If you want to catch a warm water loving fish that will put up a fight, you may want to consider setting your sights on snook. There are several species of snook that exist in the world and one of the best places to find them is the State of Florida. Here's a brief rundown on how to catch one:
When to Fish
Before you head out in search of snook, you'll want to make sure that it's the right time to do so. You'll also need to purchase a snook permit as well as a state fishing license. In 2010, many snook perished during a deep freeze that took place in Florida. As a result, changes were made to the state's fishing regulations. There are specific periods when the catch and release of snook is permissible. In addition, there are bag and size limits in place too. Anglers can learn more about the state's snook regulations on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website.
Where to Look
Once you have your snook permit, you'll need to know where to look for them. In my experience, snook are known to be structure loving fish. As a whole, they also tend to prefer water temperatures that are above 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold water often makes them lethargic. In addition, I have found that they tend to position themselves in fast moving currents where they can get a jump on their prey. Therefore, great places to look for snook are often warm water inlets, bridge pilings, estuaries, mangroves and rocky outcroppings. In shallow surf, they also tend to swim right up to the shell line.
Bait and Tackle Suggestions
Last but not least, you'll need to know what bait to use. In my experience, threadfin herring, scaled sardines, ladyfish, blue crabs and shrimp tend to be the best live bait. They will, however, take artificial lures as well. Lures that have proven successful for me in the past include shrimp imitating flies, soft plastics, topwater plugs and jigs. If the snook are acting skittish, you may also want to consider using a 7 foot long, medium action rod with a 15 pound line and a 20 pound leader. It is a combination that has worked for me on such occasions. I'd also suggest that you consider using the topwater plugs during dawn and dusk. Their use at those times tends to yield great results. Lure colors to consider using are chartreuse, pink, white and silver.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
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