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SNOOK FISHING

SNOOK FISHING

 

South Florida is a unique place and has one of the most sought after gamefish the snook.

The snook is a estuary dependent gamefish that are heavily pursed by recreational and sport anglers. There are 5 different species of snook, the tarpon snook, the swordspine the large scale fat and the small scale fat snook, the other and the one most common here is the “Common snook”.

 

Snook found on shallow water flats, structure with moving water like bridges, along mangrove shore lines, creek and river mouths and also shallow water wrecks.

 

They are mostly silver in color with a slight copper tint to them. They are more silver in color when they are in a clean salt water like the flats or a wreck, but turn a light copper color when they live amongst the mangroves. The reason is the mangroves have a heavy tannic acid release rom mangrove decay and that resemble an “tea”colored water.

 

The one distinctive famous feature is the black lateral line that runs from the tail to the gills, this is their sensory line and where they get the name “Linesider”.

 

By my accounts the snook is a fierce eater but only eats when the eating is easy, they are very moody in feeding nature. One time of the year they seem to eat without being so finicky is late spring and early summer when the flats are full of mullet. (A great time for top-water lures)

Normally this time of year I find snook everywhere ambushing the bait,  it is normally a window that last for 2-3 hours per day and is at first light. It’s not uncommon to see them throwing themselves in the air as they eat.  Early evenings are also very good.

 

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They have a large mouth with a heavy grit sandpaper lips to hold the bait in their mouth if they can’t inhale it all on the first try.

I am a conservation minded captain and I like to release fish, so I crimp down the barbs on most of my lures for an easier release, besides it keeps the doctor away if a hook get thrown into a finger!

 

Sight fishing snook on fly or spin is my preferred method of fishing for them. Some other ways of snook fishing are Live baiting pilchards, shrimp and mullet along mangrove shorelines, docks and bridges. Of course top-water fishing the flats and shorelines.

 

Snook also stack up on east and west coast beaches of Florida, most of these snook are looking for small baitfish, this is prime time to stalk snook of fly. Most of these snook are big females that have just spawned and are looking to eat. This is normally a 3 to 4 week period when the beach fishing is red hot!

 

Snook spawn from May through august on full moons. Deeper creeks with moving water is where they lay eggs. The strong currents move the eggs to shallow estuaries and grass flats util hatch.

The average size is from 5 to 12 pounds and the state record for Florida is 44 pounds and 3 oz.

 

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