Fishing for Snook, a Complete Guide

Fishing for Snook

Fishing for Snook, a Complete Guide

Fishermen looking for snook will discover this guide very helpful.  Snook are the most well known saltwater inshore game fish in Florida. Tackle, Lures and live bait, methods, occasional movements and more will be talked about in this article.

Snook are fundamentally the same as in propensities to largemouth bass. Truth be told, a large number of the best snook fishing guides started as bass fishermen . They are predators that like to be near structure or some likeness thereof. Snook have an enormous mouth that is utilized to breathe in prey. They additionally have enormous, ground-breaking tails which take into account fast eruptions of speed. Snook are found in the southern portion of Florida just as the extremely southern bank of Texas. This is a fish animal categories that has everything! They assault baits, develop huge, contend energetically, are incredible eating.

Snook locations and habitats

Snook are a sub tropical animal groups. They can not endure water that is cooler than 58 degrees for extensive stretches of time. In this way, they are found in the hotter pieces of the nation. Fishermen looking for snook will discover them in Florida, from somewhat north of Orlando or so south and along the southern shore of Texas. Snook are likewise found in different tropical nations, for example, Costa Rica and Panama.

Snook are a lot of structure situated. They will be found in untamed water once in a while. Be that as it may, snook are all the more frequently situated close to structure. Docks, Channels , mangrove shorelines, Oyster bars, and lowered rocks and edges will all hold snook.

Seasonal snook migrations

Snook have an unmistakable occasional relocation design. They spend the winter in backwater zones, particularly brooks, streams, and private trenches. These regions are regularly more profound and fundamentally hotter. This gives asylum from brutal winter conditions on the pads. As it heats up, the fish move out of these regions and onto the pads to take care of. By summer, snook will organize in the passes and deltas just as being out on the sea shores.

Snook generate on the sea shores and inshore untamed waters. They can be sight fished during summer, which is extraordinary game! By September, most fish have moved back inside the bayous, however there will in any case be bounty of snook in the passes and channels. As it chills, they move further into the backwater regions. In the long run, after two or three serious fronts, they will by and by move up into rivers and waterways.

Snook are found in freshwater as well!

Snook are somewhat surprising in that they can endure water that is totally new just as extremely pungent. While a few animal categories do this while generating, snook are one of only a handful scarcely any fish species that relocate from salt to new water for seasons other than bringing forth. As referenced before, they do this to get away from cold water on the open, uncovered pads.

Numerous a bass fisherman has been astounded when an enormous snook breathed in a draw implied for a bass! It floods in the mid year in Florida regularly. Snook will move to inland lakes by means of the overwhelmed waterways. They will at that point get caught in lakes and lakes. Luckily, they flourish in this condition as long as the water is sufficiently profound to keep them warm in winter.

Fishing for snook; tackle

In this area, tackle required for snook fishing will be secured. Rods,  reels, lines, draws, lures, apparatuses, and leaders will be completely talked about. Luckily, the saltwater fishing box claimed by most fishermen will work fine. Capt.Mike composed a nitty gritty article on snook fishing supplies and baits, fishermen can tap on the featured content or HERE to get more data and SHOP.

Spinning rods and reels for snook fishing

Snook can grow fairly large. They are also found near structure in most cases. Therefore, stout tackle is required for most anglers fishing for snook. Most opt for spinning tackle, due to it’s versatility. Spinning tackle can be used to cast an unweighted live shrimp or other light lure, while still providing enough backbone to handle a large fish.

A 7′ medium-overwhelming pole with a “quick” activity is a decent all-round and flexible decision for fishermen looking for snook. “Quick” activity implies that the pole has a strong butt alongside a flexible tip. This takes into account long throws with light baits while giving the important force. A 3000 arrangement reel is a decent match to that size bar. 20 lb interlaced line functions admirably as snook are regularly snared close to line-cutting structure. Monofilament line can unquestionably be utilized too. It truly is simply a question of inclination.

Baitcasting tackle for snook

Baitcasting tackle can absolutely be utilized by fishers focusing on snook too. It is more hard to use for beginner fishermen than turning tackle. In any case, in gifted hands, baitcasting outfits work well indeed. They are particularly viable when giving heavier draws such a role as fittings. These outfits give a great deal of intensity. They are additionally an extraordinary decision when utilizing bigger live bait close to structure, for example, Pinfish. A similar tackle utilized by largemouth bass fishermen will work fine when looking for snook.

