St. Pete Report By: Capt. Anthony Corcella

Summer Snook are Hot!

Summer is the best chance at monster 40-inch snook as the giant females transition into spawning mode on big tides around the full and new moons.

The first step to catching that trophy snook is knowing where they are located. Any pass will be stacked. The beaches will all hold big snook and the local bridges will be loaded, too. Flats with defined edges and access to deeper water will, also, produce big fish. The key is good tidal movement.

The second step to catching that 40-inch monster is to know what they will eat. Luckily, right now, it’s almost anything. Live or cut bait is hard to beat, but lures will produce plenty of giants. The big snook in the passes and the beach will hit a live grunt or pinfish with pure fury. The bigger the bait, the better. The same snook will also hit jigs such as a ¼ to 1-ounce Mission Fishin jig and a big 4 to 6-inch swimbait. Early morning, sunset and night fishing are best. The big snook on the flat edges and Bay bridges will attack white baits, smaller grunts and pinfish. Soft body lures rigged on a Mission Fishin jig will take fish on the flats, as well as, at the bridges.

The third step to getting that 40-inch monster is the correct tackle and gear. We recommend a 4000-size spinning reel, 15 to 20-pound braid on a 7’ 6” in the 17 to 20-pound class rod. Casting reels loaded with the same line class are a great option for working the bridges. A 30 to 60-pound fluorocarbon leader is standard for live bait, cut bait and lures. It all depends on where you’re fishing. Trust me, go bigger at the bridges.

We have some exciting news. We recently teamed up with Mission Fishin and they have set us up with the best jigheads in the business. These hooks stick the fish on the first hook set. You can have confidence that you have a solid hook up and have no fear of the jig head failing due to a bent or broken hook. We use them with soft plastics for all inshore gamefish, and with live and cut bait when the bite calls for it. This is a jighead that can instantly improve your fishing.

We are on a hot bite right now of mangroves, mackerel, sharks, snook, reds and tarpon. It’s possible to hook into all of the above on one trip. The landing them part is up to you