How to Catch Snook – The Easy and Effective Way

Have you ever heard a fish named Robalo? How about a Sergeant fish or Linesiders? I used to think that they were different types of fish but actually, they are other names for Snook. This is a popular game fish among anglers and the most regulated one. I tried to buy one before for dinner but my father told me that is illegal to buy and sell this kind of fish.

So if you want to eat one, you have to catch one for yourself, my father said. But be careful not to violate any regulations, for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have strong regulation about Snook in terms of the harvest season, size limit and bag limit. 

Even the allowable gear for catching this fish are hook and line only. They only allow 1 catch per day with a size not less than 28” but not more than 32” in total length.

So do you want to catch some Snook? Later I will show you the steps on how to catch a snook and where to find them. But first, let me show you things you need to set up beforehand.

Things That You Will Need:

I made some list of the basic things that you will need in catching Snooks. The first one is purely mandatory.

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    Snooks Permit and Recreational Fishing License

This is a must, no exemptions. Noncompliance will surely put you in court and can be penalized for fishing without the necessary permit and license.

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    Fishing Rod

I suggest using 10 to 15 lbs braided line with an 18” fluorocarbon leader to increase your line protection during drag because Snooks are well known for giving strong fights during retrieval.

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    Live Bait

Grunts: It is considered as the best bait for snooks.
Shrimps: Much easier to use as bait, the bigger the better.
Sardines: Very effective in catching Snooks but they are seldom available.
Mullet: This fish likes to leap and make big splashes in the water making them very attractive to predators like Snooks.

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    Suspension Lures

This type of lure is very effective as a replacement for live baits because they are designed to imitate and simulate fish actions very well.

Steps on How to Catch Snook

I am not an expert but with these list of steps I have, you can catch a snook in no time. These are purely basic and very easy to follow that even beginners will not have a hard time mastering it.

1. Planning and Preparation

Nothing beats an angler who plan in advance for his incoming fishing activity. Unpreparedness and poor planning will more likely results to frustration and discouragement. Fishing location, fishing tackles, the season of the year, those are the few things that need consideration before going to battle with a snook.

2. Know Your Snooks Location

I usually find this fish in areas where huge marine life is abundant like estuaries and river mouths. Here they can ambush prey that is relatively smaller than them. Keep in mind that snook locations are dependent on seasons of the year where cold fronts push them to migrate or relocate to warmer areas. 

The Bridge or Dock Pilings, Deep holes, Seawall, Beaches, Residential canals, and Flats are among the best spot where you can find your snooks.

3. Identify the Season of the Year

Take note of the months covered by closed season for snooks, these are from May 1 to August 31 and from Dec. 15 to Jan. 31. It is best to catch some snooks during Summer and Springtime where powerful currents and strong water movements are generated. 

4. Fishing Tackles

Prepare your fishing equipment and tools ready and that includes bait, rods, lures and etc. When using live baits I suggest you catch them yourself by using casting nets.

In this way, you can have an unlimited supply of live baits like Mullet, Grunts and Scaled Sardines. For live shrimp, you can buy them anytime of the day so need to worry about them.

5. The Approach

Be as sneaky as you can because you may startle the fish lurking in the area especially snooks. They are sensitive to noises and splashing so be careful not to scare them away.

When preferred to fish on beaches it is much better to step down from the boat or rather stand on the sand at waist deep, in this way you can move freely and smoothly during casting and retrieval.

6. Casting

A long stiff rod is suitable for snook fishing because you can cast them farther while keeping your distance from the target. It also offers gentle handling to hooked snooks during drag and retrieval which means lesser effort and muscle to use.

Before you do your casting try to master first the tide tables otherwise you end up casting in the opposite direction where snooks are facing. Snooks faces the flow of water when feeding, they just wait for their prey be brought to them by the tide or current and ambush them.

7. Play with the Catch and Wear Them Out

Snooks are known to be a fighter when hooked and will drastically do anything to cut your line in order to escape. They are strong and defiant making outrageous runs and aerial display compared to any other fishes on peril.

So be cautious not to set your drag too tight, just play with it until it wears out from running and jumping. You might want to look at this video to see how strong this fish are courtesy by Landshark Fishing:

Additional Tips

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    Snooks are ambush feeders, a very aggressive predator so you can easily find them lurking on rocks, inlets, mangroves, shorelines and other underwater man made structures such as bridge pilings and seawalls.
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    Catching this fish takes a lot of understanding when and where to find them in a particular time of the year. They are very vulnerable to temperatures lower than 16 degrees centigrade (60 F) so they tend to migrate to warmer areas.
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    When casting I suggest to land your bait up current to avoid scaring the Snooks away then let the current carry your lure or bait to them.
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    Sight-casting is also a best way in catching snook as well as Snook cruising.
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    The exact time when the tide changes is very important, so I suggest you master the time table.


As Snooks gain popularity among the fishing game world, it also becomes vulnerable to abuse and extinction. That is why it is well regulated and protected by the law to help them continue its existence and survival for the future generation.

Though a catch and release of snook are being practiced by most anglers, still snooks may die for a variety of reasons. Lack of oxygen, exhaustion and hook wounds are some of the factors that can cause mortality even after it is released back to the water. So the next time you catch a snook do it quickly and avoid injuring its eyes and gills.

I hope that you enjoyed everything I discussed regarding Snooks and how to catch them. If you have some tips and ideas please feel free to to tell us about it in the comment section below.

John Morris

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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