Rigging up for snook fishing

Snook don’t have teeth. Be that as it may, they do have a sharp gill plate and rough lips. This requires a “leader” or something to that affect. This is essentially a short bit of more grounded line that is connected between the primary line and the lure or hook. There is a compromise, however. This more grounded leader is more obvious to the fish. For most snook fishing, a 24″ bit of 30 lb to 40 lb flourocarbon pioneer is a decent decision. Fishermen looking for huge snook close to structure may need to knock it up to 50 lb or higher leader. The leader will regularly get frayed after a few fish and should be re-tied.

The leader can be joined to the running line a few unique ways. The simplest technique to achieve this is to utilize a turn. This functions admirably when utilizing live bait. Be that as it may, it can influence the activity when utilizing artificial lures. The methodology most fishermen use is a line-to-line bunch, for example, a twofold uni-tie. It is ideal to twofold the fundamental line with a creepy crawly hitch or Bimini Twist when utilizing a line to line tie.

when the leader is tied, the bait or lure is added to polish off the apparatus. There are various bunches that are utilized successfully. Each fisherman has their top choice. Most function admirably when tied accurately. As a fishing guide in Florida, I for one like the Uni-hitch. It is anything but difficult to tie rapidly and is bounty solid. The secure bunch is another demonstrated top choice.

Fishing for snook with artificial lures

Counterfeit draws can be exceptionally compelling when looking for snook. Lures really have a few focal points over live bait. Snook can be forceful and baits can trigger strikes from these fish just as simply energizing or enraging a fish into gnawing. Artificial lures likewise permit fishermen to cover much more water than fishermen fishing with live bait. At last, fishing with lures is enjoyable!

There are several categories of lures. These include hard plastic or wood lures, generally termed “plugs”. Jigs and soft plastic baits are very effective and versatile. Spoons are excellent lures for use on the shallow flats. Again, most of these lures are just converted largemouth bass baits.

Snook fishing with plugs

Plugs are excellent snook lures! They come in a myriad of colors, shapes, sizes, and actions. Diving plugs float on the surface and come with lips that cause them to dive to a certain depth. Lipless plugs vibrate tantalizingly when retrieved steadily. Topwater plugs float on the surface and trigger exciting strikes. Plugs are expensive and sport a pair of treble hooks, caution must be used when fishing with plugs!

Best topwater plugs for snook fishing

There are a few assortments of topwater plugs. “Walk the dog” snares are lures that have no genuine worked in real life. With the bar tip low, the fisher works the bait to and fro in a tempting way. Zara Spook, MirroLure Top Dogs, and Rapala Skiter Walk are for the most part instances of these kinds of lures. A portion of these attachments have propellers on the front, back, or both. These set up a ton of disturbance. Rapala Skitter prop and the Devil’s Horse are models.

Poppers are another kind of topwater bait. They have a sunken face which creates a noisy commotion and sprinkle when jerked. Poppers are simpler for beginner fishers as they have to a greater extent an implicit activity. Rapala Skitter Pop and Chug Bug are instances of poppers.

All topwater plugs are worked along these lines. They are thrown out near some kind of spread or shoreline. The bait is permitted to settle, at that point jerked pointedly. Poppers and prop lures are worked a few times, at that point recovered in and cast retreat. Most chomps will happen on the initial not many developments. Walk the dog lures can be worked back consistently back in. With all topwater plugs, it is imperative to hold up until the heaviness of the fish is felt before setting the snare!

Diving plugs are very effective when fishing for snook

While topwater fishing is incredible fun, most snook will be trapped in the water section beneath the surface. Plunging plugs work very well for this application. These baits skim on a superficial level and afterward jump down and squirm inconsistently when recovered. The size of the lip will decide the profundity that the draw will work. Attachments that plunge down 2′ to 6 feet work best in many occasions. Rapala X-Rap and Yozuri Crystal Minnow lures are two of the numerous successful sub-surface fittings. These are known as “crankbaits” and “jerkbaits” by freshwater fishers.

These baits are genuinely simple to utilize. The fitting is thrown out to a probable spot, at that point recovered back in utilizing sharp jerks followed by an interruption. In many cases, the strike happens as the snare stays there unmoving, apparently defenseless. The attachment utilized should coordinate the neighborhood rummage in both size and shading. In any case, a sporadic bait that is bigger may draw a strike from a snook.

