Pages Navigation Menu

Snook Fishing

snookThe common snook is a salt water fish that is native to the coastal waters from the western Atlantic Ocean up to the Caribbean Sea. It is similar to the freshwater pike in looks because of its protruding lower jaw.  Its color is silvery-green with an unmistakable black stripe running from just behind the gills to the tail, interspersed with bright yellow fins.

The snook is an extremely powerful fish.  It is a favorite saltwater game fish comparable to the freshwater largemouth bass in its strength and speed when hooked.  It was (and still is) a favorite saltwater gamefish in North America that if the Department of Natural Resources did not prohibit the snook fishing in southwest Florida during the spawning season in the mid 1970s, snook could have been overfished. Today, snook fishing is allowed but highly regulated.Though basically a saltwater fish, snook can tolerate freshwater as indicated by a scientific study conducted by a group of biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  It has been noted that there are rivers in southwest Florida that has an abundance of snook all year through with the number doubling up during the fall season.

Snook however are very sensitive to temperature changes.  They do no thrive well in cold temperature and are most likely to go into shock and die in water temperature below 60° Fahrenheit or 15° Celsius.

fishing1Tips on Angling for Snook

The record Snook caught in Florida, USA is 44 pounds.  They are feisty as game fish and therefore a much sought after catch by many anglers. Most snook anglers agree that the Snook is a worthy adversary as its strength and ability can sometimes out-power a newbie and not so-newbie angler. Snook have been noted to jump five feet in the air then plunge back right in the water to try to shake free.

Carnivorous by nature, they eat any from small shrimp to sea trout and perch.  Classified as nocturnal feeders, they don’t necessarily feed at night but feed according to the coming and going of the tides, the phases of the moon and availability of food source.

Snook prefer deeper water and tend to congregate in pilings and docks or any other underwater structure that they can inhabit.  Take note that when caught snook tend to “hug” the underwater structure that is why once hooked, it is necessary to spool the fish away from the structure. Giving the line some slack will relax the fish and prevent it from wrapping or cutting the line. Once the fish relaxes, an angler should reel it back in hard steer it in open water for a “fight”.

The best time for snook fishing is from late May and all through summer.

fishing1Tackle and Gear for Snook Fishing

“Fish deep” for snook. Choose a rod that is long, stiff and sturdy enough for jigging but the tackle should be light. Long rods are necessary as snook are easily spooked by boats and anglers. With a long rod”snooker” can cast far.

There are anglers who use fly rod and tackle for snook fishing.  The important aspect in snook fishing is the line. It is advisable to have at least a 12-weight line as this would make it easier to cast on a flexible rod.

Use jiggly lures and baits close to a snook’s natural diet. A spinning reel is best to ensure a smooth line once a hooked snook decides to “fight”.

fishing1Where to Find Snook

Snook can be found along the coast of Florida to Texas. Though the snook population is sparse in Texas, the catch and release snook fishing is allowed.

Florida is the best place to fish for snook.  The coastal water from Daytona Beach and Holmes beach towards south are natural habitats of the common snook.   Along the East Coast in Florida, inlets near Sebastian teem with snook in the spring and summer.  Big Maco Pass, Stump Pass, Redish Pass and Gasparilla Pass located on the west are good spots for snook fishing too. There is a great snook population in Peace River, the Myakka and Caloosahatchee River in Florida.

Note that during there during the season, an angler is limited to two snooks a day. Any snook not within the 26 inches to 34 inches limit must be released.  Close seasons for snook fishing are from December 15 to January 31 and the months of June, July and August.