How To:

Want To Catch More Big Snook?

Author: Albert Acosta

Guide To Catching More & Bigger Snook

Night Time Snook Action
Robalo aka Snook

Want to catch more snook and bigger ones? Well I’m going to give you some pointers to help you catch more snook and have a great chance of catching a trophy snook. One of my favorite types of fishing in Florida is snook fishing, there is something about fishing at night under the stars and moon that make it special. Snook are fantastic ambush hunters and excel at night time foraging. Anytime I have a chance while I’m in Key Largo I do some night time snook fishing. So not to long ago my brother David and my little nephew Carlito decided to head out again and do some night time snook fishing. As the sun was going down we prepared our gear and made our Bullbuster 40lb floro leaders and loaded up our bait and gear. So I’m goin to go through 4 main point to help you catch more and bigger snook, 1-Bait, 2-Structure, 3-Tides, and 4-Tackle. So let’s begin.

The Bait

There are a lot of different baits you can choose to go after snook. Some people just fish for them with artificial and that is fine and they catch many and some big ones with out a doubt. But when I go after snook there is one bait that I choose above them all...the little and plentiful shrimp. Everything eats shrimp and snook love shrimp. Before I head out I always stop and pick up about 5-6 dozen live shrimp. I ask for medium to large ones if possible. A snook is not going to pass up a shrimp floating by as they are waiting to ambush their prey...they are just not going to do it. They are voracious feeders of shrimp especially when the shrimp are running. I use small jig 1/4 oz to 1/8 oz size 2 or 3 hook with the live shrimp. This is a deadly combination and you will catch many snook and some really big ones. Now I do love to use pinfish or mojara as well and these are deadly on snook to. It just depends what you want to use that night and what is available. 

The Structure

Structure, structure, structure I cannot stress this enough. Snook are ambush predators and like to hide around structure and wait for their prey to swim by and then BOOM smack them in a ferocious strike. Fish around pillings, piers, bridge structure, sea walls, rocks, mangroves, jetty’s, deep drops near beaches and inlets. They love areas where the water is moving around bends or structure...swimming and suspending themselves in the current waiting for a midnight snack. Fish around lights from bridges and piers they love hanging out in the shadows just out of the light waiting for a tasty snack to be illuminated before pouncing on them. That’s where you want to fish...the shadow line right before the lighted surface...that’s where they will be waiting. I call it the Shadow of Death lol.

Night Stalker Snook

The Tides

Tides are extremely important when fishing for snook. They really like moving water especially at night. I like to fish outgoing tides but incoming tides are very productive as well. It takes some planning to get it right. Find the area you want to fish lets say a bridge area and find the nearest tide point and see what the tide looks like. There are many tide apps you can download to help you with this and then save them so they are always available for you before a fishing excursion. 

Tide Chart
Use Tide Apps

You want to select the time the tide will start to come in or start to go out and fish those moving water times. This will make your snook fishing more productive. The chart above where the red line touches the graph is a great example of when I should be fishing, the tide is outgoing until about 3pm. Snook will gang up on the points near areas where there is light and moving water to feed and once you find them they will eat your baits. 

The Tackle

Your selection of tackle for snook fishing is extremely important and it takes some planning and set up. A snook especially a big one over 35” will test your tackle to the limit. You just don’t grab a rod and say lets go catch some snook...if you are not ready you will be sorry if you hook a pig. Before I head out for snook fishing I always check my rod and reels and check my fishing lines and prepare new floro leaders. If you do not do this it will come back to haunt you if you hook Big Moma. I fish for snook with 40 size reels loaded with Bullbuster 30lb Braid. This line is extremely tough and resists abrasion which you will need trust me! I then attach Bullbuster 40 to 50lb floro to the braid. This must be done...if you do not use at least 40-50lb floro your snook fishing night could be cut short and I do mean CUT. 

Bullbuster Ready for Snook
Snook Tackle

Snook have very sharp gill plates and will tear through fishing lines and floro if you do not use a strong enough floro leader. I have found that 40-50lb floro will hold up very well when dealing with these fish. Snook when hooked will most often make hard runs at first heading for structure like docks, bridge pillings and other items...if you are not ready with good braid and floro they will destroy you. They are very smart and the big ones even smarter...they know where to go to get themselves free. You need stopping power with great fishing line and floro and a good reel with great drag to stop that fish. A snook fight especially a big one is like no other fish...they make hard runs, jumps, and digs towards the bottom, and viscious head shakes. They will put you to the test and your tackle. When setting up for a snook fishing excursion always prepare like the BIG ONE is coming...that way you will be ready. Double check your hooks, line, floro , and especially your drag so its ready to stop that run to the pillings or other structure. 

These four areas I covered I hope will help you catch more snook and bigger ones! So the last snook trip with my brother and little nephew resulted in some awesome snook night time action. My brother landed several nice snook on the live shrimp with jigs and we were getting steady action as the tide was going out. Then the Big Moma hit! The hit was viscious and a hard run followed by head shakes gills flared up and heading for the pillings! I pulled back on my rod and tightened the drag and held on for dear life and I was able to stop her before she entered the land of no return. A few head shakes and more runs and I had her boat side. My brother scooped her up in the net and I was thrilled! It was my PB snook a 38” monster shadow stalker snook! We took some pics and I let her go back to her night lair to hunt another day. And that’s what it’s all about prepare and study then fish... the big one will come. Remember Spend More Time Fishing! See you next time.

Brother’s Snook
Snook Action

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