Does the snook elude you? Don’t worry you are not alone; I hear many stories where people struggle when targeting snook. So, I figured I would share a few snook fishing tips, which have helped me be successful.
Tip 1: Use Technology for a Head Start
Google Earth has helped me locate many new fishing holes, do your reconnaissance for the best results. From the satellite images, you can clearly find new creek openings and areas where the current is stronger. These areas have a distinct distorted “C” shape where the current has carved a mini valley underwater. These are areas to start exploring and exercising tip number two.
Tip 2: Finding the fish There are hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful, life-filled aquatic ecosystems waiting to be explored. Inundate by the territory and the wide expanse, you are scratching your head wondering where to start upon arrival of your newly found satellite location. Like many game fish, snook LOVE tidal flow. Think of it like your spouse hand feeding you steak while watching the game. It’s the same concept. Look for creek mouths that have recessed pockets with overhanging mangroves. These pockets provide relief from the current/sun and protection from predators while giving the perfect ambush opportunity as the different food sources move in harmony with the tide.
Tip 3: Stealthy Approach First off, snook are said to be one of, if not the smartest game fish. So the most obvious tip is to use a stealthy approach, either by using your trolling motor or push poling to your destination. Do not motor up to the shoreline with your outboard. Even if the fish do not flee the area immediately, they may be hesitant to feed if spooked. (I can’t tell you how many people I see motor a few feet from the shoreline on each fishing trip).
Tip 4: Incognito They Are In most instances, you won’t see the fish; they have a natural instinct and a knack for not being spotted. Especially once the sun starts to climb, the snook put their Camo on and hang tight to the mangroves. How tight you ask? Very tight! Where you see the mangroves end, there are another 3 plus feet, that recedes back. Having confidence in your spot will help your catch ratio.
Tip 5: Ring the Dinner Bell The most simplistic way of catching snook is with live bait, more precisely “live threadfins or greenbacks”. Ok, so you have set up on your spot and you have a live well full of frisky greenies. Now it’s time to ring the dinner bell. I use a plastic bat cut in half, drop 6-10 greenbacks into the bat and give it a good shake. We don’t want to get PETA fired up so don’t go overboard, I don’t want to pull up next to you and it looks like you are doing the conga. Once the fish are disoriented, scatter them along the shoreline. In many instances, the snook will show themselves by violently boiling on the wounded meal. Sometimes you won’t see a thing but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there feeding below the surface.
Tip 6: KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid)
We all have heard about the KISS rule, well this applies to the rig when live bait fishing for snook. Free lining can work wonders but sometimes you have a super zealous fish that ate his Wheaties prior and decides to swim all over the bay. A popping cork attached two a 2-foot leader and a 1/0-2/0 Super Mutu Owner hook will help slow him down. If he is still pulling you around, well we have all seen jaws; you may have to shoot another barrel into him.
Keep your bait as close to the shoreline as possible and you will hookup. I hope you find these tips helpful, remember to get out there and apply them. Knowledge is useless if you don’t exercise it.