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Southern Snook Fishing Secrets

by Daniel Eggertsen

While there are several fish that will resist a catch, there are few species as stubborn and unpredictable as snook. Fishing for snook can be exciting and somewhat frustrating at times because, although there are many baits and lots of lures that will provide ample attraction for this species, snook fishing is a different adventure every day. What worked for you yesterday and allowed you to catch your daily limit will provide an empty hook all day the next day.

Found in the Everglades National Park waters, snook is probably the most appealing of all species sought after in the area. However, an angler who wishes to be successful catching snook will have to be quite patient in order to produce results. Prime season for the largest catch in snook fishing (a range of over ten pounds with a rare catch of up to thirty pounds is considered big) begins in late spring or early summer, with the full moon in May usually considered the kick-off for fishing. This is because the spawning activities begin at this time, drawing the fish into and around the passes. However, it's quite possible that fishing prior to this time can produce large specimens, and it is just as likely that the season will not be in full swing until the middle of June.

Catching snook can be accomplished by targeting deeper holes with live pinfish or artificials such as bucktail or plastic-tail jig that is bumped along the bottom of the water. You can also opt to troll a needlefish or ballyhoo that is rigged to a large feather. If you are targeting deeper holes, fishing will be most rewarding during the lower tide phases, usually during the last hour of a falling tide through the first hour of the next incoming tide. This allows better access for snook in the river mouths and outside channels through the flats.

Regulations have come into effect regarding fishing season, as well, due to findings in the 1970's that lack of regulations, while allowing for some great catch, were inviting overfishing. This meant that the snook were unable to spawn and reproduce fast enough to keep from depleting the natural supply because too many of them were killed during spawning season. Therefore, regulations were put into effect to close snook fishing during spawning season.

Now, you can find some of the best snook catching can be found on the East Coast from the inlets at Sebastian southward, with pods thriving in the spring and summer. On the West Coast, check out Stump, Gasparilla, Captive, Redish, and Big Maco Passes, as these are the most productive areas for snook fishing close to spawning season. During these months, snook will stack into the major passes, as well as schooling in smaller flowage, where their eggs can be swept into larger bodies of water.

About the Author: Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is commited to providing the best saltwater fishing information possible. Get more information at:

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