Species of Snook

Types of Snook

species of snook
From top to bottom: common snook, tarpon snook, swordspine snook, and fat snook.
 
Common Snook

Common snook have a more slender body and dorsal fins are high and divided and the anal spines are relatively short. The common snook has a sloping forehead with a large mouth and a protruding lower jaw. Common snook on the Atlantic coast of Florida commonly grow to larger sizes than common snook on the gulf coast of Florida.

Tarpon Snook

As the name implies, this fish looks somewhat like a tarpon. The body is very thin laterally like a tarpon, but most noteworthy is the long head and upturned jaw. Thoughts are the two probably share feeding habits, keying on prey swimming overhead, and so over time their bodies evolved similarly.

A tarpon snook’s eyes are much bigger than those of other snooks; it may be that the species relies on sight more so than its cousins. These tarpon snook seem to feed mostly at nighttime.

One of the key differences among snook species is the size of their scales. The anal fin is another key characteristic. Common, fat, and swordspine snook all have one large hard spike followed by six soft rays. The tarpon snook is the only snook that has seven soft rays on the anal fin, not counting the first hard spike. The spike is always shorter than the longest soft ray.

Lastly, the tarpon snook is the only snook that has dark tips on the ends of the anal, ventral and pectoral fins. But, these dark tips fade with age, so don’t assume it is not a tarpon snook if it doesn’t have dark tips on the fins.

Tarpon snook also do not get very big, usually maxing out at about three pounds.

Fat Snook

This is perhaps the most difficult snook to identify because its anal fin goes through a change and juveniles look different from adults.

As the name implies, these snook are just plain fat. They are the second largest snook and closely resemble a football but don’t be fooled: tarpon and swordspine snook also have proportionately larger bodies than common snook, so be sure to check for other characteristics.

World record for the species is around 10 pounds. Unlike the tarpon snook and swordspine snook, it is possible to catch a fat snook exceeding Florida’s minimum legal size for retention of snook, 28 inches. Fat snook are often found at spillways when large amounts of fresh water is pouring over them.

Swordspine Snook

These guys usually do not exceed one pound and are so rare that a catch is something to really be proud of. The name comes from the large spike on the anal fin. This is the only snook that the anal spike is so long that it can actually touch the tail fin. These are usually not caught in open water and prefer mangroves or docks

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Spooltek Lures Review

So, one of the newest Snook lures on the market is Spooltek Lures
icon They look like an ordinary swimbait but feature a concealed steel leader that deploys during hookset. The advantages of this is you can simply use a lighter leader tied to the lure and the fish cannot throw the swimbait like they can a normally can because of the distance between the hook and lure. The lure imitates pilchards, croakers, finger mullet, herring, threadfin shad, bunker and other similar baitfish that snook love. I have caught plenty of snook on these since starting to use them and have lost a very small percentage compared to what I lose when fishing jigs or a normal swimbait. They offer a 4″ which is useful in shallower water with less current and when the snook are feeding on those small baitfish. They also offer a 6″ which is perfect for inlets, bridges, passes, and even offshore. I have found a slow steady retrieve to be the most productive way of fishing them, casting them up current and slowly working it with the tide. Over this past summer I landed a large amount of fish in the surf and around inlets on the 4″ while the snook were feeding on pilchards and threadfins. Below are some photos of nice fish on spooltek lures. You can purchase them at Tackle Direct by clicking on the link below.
Spooltek Lures
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Snook Fishing with a guide

First of all make sure you choose a fishing guide who is a professional and does not just own a boat. Make sure to choose a guide that does this for a living and not just as a side job. Especially when going for snook, the best snook guides are well known for putting customers on lots of fish, and lots of BIG fish. Expect to pay between 300 and 600 dollars for your guided trip, depending on whether you choose half/full day.
The best fishing guides will be sponsored and have top of the line boats that are reliable, the best rods/reels, and will be equipped with the best bait possible for your trip. Depending what area you are in, expect to catch some other types of fish, whether it be Tarpon, Redfish, or Trout. A couple of the top well known guides in Florida are Capt. Danny Barrow, Capt. Ken Hudson, Capt. Dave Pomerleau, and Capt. Jeff Maggio. These are just a few and you can find many more in your area, just ask around and get suggestions and look online for pictures and reviews.

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Shimano Stradic FK Review

So, I got to try out the new Shimano Stradic FK 5000 the other day and I was impressed with the smoothness and the drag.The reel was rated the ICAST Best of 2015 this past week. Only thing I am not crazy about is the look of it.
Here is what Shimano says about this new Stradic: The new Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reels utilize the latest technologies in Shimano’s arsenal, while also drawing on the ways of the past. Incredibly lightweight, Shimano’s new HAGANE reel design concept adds a new level of toughness as well for anglers who demand durability from their go-to reels. The Hagane cold-forged drive gear combined with X-Ship technology and the Stradic FK’s Hagane body also greatly increase winding power, while eliminating any flex. The result is one of the most powerful and lightweight spinning reels on the market.
Backed by a Dyna-Balance rotor and the Fluidrive II system for exceptional smoothness, Shimano’s Propulsion Line Management System also provides exceptional casting capabilities while mitigated line management issues. Focus your passion on your fishing with the all-new Stradic FK Spinning Reels.