Lipless plugs for snook

Lipless plugs are effective and very easy to use. They sink when cast out and are simply retrieved back in using a steady pace. The angler can feel the vibration through the rod. They are also effective for trolling in rivers and canals. The venerable Bill Norman RattleTrap is the top lipless bait. Chrome with a blue back is a great all around color.

Some lipless plugs sink slowly and suspend when twitched. They do not vibrate when reeled in. These can be very effective on snook when they are a bit finicky. The best example of this type of plug is the MirroLure MirroDine.

Snook fishing with jigs and soft plastic baits

Soft plastic lures are deadly on snook, as well as just about every fish that swims in both fresh and salt water! They come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, colors, and actions. They can imitate crustaceans such as shrimp and crabs along with bait fish. Some resemble neither but still catch fish. Soft plastic lures can be fished on a hook, a weighted hook, and on a jig head.

The jig and grub combination is perhaps the most often used soft plastic bait for snook fishing. Jigs come in a variety of weights and hook sizes. This allows anglers to adapt their baits to the depth needed. Heavier jig heads can be used in deeper water or when tides are swift. Conversely, lighter jig heads work well in shallow water. Both bait fish and shrimp tails work well when fished on a jig head.

Special rigging hooks for soft plastic baits


Delicate plastic lures can likewise be utilized on uncommon hooks. By and by, these were created by bass fishers. They have a wide hole and can be fixed weedless. Some are weighted also. The weight is on the twist, bringing about a similar level introduction. This apparatus works extraordinary in shallow grass.

There are incalculable makers who plan and sell quality lures. Well known draws change by district. There truly are beyond any reasonable amount to list. When introduced effectively, all will get fish. There are scented delicate plastic goads also. By a long shot the best is the Gulp line of snares. They cost more, yet they can have any kind of effect on an intense day.

Catching snook on jigs

Anglers can fish for snook with jigs that have a permanent dressing. Bucktail jigs have been around a very long time and still catch fish. While is a very popular color as it mimics a bait fish. Hair jigs are less versatile as the color can not be easily changed. They are also a bit more expensive. However, some anglers swear by them.

Using spoons when fishing for snook

Spoons are a very effective snook lure as well. They are heavy, curved pieces of metal. They can be cast a long way and wobble in an enticing manner.  Weedless spoons such as the Johnson Silver Minnow, another great bass lure, work very well when searching for snook on shallow flats. They can be worked in water as shallow as a foot deep. These spoons have a single hook which rides up in the water, as well as a weed guard.

Spoons can be used on the beaches, in passes and inlets, and over deeper flats as well. Silver is the most popular finish and is used in clear water. Silver spoons work great when snook are feeding on the surface. Small spoons can be effective fishing the lighted docks and bridges at night. Most have an open treble hook.

Snook fishing with live bait

Live bait catches a lot of snook. Shrimp are available all year long at most Florida bait shops. A large, live shrimp is a terrific snook bait, especially in winter. Live bait fish such as pinfish, grunts, croakers, mullet, threadfin herring, and scaled sardines are all effective live baits for snook.

Live bait fishing hooks and rigs


There are a wide range of styles and sizes of hooks.Hook size ought to be coordinated to the size of the lure, not the size of the snook being focused on. 1/0 is a decent all around hook size. Short shank hooks, for example, the Eagle Claw function admirably. Numerous fishermen incline toward utilizing circle hooks which typically bring about the fish being hooked toward the edge of the mouth. When utilizing circle hooks, fishermen must not set the hook. Rather, they simply reel up the leeway and tenderly raise the pole tip.

Free lining works very well in light ebb and flow and genuinely shallow water. It brings about a characteristic introduction with both shrimp and trap fish. A split shot can be utilized to add throwing weight and to get the lure down in the water segment if necessary. This works extraordinary around shallow docks and along mangrove shorelines.

Weights and floats for snook fishing with live bait

While free lining a live bait can be very effective, there are situations that require either weight or floats to present a live bait naturally. Anglers fishing in deeper water or where current is present will often times need to add weight to get the bait down in the water column. Conversely, anglers will at times need to suspend a live bait up off the bottom. This is done using a float or bobber.

Using weights when snook fishing with live bait

There are several methods that anglers use to get a live bait down deeper when fishing for snook. This can be as simple as a couple of pinch on split shot. this method works well when fishing structure that is fairly shallow or when current is light.

