Fishing for snook on piers and docks
There’s nothing quite like coming in contact with some hungry dock/pier Snook. During the day or at night. These fish are nocturnal but feed in the day as-well. You can find them hanging around docks and piers during the day, but more so at night. Especially docks or piers that have lights on them as the light attracts bait the bait attracts the Snook.
These fish are pretty amazing and smart fish. Interesting fact about these fish is they were once called “soap fish” many years ago, as people back in the day tried eating them with the skin still on the fillet and they had a soap taste. Nothing like what we experience now days, as Snook are one the most sought out for fish for the amazing taste. They are a very white flaky great tasting fish. Although with the season being closed and been closed for some time now in parts of Florida we have not tasted Snook in a while . Fwc has closed the season again this year until May 2021 until further notice.
Snook are a very interesting species of fish. They are predators, so they like their food to be alive, and in my experience they like it alive and very lively. They are also known for eating dead bait as well, Snook are also very fun to catch on artificial lures. On docks and piers I find live shrimp and live white bait being the Most productive. They will eat Greenback, Thread fins, Mojarra, Pinfish and Shrimp, all preferred alive. These fish are very smart and can be rather picky sometimes,so adjusting to their likings can be rather challenging at times. Snook love structure and moving water, so when targeting them, make sure to check your tides and make sure you have moving water before hitting the pier or docks.
Snook just like any predator fish hunt using the tide to their advantage. Staging yourself on the pier or dock is critical to the success of catching these fish. You want fish on the end of the pier or side of the dock the tide is flowing forwards. As the snook will be facing them selves against the tide on the edge of the dock or pier. I’ve said it before these fish are very smart. Using to thick of leader and or too big a hook can effect your ability to catch these guys. I personally use a 30 lb fluorocarbon leader with a short shank J hook , size of hook depend on size of bait for me . A lot of people like using circle hooks. They are very good and help with a better hook set in the corner of the mouth. It’s all preference with that and trying different hooks may be something you have to do to find what works for you.
Free lining is usually the best to allow for the bait to naturally swim as it would without a hook and line attached to it. Sometimes you may have to put small weight on it to get it down a little depending what level of the water column the fish are and how strong the current it. Sometimes the fish like it all the way on the bottom. If one thing is not working you have to try the next until you find what is working, as situations can always be different and not the same as last time you fished and caught fish.