adequately fitted out Dick Tracey ensured success. Our accompanying vessel was skippered by local fishing guru and deep drop rod maker Pete Flor from Florless rods.

Fish finders for use deep drop fishing

Dick Tracy is one decked out boat. Using the Garmin 8412 and Airmar 3 KW transducer we could see the sinker hit the bottom in 400 metres. Picture compliments QME.

Watch the video of our day with Dick including tips for deep dropping and some of the fishing action.




Deep drop equipment.

All of this equipment can be sourced and shipped from Dick at Quality Marine Electronics - Brisbane.

Garmin 8412 XSV is our unit of choice for this work coupled with the AIRMAR GSD26 - CM599LHW (3 KW) transducer.

As you saw, we could see the sinker in 400 metres and Dick has marked individual fish on previous trips. Amazing stuff.

A Miya Epoch CZ-9 electric winch will drain the bank balance but is well worth it.

Otherwise, you'll spend most of the day watching the reel grind away.

You can't go past the Florless Raptor for Deep dropping - custom built by Florless Rods. It was a good compromise between give and grunt. Some of these fish have quite soft mouths and hooks can rip out during the long journey to the surface without adequate give.

A 1000 metre self-activating light and Leader Systems Australia deep drop rig at the terminal end completed the package.

And for those suggesting we are a bit soft using a winch. Check out this monster from the deep caught by Pete Flor fishing nearby.

48 kg bass grouper caught deep dropping off Brisbane

48 kg Bass Grouper for Pete Flor deep dropping in 400 m off Brisbane. This is why we use an electric winch.


While deep dropping is not for everyone, I must say I was pleasantly surprised during my introduction to this technique. We have ordered a winch and rod and will be doing more as we head south in Mood Swings.

Even larger fish are really good to eat, unlike inshore varieties that sometimes lose quality with size.

That said, they are big fish and as always, we must fish sustainably and not take more than we need. In the case of Pete's bass grouper, we shut up shop after that one and headed home.

Wanna know more??

During the day we filmed a deep dropping segment for our sounder skills 2 course.

Once added the segment will cover fish finder unit settings for finding fish deep dropping, plus a demo on actually positioning on the fish using your equipment.

To try out our courses we have Sounder Skills 1 reduced to $20 the moment. What have you got to lose?

Click here >> for Sounder Skills 1

Or for 30 years of practical sounder advice that you won't find on YouTube (Coz not many people know this stuff) that will actually help you catch more fish in less time (practical not technical advice), you can't go past Sounder Skills 2.



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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

Facebook comments


  • Ben Hartsfield

    Reply Reply February 26, 2022

    I freaking love deep drop fishing. Thanks for sharing, if shopped at Quality Marine Electronics in the past as well.

  • John S. Mastin

    Reply Reply February 1, 2021

    very interesting article about deep fishing.. I hope beginners will learn this blog.

  • Debra whitt

    Reply Reply October 17, 2020

    I love fishing. Today I learned deep drop fishing from your article. It’s an awesome post. How much is your sounder skill course?

  • Don Gauvin

    Reply Reply June 27, 2019

    Another great video, and another interesting topic ! Great work, Ryan. And to those “purists” that say electric reels are cheating, I can hinestly say I wish I had one on many occasions fishing the dropoff outside the reef, even in my twenties ! 😁😁

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