Do you want an exhilarating fight? Lets put you on a big snook! One of my favorite species to target, snook (Centropomus undecimalis) can grow up to 48 inches long and up to 50 pounds. They have a basic coloration of black back, white/silver sides, yellow bell, but a very distinguishing black line down their side.
Whether it’s docks, rock, depth changes, canals or creeks, Snook love structure and pretty much can be found around any kind of structure in the water. One thing to keep in mind is that Snook have excellent eye sight so if you see them they can see you and often will not bite.
If you are using live bait make sure it is an active, lively bait. My preferred method is to freeline a live bait with the current into a piece of structure. Once hooked the battle can be spectacular snook often break the surface of the water both jumping and head shaking in a mighty display as they fight.
What kind of Rig:
I find the average inshore rod and reel will usually do the trick, unless you are on the big ones, but that goes with all fish. I recommend a seven foot, medium heavy rod in the 10-20lb range, and a 3000-4000 class reel. If you are on the big ones, step up your set up as needed. I use the Diawa BG reels on charters and find them to be a happy medium between reliability and affordability. If you are around heavy structure you may need to increase your leader size to 30 or 40lb and lock your drag down.
Bait / Lures:
When using live bait I find that pilchards, threadfin herring, finger mullet, and shrimp make great choices. Always make sure your live bait are active and lively. Artificial lures need to be worked at varying speeds till you find what they want in order to trigger a strike. Some of my favorite artificial lures are the Zara super spook jr for exciting topwater action and Z-man Paddlers.
Where to find them:
Snook are often found next to structure. This could be a deep canal with dock pilings or just a deep hole on a grass flat. Moving water is key. Snook rarely bite during a slack tide so I often have my best luck fishing a channel or creek mouth that connects two larger bodies of water. These create natural funnels that bring bait and predators together. Work the eddy on the down current side. Often I will spot a school from my tower while moving from spot to spot mark them mentally in my head and come back to fish the spot after giving it some time to settle back down.
Eat-ability = EXCELLENT (my wife’s favorite)
Snook is absolutely delicious to eat. The trick is to fillet and skin them. (otherwise they are soapy tasting) The meat is firm and flakey and actually has flavor unlike most fish which simply takes on the taste of what you cook it in.