Give It A Try


by Capt. Bart Marx

As we approach summer months, snook are a great target species. Snook are in pre-spawn mode. They start to decide if they will travel from their home area and move from rivers and creeks to open larger bodies of water. All snook do not spawn every season. Shrimp too, will have started their migration out to the gulf and the whitebait, greenbacks, pilchards, etc. will be up to the freshwater lines in the rivers. This is great for snook looking to add pounds to go to their spawn areas.

You can harvest some of the baits mentioned earlier with cast nets. The majority of the guides I fish around use a 10’ 3/8” bait net. Most of us have some kind of dry or wet chum to draw these baits into casting range. I have used cat food, corn meal, oatmeal, and some other mixtures. The oil we use is menhaden and a little goes a long way. You need to have a good live well. This means it is able to pick up raw water from outside your boat, be able to pump it to a tank on your boat with rounded corners, and a drain that will allow the water to drain back outside your boat. Some like to have a sprayer to spray on the water to give more air to your bait. I personally like it to be under the water and creating a current, as this helps keep your bait alive too. The current keeps the fish from bumping their nose on the sides of your well and killing them. A simple way to build a live well is with a plastic garbage can. If you have a sea water wash down hose, you fill it with that. Then you create a drain where the water can drain back overboard. Although I still bring live shrimp, so I have an option of baits.

Let’s take a look at what is happening out in the Gulf; snapper, lanes and mangs, porgies, black sea bass, and maybe a hogfish.

Hogfish like crustaceans; small crabs and shrimp. While you are bottom fishing, put a bonus rod out with a live bait, blue runner, or pinfish, anything alive with some wire. Set it where it is out of your way to bottom fish and leave the drag a little on the loose side, but tight enough to bury the hook. A bobber of some sort about six feet up from the hook will hold the bait at that depth. When you hear the drag go off, you will understand why they call kings smokers.

Get out there and give these things a try, or if you don’t have a boat you can give Capt. Bart Marx a call at 941-979-6517 or e-mail him at [email protected] to help you with your angling skills. And always remember singing drags and tight lines make me smile. <*(((((>{