A Guide to Snook Fishing: How to Fish for Snook in Florida
When it comes to fishing in Florida, snook is one of the most sought-after species. While an average-sized snook is relatively easy to catch, snaring a "big one" takes practice, skill, and patience. Planning to try your hand at snook fishing in Florida? With our expert few tips and tricks, reeling in a great catch will be a breeze!
Whether you’re fishing for fun and planning to bring home fresh fish for dinner, here’s everything you need to know to ensure your Florida snook fishing experience is a successful one.
What Are Snook?
Snook is a common variety of marine fish found in the waters off the coast of Florida, the Gulf states, and the Caribbean. Sometimes referred to as “robalo” or “sergeant fish,” snook average around one foot and six inches in length. The average weight for a snook is around five pounds. The record catch weighs in at 45 lbs, 12 oz., caught in the Sebastian Inlet in Florida.
Where to Fish for Snook
Snook are plentiful everywhere except in the northern waters of Florida. You can find snook from Jupiter all the way down to the Florida Keys, Naples, and even Destin. Snook prefer to hang out in fast-flowing currents, near passes and inlets, where there are plenty of smaller fish to eat. Look for places where snook can find shelter, such as grass flats, bridges, and mangroves. Don't limit your search to salty waters; snook can also be found in brackish water that flows into the ocean.
Experienced sports fishermen prefer to fish for snook in the waters near Jupiter, Boca Grande, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sanibel, and Fort Myers. If you’re looking to catch a large snook, the bigger ones tend to move to estuaries, inlets, and bays from April until September. After that, they gradually migrate towards rivers and trees, often seeking shelter in the mangroves.
You can even fish for snook at the beach during the early morning hours before crowds take over the shore. One thing is note is that snook avoid cold water at all costs. That means the best time to fish for them is from spring to early fall when the water temperatures are warmer.
Tips and Tricks From the Experts at Gemlux
To ensure your snook fishing trip is worthwhile, here are a few tips that will increase your odds of reeling in a photo-worthy catch:
- Be quiet. Snook are easily spooked, so it's important to keep your noise to a minimum.
- Fish at the right times. A general rule of thumb is to fish for snook in the hours just before the incoming tide and two hours before the ebbing tide. This gives the water enough movement to entice snook to your bait or lure.
- Fish at night to catch a big snook. After dark is one of the best times to catch a “big one,” as larger snook move up from the deeper water during the night to feed.
- Use the right bait. For live bait, use menhaden, mullet, or sardines to attract snook.
- Use the right lures. If you prefer to use lures, snook are most attracted to bottom jigs or swimmer bait, artificial crabs, and shrimp.
- Snook put up a fight. Snook are known for being difficult to reel in. They will typically surface and give their heads a good shake, attempting to dislodge the hook when they realize they are snagged. They are also adept at running for the nearest structure or tree in an attempt to break the line.
- Match your line to your fishing spot. Different snook hangouts require different gear. An open grass flat with a slow current requires a 10-15 lb braid with a 30-40 lb leader. A mangrove line or dock with a slow to medium current will require a 15-20 lb braid with a 40-50 lb leader. Fast-moving current with a structure requires a 30-40 lb braid with a 50-80 lb leader.
To learn more about how to fish for snook in Florida and how our carbon fiber fishing gear can help you reel in a big catch of the day, contact Gemlux. We’re here to ensure every boating and fishing experience is a great one.