Fishermen snook fishing in more profound water or and heavier momentum should include more weight. The most widely recognized methodology is to utilize a sliding egg sinker on the principle line over a turn. A 2 foot to 3 foot area of fluorocarbon leader is then included between the line and a hook. the general guideline when base fishing is to utilize minimal measure of weight required to hold the base. Effective fishers continually alter the weight to the ever-changing quality of the current stream.

Using floats when snook fishing with live bait

Floats, also known as “corks” or “bobbers” can be a very effective tool to use when fishing live bait for snook and other species. Floats are most often used in shallow water. They have several functions. Floats add casting weight, suspend the bait at the desired depth above the bottom, and provide a visual reference for a strike.

Floats come in several different styles. However, they all basically work the same. The general idea is to suspend the bait just above the bottom, which is often times grass. Left to its own devices, some bait fish will quickly dive down into the grass. The float prevents this from happening. Floats also let an angler know exactly where the bait is in relation to the cover being fished. Finally, the float quickly disappearing from sight is a clear indication that a strike has occurred!

Live bait chumming

Live bait chumming is an extraordinarily powerful method that is utilized in the hotter months when snook fishing in Florida. Utilizing cast nets, Anglers fill the live well with several live bait. Little shiny fish, for example, threadfin herring and scaled sardines are most normally utilized as they can be caught in enormous numbers rapidly and without any problem. When the lure is procured, the fishing can begin.

The boat is tied down up tide of an imaginable snook holding spot. At that point, twelve or so live bait are thrown out behind the boat. This is rehashed a couple of moments later. Fishermen will at times crush the bait fish, devastating them. This outcomes in the bait fish swimming whimsically on the surface of the water. In many examples, if snook are around they will begin eating the bait. When this occurs, hooked live bait are thrown out and a connect for the most part results.

Snook fishing techniques

One great thing about snook fishing is that there are many different ways to catch them. Snook can be caught along the mangrove shorelines on the shallow flats for much of the year. They are found in the passes and inlets as well is out on the beaches in the warmer months. Anglers fishing for snook in creeks and rivers do well in the cooler months. Fishing lighted docks and bridges can be effective all year long.

Snook fishing on the flats and inshore waters

Fishing for snook in the bays and backwater areas is quite similar to freshwater fishing for bass. Many opt for artificial lures as they allow the angler to cover a lot of water in a relatively short amount of time. Live bait can certainly be effective, especially when a group of snook is found holding in a certain location.

plugs, spoons, and delicate plastic lures are on the whole powerful baits for snook fishing in the coves. Topwater plugs are a brilliant decision early and late in the day or when overcast spread is available. Shallow jumping plugs work best when the sun is up. Delicate plastic lures fished on a jighead  will catch snook whenever they are around and feeding. Weedless spoons are an incredible decision while scanning for snook on enormous sweeping grass pads.

Snook are predators and will set up taking care of stations in specific zones. Any point or bit of structure, for example, a dock, rough outcropping, extension, or oyster  bar with a current stream is a prime spot to get a fish. Current stream is significant as it will situate the fish on a bit of structure. Fish will in many cases position themselves in the spot where the structure breaks the current stream. This is an ideal bait position.

Snook fishing in passes and inlets

Anglers seeking a trophy snook will do well to target them in the passes and inlets in the warmer months. Snook will school up in very large numbers at this time of year in preparation to spawn. Several of the Florida East Coast inlets are famous for their fantastic summer snook fishing! passes along the south west coast of Florida are very productive as well.

While artifiacial lures can be utilized around structure, for example, breakwaters, docks, and riprap, live bait is regularly the most ideal decision when snook fishing and channels and passes. This is particularly obvious on the East Coast of Florida where the water is profound and the flows are quick. Fishermen utilize overwhelming tackle and a lot of weight to introduce a live pin fish, snort, croaker, or mullet on the base. This is a successful strategy which delivers the absolute biggest fish of the year.

The best an ideal opportunity to fish the channels and goes for snook is on the active tide. As the water flushes out of the narrows it brings the snare fish and shellfish to the cat-and-mouse game fish. On the off chance that these tides happen early or late in the day, that would be preferable. Fishermen likewise well fishing the passes and channels around evening time, however care is required. Free lined live shrimp work very well around evening time around structure on an active tide.

Snook fishing on the beaches

There is some great sport to be had by anglers fishing for snook off of the Florida beaches. The best part is, no boat is required! When conditions are right, snook can actually be site fished by anglers as a are seen cruising the surf line. This is a great opportunity for anglers who like to fly fish as well as light tackle spin fishing. in most cases, there are few obstructions for the snook to break an angler off on. This allows them to use fairly light tackle.

