Snook Fishing - Florida's Gulf Coast [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Snook Fishing - Florida's Gulf Coast

07-05-2008, 08:54 AM

I'm down in the Sarasota/Tampa area on Florida's Gulf Coast and can say I've never seen the snook fishing so good! My son Josh wasn't on the water for five minutes and was hooked up. I'm amazed at the number of bait balls passing by and the sheer number of snook in the surf. Even though they are currently out of season it is great fishing right now. The lack of red tides the past few years and the absence of nets in the intra coastal and the snook stocking program has made a big difference.

If you should be fortunate enough to get out, do it. Early morning and evening have been best, But that sure doesn't mean you can't be into them all day long. I went with one of the predominant bait in the bait balls I inspected, the Thread Fin Herring.

Tight Lines,

07-05-2008, 05:45 PM
Wow! Sounds great -- wish I were there.

When I was in Sanibel/Captiva late April last year, the snook were just starting to nose into the passes to get out to the beaches. Wish I could have stayed longer; the beach fishing sounds wonderful.

Snook are great fun; can't wait to fish for them again.

Any pictures?



07-11-2008, 12:56 PM
Hi Eric,

No pictures unfortunately, my camera memory was maxed out with unlimited offshore powerboat images of the race and boats. I try to make it every year for the races in Sarasota.
Seeing the turbine Geico boats blow the doors off everyone was pretty cool. Apparently the Navy Seals are using similar technology in their landing craft and testing some interesting stuff down there on occasion.

My only souvenir is a few cuts in my finger from handling an uncooperative snook and his razor sharp gill plates. I wish I remembered to tail him as it cut me pretty good.

I'm planning on going again in a couple weeks on an extended business trip, hopefully get some then.

Cheers, Greg

07-11-2008, 01:06 PM
Yeah, that little outer cheek plate is literally a razor looking for a job. You can lip hold them just like a LM or SM Bass, and it seems to have the same immobilizing effect.

They are great fish.

07-26-2008, 04:21 AM
"Did you know that holding a heavy snook only by its lower lip might well be signing its death warrant?" explains Lisa Ockelmann-LoBello, a biologist for the FWC.

Why? According to Ockelmann-LoBello, who is assigned to the FWC's Intercept Program, suspending a heavy fish by the jaw for more than a few seconds can damage its jaw tendons severely enough to cripple its ability to feed. Slow starvation follows, and in its weakened condition the fish can no longer evade sharks and other large predators (this likely applies to tarpon as well).

This if from a pretty good source, so I'm inclined to agree. Years ago a friend of mine who used to guide for snook in Florida told me about the "Vulcan Snook Grip". It's simple. Slide your hand under the middle of the fish and support it so that the fish is laying on it's side, draped over your hand. You can use a second hand to grab the tail if you want. Snook won't move a muscle in this position... even less than a bonefish when you turn it upside down. You can then easily remove your (barbless) hook without injuring the fish.

If you are going to lip it, don't lift it out of the water that way. Get a hold of it's lip and then follow the steps above.

Actually, this turns out to be step 4. in the article I found: Hold a big snook in a nearly horizontal position with one hand on the lower lip and the other gently placed under the belly if you feel compelled to take it out of the water. which you can find by doing a google under: "how heavy is a 30 inch snook" and clicking on the second link.