By: Capt. Dave Stephens
We had a great start to our winter months, but Mother Nature always has a say in it at some point. As we push forward into March, that rings in the time of year that we have been waiting for. This is the month that we consider to be spring, and this means that some of our greatest game fish will begin to wake from their slumbers. Without a doubt the fish that has the most anticipation for me is snook. Over the past several months our snook fishery has been good. We had some major cold fronts in February that completely shut our snook fishery down. Water temps play a major role in how these fish feed. When our water temps drop below the mid 60’s for several days, snook descend into a slumber. Kind of like a bear that is hibernating for the winter and much like bear that has spent the past couple months hibernating, they wake up hungry. For the last couple weeks our local snook schools have found their homes in our deep waters like residential canals and the main rivers that flow in from the Gulf of Mexico. Like a mamma bear coming from her den, they’re very hungry. Springtime is the best time to target trophy snook. Southwest Florida is considered one of the top destinations in the world for this. I’m often asked what is a trophy snook? Well, unlike most fish we do not use weight to measure a trophy, instead we use length. A true once in a lifetime fish is over 40”, however it’s not uncommon to catch a fish over 43”. This is when things get tricky when targeting fish in this range as it takes a lot of dedication. It takes someone that is willing to be patient, willing to wait for that one bite. Then when that one bite happens, well you have just hooked, in my opinion, one of the smartest fish in Southwest Florida. That fish is going to do everything in its power to break you off. Any overhang, mangrove root, rock or dock piling is going to be her home. For my fellow readers that hunt White Tail Deer, it’s like the time you spent for that trophy buck. Fortunately, for chasing monster snook nothing has to die to accomplish your goal and dream. As a deer hunter myself and a trophy snook angler, I find them very similar. It comes down to playing a big game of hide and go seek. A game that you never had a shot to win, but that one time when you do! It’s a feeling that you will never forget. The time of year has arrived for targeting big snook. Give us a call to catch your fish of a lifetime.