This truly is world-class sight fishing. There are really not that many opportunities in the world were anglers can cast to a fish that weighs 20 pounds are more with fairly light tackle while not requiring a boat. Most anglers simply walk the beach while scanning the surf for fish. Once spotted, the lure or fly is cast out in front of them. Due to the fact that anglers are walking, most choose to use artificial lures for this type of fishing. Small white buck tail jigs, soft plastic baits, small plugs, and small Silver spoons are all effective baits.

Live bait can be effective when snook fishing off the beach as well. This is particularly true when fishing some type of structure or when the surf is rough and visibility is poor. Any live bait fish, particularly one that can be caught in the surf itself, can be productive. Live shrimp will produce fish as well. Anglers can simply cast the bait out in the first trough or towards some type of structure such as a dock or submerged rocks.

Fly fishing for beach snook

Fly anglers can enjoy some fantastic fishing off the beach when targeting snook in the summer time! The opportunity to catch a large snook on a fly rod while sight casting is definitely an attraction. An 8 wt or 9 wt outfit with an intermediate sink tip line works best. A 9 foot tapered leader with a 30 lb bite tippet is a good all-around choice, especially if the water is clear. Any proven snook fly can be productive, with white being the favorite color. White D.T Specials, Crystal Minnows, and Clouser Minnows tied on a #1 or #1/0 hook are all good choices.

Snook fishing and rivers, creeks, and canals

Snook migrate up into creeks, canals, and rivers when the water gets cold. In a snook’s world, anything below 58° is cold. Water in residential canals, creeks, and rivers is almost always warmer, sometimes up to 10°. River and creek waters are often tannin stained and dark, which absorbs the warmth from the sun. Many rivers also have holes that are quite deep which offer refuge to snook as the water gets cold. Residential canals are often usually fairly deep with a lot of concrete seawalls that absorb winter warmth.

The two primary snook fishing techniques in these areas are trolling and casting artificial lures. While live bait can produce, in most cases it is best to cover as much water as possible. Shallow diving plugs such as the Rapala X-Rap work very well in this application. these lures can be both cast and trolled effectively. Casting plugs and lures works best in rivers and creeks as there are often spots that are too shallow to troll. Trolling is very effective in the deeper residential canals which are lined with docks.

River snook fishing charters offer anglers a unique experience. These areas are full of natural scenery and wildlife. It is a very cool environment to target fish in. This is generally not a numbers game but more a “quality over quantity” situation. Anglers can read a more detailed article on river snook fishing by clicking on the link.

Night snook fishing

While many snook are caught during the day, snook are nocturnal feeders, they do most of their eating in the dark. Most anglers targeting snook at night fish lighted docks and bridges. The lights attract plankton along with bait fish and shrimp. The forage, along with the structure, result in a fantastic fish holding environment. Bridges are most often built on narrow sections of waterways. This results and even stronger current flows in most instances. Outgoing tides are preferred. Areas in and near passes and inlets are often the top spots to fish.

Fishermen looking for snook around evening time do well utilizing both artificial lures and fly just as live bait. Little bait and flies that impersonate baitfish and shrimp will progress admirably. This incorporates plastic shrimp, delicate plastic baits, and fittings. As a rule, shrimp are the best live bait. In any case, fishermen looking for a trophy snook will utilize overwhelming tackle and fish a bigger live lure, for example, a mullet or pin fish down profound close to the structure. This can pay off in a mind-blowing fish!

The best methodology when night snook fishing is to stay the pontoon a cast away from the lit dock or scaffold bumper either opposite to or a piece up current of the structure. The lure or live bait is then cast into the dim territory over the shadow line made by the light. This outcomes in a characteristic introduction as the tide clears the trap down into the light. Cautioning; night snook can be famously fastidious! There will be evenings where fish are seen piled up and the light however are hard to get the opportunity to chomp.

Snook fishing seasons

Snook have a predictable migration pattern. This holds true throughout the entire state of Florida and in the small portion of Texas. There will be a slight variance as temperatures do lag a bit and South Florida versus the middle part of the state. However, this calendar of snook fishing seasons will hold true for the most part.

