Signs of Snook alive on the flats

The cold weather and wind continues to hamper fishing but on a recent trip I found some good news to report. It was a cold and windy day with partly cloudy skies. The fish had not cooperated at all.

Trips up a favorite canal and some favorite flats had produced only on sea trout. It was spotted flushing out of some mangroves. I also saw one gar about 20 inches long swimming along the shoreline.

Numerous blind casts had produced nothing. Then, a huge black image appeared in the distance and I could tell there were some fish moving towards me. To my surprise it was a school of snook. The fish ranged from an estimated 15 inches to maybe 24 inches. They were swimming slowly, meandering down the shoreline over sandy bottom.

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After that first school passed I saw another coming from the same direction and it was obvious they were going to come my way as well. I made a few casts with plastic baits that were summarily ignored. They just swam on by.

In another area I saw three or four larger snook, easily going over 30 inches, warming themselves in the afternoon sun.

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Some of the fish looked a little beat up and not so healthy. I wondered what that was all about so I sent an email to Alexis Trotter of FWRI. She studies snook for a living and has been collecting data on the recent cold weather event that took its toll on many snook.

Alexis informed me that “There’s still pretty cold water temps for most of their region, so they probably won’t be feeding too well until it warms up a bit more. The ones that look a little beat up may have some infections (generally fungal) as a secondary effect of the cold. Some may succumb to those infections, some will be fine. Once the water finally warms up though, I think we’ll see snook in their normal routine.”

It was very encouraging to see a good number of snook roaming around and trying to get back to normal. I think we just need some warm weather and fishing of all types will improve.

That’s what it’s all about. Good fishin’.

You can purchase my book, Secrets from Florida’s Master Anglers on the Snook Foundations website with proceeds going to the foundation.


I will be at Sebastian Inlet Marina on Saturday March 20th. I have a seminar time at 12:30 and will be in a booth the rest of the day. Come on by if you are in the area.