Teen Catches Record Alabama Snook

Photo by Len Love


Alabama officials are thinking of creating new snook regulations after a Baldwin County, Ala. teen caught what appears to be a new state record snook on May 14.

Gardner Love, 17, caught his 27-inch, 7.04-pound snook while fishing solo in Soldier Creek, which feeds Perdido Bay near the Alabama/Florida state line. Although the snook wouldn’t be a particularly large snook for Florida, where the state record is heavier than 45 pounds, it is an anomaly in Alabama waters, where populations of the species haven’t historically existed.

According to Scott Bannon, director of Alabama’s Marine Resources Division, warming waters have brought snook into Alabama state waters in recent years. The existing state record weighed 5 pounds, 2.6 ounces. It was caught last January by Richard Carver and was the first common snook recognized as an Alabama state record.

“We’ve seen a few over the last couple of years show up in that particular area of Baldwin County, which is adjacent to the Alabama-Florida line,” Bannon told Fox New Digital.

“But snook are native to Florida,” he added. “We knew that they were in the Pensacola area and over the last few years, they started showing up in Alabama, mostly juveniles.”

Bannon said slight increases in water temperature in Alabama waters have created conditions more suitable for snook. Alabama officials are currently mulling new snook seasons and limits because there are no existing regulations for the species in state waters.

As for Love’s fish, he caught it after shaking his lure loose from a tree, according to Fox News.

“I yanked it, and it fell on the water,” Love said. “As soon as it hit the water, the fish blew up on it through water and into the air. And at first, I thought it was a tarpon. I didn’t think it was a snook at all until I got midway through fighting and it jumped out of the water and I saw it.”

The angler and his dad, Len Love, took the fish to Zeke’s Martina to get measurements and a certified weight. It is currently in the process for state record certification by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Photo by Len Love

For more information, go to foxnews.com.

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