Fishing for snook in winter

Snook will be found in creeks, rivers, and residential canals in the winter unless it has been unseasonably warm. The best natural creeks and rivers are winding with many turns and holes with deeper water. The spots will concentrate fish. The back ends of creeks and residential canals will often times hold schools of snook. casting shallow diving plugs and soft plastic jerk baits towards likely fish holding structure is the best technique.

Many residential canals are long and straight without many turns and lined with docks. Therefore, trolling is often the best approach. Anglers will use fairly heavy tackle and trolling large or plugs along the edges of the docks. This allows them to cover a lot of water in search of a big snook. Large Jack crevalle will often times be caught using this technique is well, which is a nice added bonus.

Fishing for snook in spring

Spring is a great time to go snook fishing! Fish will be moving out of their winter hunts and will be in the mood to feed. Flats and backwater areas that are close to larger creeks, rivers, and canals will be the best spots in early spring. As it warms up, snook will scatter out while moving towards the passes and inlets. Anglers targeting mangrove shorelines on the higher tide stages will do well. Docks, points, and other structure that breakup a shoreline are prime feeding spots on an outgoing tide. Bridges and docks will produce at night.

Anglers fishing for snook in the spring can choose from a variety of techniques. Shallow diving plugs and soft plastic baits are great choices when probing a long shoreline. Colors and sizes should match the forage that is in the area. 1/2 ounce gold weedless spoons work very well when covering large shallow grass flats with potholes. Live shrimp and bait fish are good choices for fishing docks and other structures that hold snook.

Fishing for snook in summer


Summer is a great time for an angler to catch a trophy snook. They will stack up in large schools and inlets and passes as well is moving out onto the local area beaches. Passes and inlets with abundant structure are the best spots to try. Beaches close to inlets and passes as well as those with some type of structure such as rocks, docks, or other structures  will generally hold the most fish.

Anglers fishing for snook in summer will do well fishing with live bait near structure in the deeper parts of the passes and inlets. Pin fish, grunts, croakers, sardines, herring, and mullet will all produce as will a live shrimp and crabs. Fairly heavy tackle will be required to land a large fish in heavy current. Lures cast a long jetties will fool snook early and late in the day. Anglers can also choose to sight fish for snook along the beaches.

Fishing for snook in fall

Fall is a glorious time to be fishing in Florida! The weather is normally beautiful and the crowds are gone. Snook will be moving out of the passes and inlets and into the backwater areas. The same spots and techniques that produced in the spring will produce again in the fall. Chumming with live bait fish is very popular and productive as the bait is usually easy to catch this time of year. Shorter days and cooling water temperatures have the fish in a mood to feed.

My Rapala X-Rap handled a foot away from the tree limb and bird down as I started an inconsistent retrieve.  It didn’t get in excess of several feet before it just stopped.  My underlying idea was that I had hung up on the lowered tree, yet then the “catch” started to move off.  I set the hook and attempted to get the fish out of the substantial cover.  We had handled twelve snook that morning, yet this felt unique.

A bulldog fight followed with the secret fish making short runs, resolved to return to the wellbeing of the branches.  It at last drained and surfaced and I got a brief look at green.  A bass?  If along these lines, it was a decent one.  two or after three minutes that reality was affirmed; it was a wonderful, fat, solid five pound largemouth!  This is the thing that Sarasota stream fishing is about.

Sarasota river fishing

Florida tidal rivers are unmatched when it comes to natural beauty.  They also offer a unique angling experience; the chance to catch both Florida’s premier inshore saltwater and freshwater game fish in one location; snook and largemouth bass.  In late fall the water levels drop and the rivers become brackish and tidally influenced.

This, along with cooling water temperatures, results in a migration of saltwater species such as snook, redfish, jack crevalle, and even tarpon up into the rivers where they co-exist with the resident population of bass, catfish, and other freshwater fish.  They will stay there until it starts to warm up, usually mid-March.  These same techniques also apply to the numerous creeks and residential canals throughout the area.

Sarasota river fishing is a unique experience

The majority of my days as an expert guide are done in Sarasota Bay.  However, I am one of just two or three aides offering fishing charters on neighborhood This is a specific kind of fishing, most appropriate to more experienced anglers.  Success is less sure than inshore fishing, yet the landscape alone makes it worth the outing.

My preferred calculating method is throwing fake baits while floating with the current.  An active tide is great, however this can be tricky.  There are no tide tables to reference this far up most waterways, so a change is made for the nearest location.  Experience will help decide the remedy factor, yet a few hours is commonly a decent spot to start.  The course of the ebb and flow will decide fish area and draw presentation.  Game fish will situate themselves on the down momentum side of spread, prepared to snare clueless prey.  Lures ought to be cast to the up-ebb and flow side and worked back with the progression of water.  This outcomes in a characteristic introduction and triggers the most strikes.

