Snook season officially opens on the gulf coast on Saturday! The season officially reopens on March 1 in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state and adjacent federal waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County. The season ends April 30th! Thats a nice window of time to catch some great snook! Last fall was my first experience ever catching a snook. I love spending weekends on the local beaches its even better when the fishing is great! We started out in the early morning near stump pass park, just as the fog was disappearing and it was finally warming up. Andrew cast net some live green backs that were swimming around near the shore.
The snook around here really seem to love live bait. We go though so many greenbacks here that we usually turn our cooler into a live well using a bait blubber and some frozen water bottles if its a very hot day! Barb gave me this idea when I complained to her we were having trouble keeping the bait alive. Works like a charm and makes them very lively! As you walk down the shore line on an ideal day you will see schools of fish swimming down the beach. I love this type of fishing. Its so exciting to see the fish your trying to catch. The snook here along the beaches range in size from juvenile’s to keeper’s but they are so much fun to catch especially on light tackle! My first keeper was caught on my Fishin Franks rod! Keeper slot is 28- 33 inches. Everyone else must swim away!
We freeline bait and use 3/0 circle hooks and 30lb fluoro. I try to cast my bait ahead of the fish im trying to get the attention of. I cast my bait ahead of a swimming snook school and wait, trying to pay attention to where my bait is swimming with out getting too close to the shore line. On a clear day the fish can see you pretty well. Here comes the exciting part! When your snook is checking out your bait and deciding if hes going to eat it or not. It a split second you can watch him eat your bait and create some serious splashing action as hes trying to throw your hook! Im curious this season to try some live shrimp along with the bait we net while were at the beach.
I have caught snook on a more blustery wavy day in the surf on a lure. Some days its just difficult to find live bait! I was simply casting down the surf line and using strong action. Lures that resemble green backs or small mullet seem to work the best in this location. The bite for me along the Englewood beaches have been best in early morning to afternoon and right at sunset. This type of fishing is great because its inexpensive and almost anyone can be successful fishing this way even the beginner! Good luck to all the snook fishermen heading out this weekend! Check out our video below of our fun fall snook fishing along the area beaches!