Its summertime again and that means its time for big snook on the beach and in the passes as they prepare to spawn. This just so happens to be my favorite time of year for snook fishing as this is when I catch my biggest fish of the year. Hopefully after reading this article and using these tips it will be yours also!
In this article I will explain how to fish them at night, in the next article I’ll discuss the daytime approach to catching snook on the beach.
First lets talk about where to look for these fish. It is no secret that snook love structure and moving water and both of those are easy to find in the passes. I prefer to fish the passes with jetty’s and rocks.
My normal tackle set-up for this style of fishing is a 7 foot medium to medium heavy action rod with a 4000 size reel and 20lb braid, though sometimes I will up my tackle to tarpon size gear if I am fishing an area heavy with structure. For leader I would suggest 40lb fluoro, though sometimes I will go heavier if fishing around a lot of structure. For a hook I would suggest a 3 to 5ot circle, but that depends on the size of the bait. If you’re an artificial guy like myself then I would suggest either using a large white Hogy on a 1 oz jig head or the old school white bucktail.
When it comes to bait I have found that there is no better bait for snook at night than a handsize grunt. There is just something about that noise they make that drive the snook insane. Pinfish and Pilchards are also great baits, as are ladyfish. The only problem with ladyfish is keeping them alive. Grunts aren’t the easiest bait to come by though. You can normally stop by a bridge or the edge deep grass flats. All you need is a small hook, split shot, and a small piece of squid.
Lets talk tides and how to fish them now. As most know moving water is key when it comes to snook fishing. On an incoming tide I prefer fishing the outside of the pass towards then end of the jettys as the snook seem to gather on the backside of the jetty waiting to ambush whatever morsel that is flushing in with the tide. On an outgoing I prefer to fish a bit further inside the pass as the snook seem to move inside so they can pick off whatever bait is flushing out. I am not going to go into detail on moon phases and such but a full moon has been by far my most productive time to fish.
Presentation is pretty simple for this style of fishing, just pitch the bait up current close to whatever structure is around and let the bait sweep back with the tide. Most of the time I prefer to free line the bait but when the current is really ripping I will put on some weight. If you are using lures just simply cast upcurrent and bounce your bucktail or jig off the bottom. I hope these tips help you in catching some nice fish this summer. Just make sure to take good care and be gentle with these fish and give them a proper release as these are our breeder fish.
Michael is a member of the Team Smokedout Fishing Team and avid fishing enthusiast. He fishes Tampa Bay and makes regular trips to other parts of Florida including the beautiful Everglades. You can reach Michael with future article suggestions by visiting his Facebook page here.
About Capt. Dave Pomerleau – Captain Dave has been guiding for several years with most trips averaging 25 to 40 snook per tri and many nights with over 100 snook. In his life span, he has personally caught over 80,000 snook with 400+ snook over 25 pounds, well over 200 above 30 pounds and 4 over 40 pounds, including one larger than the current recognized Florida State record, an absolute monster of 44 lbs 11 ozs. Visit Capt Dave Pomerleau a.k.a. The Mad Snooker @ http://www.madsnooker.com