Best lures for river fishing

Delicate plastic lures on a light jig head or weighted plastic baits and shallow plunging plugs have demonstrated to be the most steady makers when Sarasota stream fishing.  Bass Assassin shad tail and 4″ snap draws in dim hues, for example, “brilliant bream” and “red shad” on a 1/16 ounce dance head are dangerous when jerked along the bottom.  If consistent hang-ups become an issue, changing to a weighted worm snare and gear the bait weedless will significantly decrease snags.  These baits are a decent decision when fish are found or when low water moves them in the more profound openings.

Rapala X-Raps in gold/dark and firetiger copy the bluegill and tilapia that are the essential rummage for bigger fish.  Both the slim “slashbait” and more extensive profile “shallow” connects sizes (08) and (10) are generally excellent for both bass and snook.  Tossing plugs permits fishermen to cover water decently fast and delivers energizing strikes. The different high pitch snares likewise bring about a decent proportion of snare ups to bites.  Suspending baits, for example, the Twitchin’ Rap and MirroLure can be viable when fish are finicky.  Trolling connects brooks and waterways is a procedure that has been getting snook for some years.  Since these waters require motoring at moderate rates, hauling two or three fittings behind the vessel bodes well.

Other effective river fishing lures

Spinnerbaits are likewise superb lures in flowing rivers.  They have the advantages of the two fittings and soft plastics.  They are additionally exceptionally simple to utilize and are an incredible decision for beginner anglers.  Basically, the draw is thrown out, permitted to sink for a couple of moments, and reeled back in with a moderate, consistent retrieve.  ¼ ounce goads with a gold cutting edge with either a chartreuse or brilliant bream shad tail grub will get a lot of fish for fishermen Sarasota waterway fishing.

Fly fishing on these waterways is testing, yet in addition very rewarding.  A 9 weight pole with a transitional sink tip line is the best all-round choice.  An eight foot 30 lb fluorocarbon pioneer polishes off the rig.  Short throws are the standard, yet be set up for a decent measure of snags.  This is a “quality over amount” situation.  Fly fishermen won’t ordinarily get huge quantities of fish, however every cast offers the chance to snare a ten pound in addition to snook!  Wide profile trap fish examples, for example, a Puglisi fly alongside conventional snook flies, for example, the “Precious stone Minnow” are acceptable decisions.

Additional river species

While bass, snook, and other saltwater species get most of the attention, Suncoast brackish rivers offer excellent fishing for catfish, bream, and tilapia.  Catfish are abundant and anglers seeking a fish dinner will be successful on most outings by targeting these bottom-dwellers.  Catching them is as simple as dropping a nightcrawler or worm down to the bottom on an outside bend with cover.  In fact, just about every species that inhabits rivers will fall for a nice fat worm.  Shrimp and cut bait will also work.  A two pound catfish on an ultra-light spinning outfit is great fun!  And great eating!

Bream are another species that are relatively ignored on rivers.  While their numbers are not great, they are generally above average in size.  10” bluegill are frequently caught.  Bream fishing usually improves the farther upstream anglers venture.  Live worms catch plenty of fish, but so do artificial lures and flies.  I only use two lures when targeting bream; a black 1/16 ounce Beetle spin and a 1/16 ounce jig with a chartreuse curly tail grub.  Fly fishermen will be successful using a 3 or 4 weight outfit with a floating line.  Best flies are a #10 black spider on the surface and a #8 bait fish pattern for fishing below the surface.  Gold with a chartreuse tail and white are good colors to try.

These tidal rivers are quite shallow in spots this time of year and a shallow draft boat is required.  Most are also “Slow speed zones”, so fast boats and big motors offer no advantage.   Jon boats with small outboard and electric motors along with canoes and kayaks are the best choices for fishing.  Anglers with bass and flats boats should use caution both at the ramp and on the river, particularly at low tide.  Most anglers choose to fish the brackish sections for snook and bass, but the shallow portions up-river all offer excellent freshwater fishing for bream and bass.  These areas can be difficult to access due to low water, but they also get very little pressure and offer terrific scenery.

