Paddle Power in April 2022

Spring has sprung, and we are solidly on the back side of what can only be described as another mild winter. Sure, we had some cold days, but freezing temperatures never really graced the coast for any duration and that means we are in for another year of amazing snook fishing for everyone.

Snook are a subtropical/tropical comfort zone fish. This makes them extremely susceptible to cold temperatures that we haven’t seen in 10 years. Water temp below 54 degrees can cold stun the snook and if those cold waters persist for too long it can kill these awesome fish renowned for the hard- fought battles. Warmer winters have allowed this gamefish to flourish in the waters around East Central Florida and their structure orientating habits have made them less effected by habitat changes in the lagoon areas. The snook tend to hold around and under structure like docks, shorelines and mangroves spending very little time in the vast shallow open waters. This presents both a benefit and a downfall for anglers looking to test their skills on a snook. The benefit being that an understanding of where this species wants to spend much of its time helps you focus on areas that have high potential for success. The downside of fishing this structure is that snook have an almost unnatural ability to break your heart by finding a perfect sharp spot to break your line. Their situational awareness is unprecedented! It almost feels like they know how and exactly where they are going to break you off before they even look at your bait. This combination of having to fish very close or even under the sharp barnacle encrusted cover and the sheer power of this fish, coupled with a razor-sharp gill plate makes you wonder if you even have a chance. I almost think we will hear of them shooting venom to disable adversaries next. Snook have a varied diet and feed on everything from shrimp to the smallest minnows, and every bait in between. Typically, I find that positioning of your artificial, live bait, or even fly offering is much more important than any specific “bait”. Being able to fish and cast as close to and even under structure will make you successful in the snook game. I have always enjoyed them as one of my primary fishing conquests for my clients and myself from Spring to Fall.