I would suggest purchasing this new Stradic and trying it out for yourself. It is a perfect reel for Snook fishing on the flats or on the beach.

Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel

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July 26 Fishing Report

The Snook Fishing has been on fire up and down the whole Southeast and Southwest coast. Jupiter Inlet and the Juno area has been guaranteed fish almost every trip. The beach fishing has been good if you want to sightcast fish. Walk the beaches near the inlet with pilchards and look for those cruising fish. Lots of fish being caught on croaker and large pilchards. If your fishing artificials then Bucktail Jigs, Spoolteks swimbaits, X Raps and Bombers should do the job. The passes on the West coast are still stacked up and lots of fish being caught around. In the next few weeks more and more mullet will be showing up along the southern coast and that should be fun!

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Best Beaches for Summertime Snook

Here is a list of some of the best beaches for summertime snook fishing.

Atlantic:
1. Spanish House, first public beach access north of Sebastian Inlet (itself a fantastic area for beach snooking).
2. Fort Pierce Inlet State Park.
3. Walton Rocks, just south of the FP&L nuclear plant.
4. Jensen Beach, several access points along Hutchinson Island. Best after several days of calm, as post-hurricane beach fill fouls the water on choppy days.
5. Bathtub Beach, southern tip of Hutchinson Island. Classic sight-fishing waters.
6. Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. Some of the prettiest surf-fishing in the state. Walk the surf at south end, or access the remote northern beaches by boat out of St. Lucie Inlet.
7. Blowing Rocks Preserve (and pretty much any of the rocky stretches on Jupiter and Singer Islands)
8. Lake Worth Pier—the pier hasn’t been reopened yet, but nobody told the snook…
9. John Lloyd State Park. Between the Dania Pier and Port Everglades is a nice stretch of public beach with good snook action for Broward County anglers.
10. Miami beaches. Find an accessible public beach that hasn’t been dumped on by recent beach nourishment and you’ll find snook, even in this urban jungle. Fish first light, or even earlier, for best results.

Gulf:
1. Anclote Key, pretty much the whole length of it, holds big fish in May and June. (Boat access only.)
2. Honeymoon Island, within a quarter mile of both the north and south ends. On the north end, (a long walk) the inside beach facing St. Joseph Sound sometimes holds large fish, as well.
3. Fort DeSoto, both on the west shore next to Bunce’s Pass, and on the south shore facing Tampa Bay and Egmont Pass.
4. Anna Maria’s north end, plus Longboat Key, particularly near the inlets on each end.
5. Beaches either side of Venice Inlet.
6. Little Gasparilla and Gasparilla. Fish the groins on the south island.
7. LaCosta Key and Cayo Costa State Park. (Boat access only.)
8. North Captiva. (Boat access only.)
9. Captiva and Sanibel—some of the state’s best.
10. Marco Island, particularly the north end.

Read more: http://www.floridasportsman.com/2012/07/16/best-snook-fishing-spot/#ixzz3fiQ0WHEr

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Store Update!

We have recently added a store to the site. It offers all the best Snook fishing gear and much more. It will take you directly to Bass Pro Shops or West Marine, two of the most trusted fishing stores. We will have much more to offer in the near future, so be sure to check back with us for more from our store, fishing reports, fishing tips, recipes, videos, and much more. Thanks for checking out FishForSnook and be sure to get out there and catch some of these big summertime snook!

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Redfish Pass

So this past week I was in Captiva fishing Redfish Pass. They were biting solid almost every night. All of these fish were caught on Spooltek lures in the 6″ Fatty except for 3 that I caught on pinfish. Ended up catching around 15 snook , a small tarpon, and a few trout. I was by myself most of the time and only got pictures of a few but here they are!

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What Not to Do!

So, this past week I was at Boynton inlet in the middle of the day and watched a guy jump into the inlet with a spear gun and come up 30seconds later with a 35inch Snook. He got out of the water and I said “Do you have any idea how illegal what you just did is?” He seemed to be foreign and asked me what kind of fish it was, I told him and then said I would suggest you either throw it back in the water or take it and get the hell out of here. So as another gentleman is calling FWC on his phone, the guy holds the fish up and starts asking people if they want it. Since no one said yes then he threw it back in the water, luckily he didnt get a good shot and just hit it in the mouth. It did swim away good but may not be eating for awhile. Anyways, about 20 minutes later I watched a kid hook into a 40+inch fish that broke him off on the first jump, He then said he was using 10lb test.

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Jupiter snook

Now this is a beautiful sight.

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