Lineside, ravillia, robalo are all terms used to refer to the snook. These fish inhabit the entire southern coast of Florida and have grown to be a favorite among people who engage in fishing as a sport. The most important reason for this is the snook’s aggressiveness. Unlike most other fish, the snook has an ability to fight and even use obstructions in the water to their advantage.
In terms of appearance, the snook is quite different from other fish in the region. They can be identified by a black stripe running along the entirety of their spine. Inshore snook have darker sides and big fins. The fillet of the snook makes up a good proportion of the total weight of the fish.
The Atlantic snook is distinct in characteristics, and is protected in an effort to ensure sustainable fishing. Organizations in the area work together to prevent overfishing of the species, therefore, allowing future generations to enjoy the activity as well.
How to Catch Snook
The snook offer a challenge for many fishermen, so the tackle should at least be medium class. We prefer to use mullet heads as bait, although you can use any fish. Alternatively, you can use shrimp or crabs. Since snook are large fish, huge baits are preferred. We usually use a bait of about 11 inches when fishing for snook.
For live baiting, we would advise you to use a saltwater reel with at least 40-pound test. Optimum results are possible if you consider making it an 80-pound test. Line capacity is not as big an issue with snook fishing. A good line should, however, be over 80 yards. We would recommend a line capacity of 200 yards as snook that take more than this would be hidden or gone; and therefore, not available for you to capture. As a general rule, bigger spool diameter is great if you don’t like the twists on fishing lines. In addition, this will increase the strength of the spool, allowing you to pull and turn fish out of the water.
Snook will not always eat the bait as they are known to be very choosy with their meals. They often just sample the bait and move on. We have found it helpful to use very sharp hooks when fishing as this will allow you to catch the fish, even if they are just sampling the product. Still fishing, casting, trolling, and drift fishing are all methods used to fish for snook.
Best Fishing Spots
Knowing where to fish is even more important than having the details on the best fishing techniques. If you fish in an area with low snook population, you shouldn’t expect to catch any by the end of the day.
Our best spots for snook fishing are around snugs as this is where the fish are commonly found. The fish use sound to find their food, and as such, prefer to stay in darker and dirtier areas of the ocean. This aspect allows them to hunt without much resistance from their prey. For this reason, you will usually find them around areas like mangrove shorelines and grassy flats.
In places such as Matlacha and the Caloosahatchee River, you can enjoy kayaking activities as you fish for snook. During winter, you can find the snook staged in the deep canals of the river. The barrier island beaches of Sanibel Island are also ideal spots to catch snook. In this island, we like to base our snook fishing around the backcountry creeks and the mangrove islands. Estero Bay is also a great fishing area.
Snook fishing is best done when the water temperature is over 75 degrees, meaning you are better off fishing in summer. In any case, many organizations are closed for snook fishing in winter, as a way of protecting the fish.
I’d love to see you here on the Boca Coast! Book a trip with me and let’s go fishing for some snook!