January 14, 2017
Snook Fishing on St. Pete Beach
The the snook population has fully rebounded from the freeze of 2010 which decimated the snook population and put a strain on fishing for the last few years.
Tips On Catching A Snook Near St. Pete Beach
1. Pay attention to the tides
The tides are one of the most important factors in catching a snook. Timing the tides perfectly is paramount to a great day on the water. There is a small window that is available to ensure your best chances in landing a snook. Not only is it important to check the tides but also to decide if you are fishing the incoming or outgoing tides. Finding the perfect location to target the snook is important but every tide will result in different scenarios. Every location will be different and have its own nuances. Time on the water is the best teacher and every location must be explored in each situation, with incoming and outgoing tides.
2. Be mindful of the water temperature
Snook are a tropical species and are most active in warmer water. water temperature is regulated by the time of year of course. Snook migrate and knowing the time of year and how the water temperature affects this migration is important. During the winter months the snook huddle up in the backwaters and creeks to find warmer water. In the colder months the best way to catch the snook is to use a slow moving bait when the fish are less active. Snook will conserve energy in colder water and move slower.
3. Choose the right bait
Proper bait selection is of course very important in targeting snook. Bait should match what is available in the water at the time of year that you are fishing. snook will not hit a bait that is not readily available in the natural selection of food for the time of year. There are exceptions to this but this is a good rule to follow. Bait presentation is also very, very important when targeting snook. A bait that appears wounded is very attractive to the snook but one that is not hooked correctly or presented in a natural fashion may scare off your catch.
4. Use the right tackle
Pay attention to the tackle that you use and make sure it works well with the bait that you have decided to use. Using liter that is too visible may spook your catch so it is important use liter that matches the target size. Hook selection is also very important. You want to make sure to use a hook that matches the size of the bait that you are presenting. For instance, using a 2/0 hook on a shrimp would not allow your shrimp to swim naturally and not be a good presentation to the fish. using a hook too large or too small will limit your chances of a bite and also a proper hookup and decrease your chances of landing your fish. If you find that you are not getting the hookups that you want, don’t be afraid to experiment with changing your leader size, you leader length and hook size. Snook are fickle and may react differently at any time to the most subtle changes. Avoid using swivels and instead use a uni knot, your bait will be affected by the weight of a swivel or terminal tackle and may lead to an unnatural presentation.
5. Fish near structure
Structure is also a key component in maximizing your chance to catch a snook. These fish have a tendency to travel in schools along the beach in the summer. It is not uncommon to sight fish just below the wave line searching for bait. Another critical component to targeting the correct structure is to look for tide eddies along bridges and docks during a swift moving tide. Docks and piling will also hold this fish during the tides as they wait for bait to go swimming by.
There is no easy way to master the art of Snook fishing. It is important to record what has worked for you and to keep a positive attitude while enjoying the journey. Hiring an experienced captain is of course a shortcut to catching this trophy fish so make sure that you hire the right captain for the job! Landing a snook is an experience that cannot be described or duplicated so follow these guidelines and remember to keep a tight line!
Captain Kenny Piesnikowski