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Captain's Corner

What's hot: The springtime snook bite has started to be more consistent with good numbers beginning to be caught off the spoil islands and beaches.

By JIM HUDDLESTON
Published May 9, 2007


What's hot: The springtime snook bite has started to be more consistent with good numbers beginning to be caught off the spoil islands and beaches. Clearwater Pass and Hurricane Pass are holding schools of smaller males, with a few larger breeders mixed in to feed in the strong current. Snook are still dark from holding in the back country, and with clear skies these linesiders look like a dark grass patch over the sand. The redfish bite has been the best this coast has seen in a long time. Many schools are being found in shallow grassflats with a few large, sandy potholes throughout that will stage up fish to feed. The current flows stronger through these depressions and brings a variety of baitfish and crabs for gamefish to feed on.

Tactics: The best all-around bait to use for snook and redfish is a hearty pinfish that will hold near the bottom where these fish feed. A tail-hooked pinfish will swim away from an angler and cover more ground. When fishing the beaches along swash channels, open the bail and let the pinfish work down the ditch. A nervous bait will start to swim more quickly and indicate a predator nearby. Twenty-five-pound fluorocarbon leader will still have enough stealth and abrasion resistance for bigger snook. Just lighten the reel's drag to alleviate extra tension on the line. When fishing around mangroves for redfish, place a cork about 2 feet above the hook and let the pinfish swim into the shade.