Snook season is upon us, and anglers statewide are taking to piers, inlets, jetties, and even spillways for their chance at harvesting one of Florida’s most hard fighting and delicious gamefish. Snook are incredible game fish. They can be caught on the flats, in the inlets, off piers and jetties, and even deep into local canal systems that are purely freshwater.
Want a shot at catching a keeper “slot” snook? Go to where the masses reside. What do I mean by this? Stick to your piers, inlets, and jetties. Snook congregate in these areas and it increases your odds on catching a fish that can be legally harvested. Florida has an established slot size of 28 to 32 inches on the Atlantic coast, and 28- 33 inches in Gulf waters. This system has proven difficult for anglers to achieve, and many times snook capture are too big or too small to harvest. By fishing areas that are plentiful with groups of feeding fish, it helps to weed through fish in order to find the magic number.
Make sure to fish bait that the snook are eating. Look for birds and bait pods to see what snook are targeting. During the next couple months snook will transition from white bait, to migrating mullet so keep an eye out and match the hatch.
It is important to fish quality fluorocarbon leaders of at least 30-40lb test ratings. Snook are notorious for running to structure, and their gill plates wreak havoc on leader lines. Don’t be a statistic, be prepared!
Please remember to handle these fish carefully. If you fish piers or bridges make sure to utilize drop nets or “snook slings” . Proper handling of big breeder fish is critical in maintaining healthy snook populations. Don’t forget that snook have been on the rebound since the “Freeze” of late 2009. Do you part, and protect the resource.
Visit myfwc.com for all regulations regarding snook. Interested on snook fishing on the flats? Feel free to contact me at www.fishsouthwater.com
Capt. Joey Cabrera
South Water Guide Service LLC