Fishing license requirements

Fishing license requirements can be tricky.  From the FWC,

“The license required is not dependent on where you fish, but rather what you are targeting. There is no freshwater/saltwater line in most estuaries and bays. Tide and rain (salinity) determines the distribution of species in these areas. If you are targeting saltwater species, using saltwater baits and lures, unless exempt, you need a saltwater fishing license. If you accidentally catch a freshwater species, as long as you release it immediately, you are okay.

Anglers targeting freshwater species, using freshwater baits and lures, unless exempt, need a freshwater fishing license. If you accidentally catch a saltwater species, as long as you release it immediately, you are okay. If you are targeting both saltwater and freshwater species, using baits and lures that take both, unless exempt, you should have both licenses.”

Manatee River

The Manatee River from around Ft. Hamer upriver to Rye Rd is the most productive stretch of water.  The Lake Manatee Dam is another five miles upriver from Rye Rd. and offers excellent fishing for bream and bass.  The two best access points are the ramp at Ft Hamer 1605 Fort Hamer Road, Parrish, FL and Ray’s Canoe Hideaway 1247 Hagle Park Rd. Bradenton, FL.  Anglers can purchase bait, tackle, ice, and snacks at Rays, along with canoe rentals and boat launch services.  They are closed on Wednesdays.  Mark suggests calling him at (941) 747-3909 before coming out to check on the current conditions.

Braden River

The Braden River feeds the Manatee River just below I-75 and offers excellent fishing from the mouth up to the dam at Lake Ward for snook, redfish, and jacks in the winter.  Boats can launch at the ramps at the SR 64 Bridge.

Myakka River

The Myakka River is designated a “Wild and Scenic River”, one of only two in the state.   As such, access and development have been limited.  The area from I-75 south to El Jobean is best for anglers targeting snook.  Both bass and snook are plentiful between Border Rd. and Tamiami Trail.  Adventurous paddlers and boaters can go upriver to a dam just below Lower Myakka Lake.  Ramps for power boats on the Myakka River are at Snook Haven 5000 East Venice Avenue, Venice, FL, Marina Park 7030 Chancellor Blvd, North Port, FL and El Jobean Park 4333 Kerrigan Circle, El Jobean, FL.  Anglers who prefer to fish out of kayaks and canoes can also use the launches at either Border Rd or Laurel Rd.

Peace River

The Peace River is over 100 miles long and offers anglers a wide variety of angling opportunities depending on the season and water levels.  Unlike the other rivers, it is relatively unregulated.  The best access to fish for snook is at Lettuce Lake,8801 SW Reese St, Arcadia, FL.  Desoto Park Boat Ramp in Arcadia at SR 70 is a convenient and very nice park located at 2195 NW American Legion Drive, Arcadia, FL.  Jon Bragg works at Canoe Outpost Peace River, located at 2816 NW County Road 661, Arcadai, FL.  They offer canoe rentals and many other services.  Jon shares a few tips,

“Serious anglers will do better fishing on weekdays.  There is a fair amount of boat traffic, including airboats, on the weekends.  Snook bite best after some rain when the water levels are up a bit and are caught as far up river as Zolfo Springs.  Early fall can be terrific when the tilapia run down river.  Bass fishing is good all year long.  The best time for bream is in the winter when the water is low and clear on the section up river from Desoto Park.

River lures

Try not to let jig sizes, hues, and styles befuddle you, they all either mirror shrimp or baitfish and are generally fished in the equivalent manner.  Cast the dance out, permit a couple of moments for the it to sink and jerk the pole tip sharply.  Let the lure fall on a tight line, most strikes happen as the lure is falling, the powerless look triggers the bite.  Keeping the bar tip at ten o’clock and permitting the dance to fall on a tight line will permit fishermen to feel more bites.  Grubs with a shad tail or wavy tail that copy baitfish can be worked with a consistent retrieve.  Scented delicate plastics, for example, Trigger-X and Gulp! snares are more costly however can have any kind of effect on days when the fish are somewhat particular.

Attachments are another incredible decision for fishermen who like to cast fake lures.  Rapala X-Raps in the (08) size are my own favorite.  They thrown well and have extraordinary action.  Cast the bait our and recover it back to the vessel with sharp jerks followed by a short pause.  As in all draw fishing, fluctuate the recover until one is discovered that produces strikes.

All in all, this article, “Looking for Snook, a Complete guide” will assist fishers with understanding the occasional relocations occupies of snook, bringing about more achievement!


Bent Rods, Tight Lines

Best of luck  Anglers


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