Saturday, November 15, 2008

Florida Snook Fishing

*Update* - Snook season closes December 1st in the Gulf waters of Florida.

Florida snook fishing is very popular among saltwater fishermen, there are many reasons for this, they put up a great fight and they are very difficult to catch for the beginning angler. They also taste delicious, if you ever want to eat a snook fish, you have to catch one, seeing that it is illegal to sell them in restaurants due to the population of them shrinking. Other common names for snook are Robalo, Saltwater Pike, and the technical term for the geeks is Centopomus undecimalis. There are four different kinds of snook, they are the common snook, tarpon snook, fat snook and swordspine snook. The most chased though is the common snook, due to the fact that they get bigger than all the other types, and they are a bit more “common”, and are a favorite by many when saltwater fishing Florida.

Snook season is closed from December 15th through January 31st, snook season is also closed in the months of June, July and August, and basically you shouldn’t be fishing for snook in the summer time if you live in Florida.

It’s been awhile since I have been bridge fishing for snook in Pinellas county, but they are still very common in the Tampa Bay area. The more you go up the northern coast of Florida the more scarce the snook become. Snook like the water temperature from about 70 degrees to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The best times to fish for them is when there is a full moon, early in the morning or right before dusk. The all time world record for the largest snook is 53 pounds, 10 ounces, the Florida state record is 44 pounds and 3 ounces, I am hoping to break this record some day . Florida saltwater fishermen (and women) are allowed 2 snook a person, per day, they must be in the range of 24 to 34 inch range, anything below 24 inches must be released unharmed. You are allowed to keep 1 snook if it is 34 inches or larger, just one. To be able to snook fish you must purchase a license to do so, the permit will cost you 2 dollars.

How To Catch Snook

Snook will bite lots of different kinds of bait, both live and artificial, it would be better though to go with live bait. Shrimp, Pinfish, mullet and shiners will work well, try different kinds because they tend to go into feeding frenzies a lot. Spin casting reels work great when snook fishing, if you are out on a boat you want to have about 8#-10# line, with a nice clear leader line of about 30#, you will want the leader line to be about 2-3 feet. Make sure that your drag is set correctly, you should be able to pull the line with your hand from the fishing reel, if your drag is too tight, the snook will snap your line in the matter of seconds. If you are fishing from a pier or a bridge, or even surf fishing you will want to use some heavier line, if you can always use live bait, dead bait will not work well, snook are very smart and they are very picky about what they will eat. You will find that when you are fishing for them, many will get away, they are tremendous fighters and they really know how to cut a line quick, especially if you are fishing from a bridge or a pier. Another great time to do some snook fishing is at night by a dock, if the dock has a light that is shining in the water, there is a very good chance that there are some snook swimming around, especially if you are in south Florida in a canal. My cousin has a house in Fort Meyers, Florida, and he has a light shining in the water, when the water temperature is right, there are usually about 10 or more snook swimming around his dock.

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Anonymous said...

Love the article! I just want to know why you shouldn't fish for snook in the summer?

Anonymous said...

Because snook season is closed in summer. Also, the snook are spawning in summer, and some people think that being caught might be bad for them during this season

Anonymous said...

Could yu tell me how to exactly fish for the Snook of the dock. We are renting a house in Ft. Myers the week of 10/10/09. I want to outfish my husband this time so badly and would love any tips I can get. We have fishing Kayaks also, so fishing the mangrove tips would be helpful too. :)