© St. Petersburg Times, published January 8, 2003
Though snook season is closed, excellent opportunities exist for catch-and-release action.
At night, fishing the lights that illuminate residential docks and bridges is your best bet. Snook gather near these lights for warmth and to eat small baitfish and shrimp that are drawn to them.
The brightest lights and those closest to the water usually are the most productive. As always with snook fishing, areas that have stronger currents or tidal flows are necessary.
Since these fish will be spooky, a quiet approach and bait presentation is imperative. If you approach with a boat, an electric trolling motor works. When depth allows it, a push pole works even better. If you approach by land, never go on the dock the fish are gathered by. Instead, cast from the seawall.
Casts initially should be made to the outside edges of the shadow line. You're less likely to spook the fish. Only after you work the shadows thoroughly should you cast into the light.
An 8-pound test setup with a 25-pound shock leader allows more subtle casts. Light tackle also makes this kind of fishing more challenging and enjoyable, because most of these fish will be undersized.
-- Capt. Pete Katsarelis charters out of Tarpon Springs and can be reached at (727) 439-3474 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.