I get a lot of calls every year from people interested in fishing for Snook around the Bridges and docks in Daytona Beach or the Tomoka River and Basin in Ormond Beach. The truth about Snook in our area is they usually aren’t very easy to catch.
Snook are ambush predators and they typically hold very tight to structure. This means that to present a bait to them, you need to have an accurate cast. There are exceptions to this rule but not many. The Snook finds a current break directly behind a branch or log, a dock piling, a hole, a point or bend in the creek….you get the idea. The Linesider waits patiently, facing into the current until the food swims or is pushed to him.
With as little effort as possible, the Snook shoots out, grabs its meal, then goes right back to its spot. You will see Snook cruising shorelines like Redfish as well but most of the Snook we catch are holding to structure. There have been so many times that we have made multiple casts to docks with no success until the bait or lure lands or is skipped under the dock. The Snook is only willing to travel so far for a meal. The better the location, the bigger the fish. High current areas like bridges and Creek mouths are hard to beat for larger fish.
￼Getting the fish to bite is only half the battle. Now you need to pull this powerful and super fast fish out of the structure that it is going to do everything in its power to get back into. If your lucky enough to get it to open water, you now have to hope it’s papery mouth isn’t torn around the hook entry because Snook jump and shake their heads violently. Oh, did I mention they have excellent eye sight and very abrasive mouths? This means you have to use a leader thick enough to withstand their mouths and the structure it will come in contact with but not so big that they will be able to see it. Sound like fun? It is! The most rewarding fish to catch is the fish that is the hardest to catch. Even though their season is closed right now, I practice strictly catch and release with Snook personally as well as on my charters.
Capt Eric Greenstein