As a Full time guide in Naples, Florida I spend the good part of the year chasing snook. Most of the clients I take love to catch them regardless if they are in season or not. Snook are strong, fast, and crafty. Snook in Naples are usually aggressive and can be found from the mangrove shorelines to the nearshore wrecks.
The key to catching snook -and lots of them- is live bait, preferably pilchards. I typically start the day by netting 10 to 15 dozen baits. After I acquire enough bait, I point the bow toward my snook spots. A majority of my spots all have the same features: tidal flow and structure, with deep water nearby. They style of snook fishing I do involves chumming with and fishing live bait, so I'm looking for schools of snook versus individual fish. Keep this in mind.
Tidal Flow: Tidal flow is very important for all predatory fish. A snook's hydrodynamic body is designed to lay in current and ambush prey. They are flat on the bottom with their eyes set atop their head. A protruding lower lip allows them to literally suck in an unsuspecting victim. Snook will lay on the bottom with their flat bellies, allowing the water to flow over their heads. With their eyes up, they watch for any feeding opportunity and pounce with lightning speed. I prefer good clean tidal flow. On day's with a slow tide, I like to fish closest to passes where the tide will be the strongest. On days with a super strong tide, I tend to fish further from the passes because a strong tide blows my chum and bait through the strike zone quicker than I like.
Structure is another key to finding snook. Docks, rocks, wrecks and mangroves are all great options. Structures attract schools of bait. Schools of bait attract schools of snook. When looking for structure, bigger isn't always better, but its a start. Look for dense structures with deep water surrounding them, and of course tidal flow. In addition, structures with deep water nearby tend to hold not only more fish, but also bigger fish. Snook use these deep channels to move in and out of bays and other waterways.
So, bottom line: If you want to catch snook and lots of them, fish and chum with live bait near structure adjacent to deep water with good tide, or go to www.NaplesSaltwaterFishing.com
to book a trip and learn firsthand.
Capt. Tony Fontana