Tips and Tricks

Why not hook a Snook?

Although there are a number of different fish known as snook it is the common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) that is best known to anglers. The species can be found in the western Atlantic and Caribbean and farther south on the east-coast of South America as far as Rio where it may also be known as Róbalo. This should not be confused with the species Eleginops maclovinus which is also known as Róbalo but is only found in icy waters around the southernmost areas of South America. In Australia snook refers to the species Sphyraena novoaehollandiae, which is also known as ocean pike or Australian barracuda.

The common snook is a powerful fish with a long streamlined body. Snook can grow in excess of 4.5 ft in length and weigh over 50lbs. Due to their potential size and pound for pound fighting qualities snook are one of the most prized fish among game fisherman. Although snook can be found across extensive areas of the east coast of the Americas, they have a low tolerance to changes in temperature and cannot tolerate waters below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fishing for snook is best focused close to shorelines as well as are estuarine habitats and inlets.

Snook prefer to shelter in structures whether they natural rock or reef formations and mangroves or artificial reefs created specifically for attracting such species. This factor, along with strong jaws and a sharp set of teeth, can make it very challenging to land a snook once it has been hooked and it is not uncommon to lose a fish, hook, line and sinker.

Snook are best fished an hour or so before high tide and right through for 2-3 hours of the tide falling. A variety of baits can be employed including live shrimp or bait fish such as mullet. Rigs will vary depending on the bait and lines should not be weighted heavily but just enough to reach the seabed. It is also worth investigating the many different lures available for snook fishing. Most snook are caught in summer when the waters are warmest but this should not restrict a keen angler from trying their hand in spring or fall.

Snook are one of the great fishing targets and any serious angler should consider taking up the challenge. Just be prepared to bend your back as the best snook will surely not go quietly into the night, they will fight you all the way and will often win.

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