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Captain's Corner

What's hot: Snook are gathering in good numbers off of beaches and along major passes.

By JIM HUDDLESTON
Published May 29, 2007


What's hot: Snook are gathering in good numbers off of beaches and along major passes. With stronger moving water, the fish will feed heavily in dropoffs and defined edges along the sand. In shallower water along the beach, linesiders can be sightcasted with small greenbacks and pinfish. The fish will cruise in water less than a foot deep. Present the nose-hooked bait way ahead so as to not scare the fish with a sardine landing on top of them. Having fresh bait is often the determining factor in jumpstarting a snook bite. The lively bait swims erratically and attracts attention. Most anglers overfeed these beach fish. Single baits presented to a school of snook often get taken. Overchumming with loads of bait makes it harder to get a strike on the hooked offering.

Tactics: Downsize, downsize, downsize. With no rain expected until the weekend, the water is clear, so it's difficult to use heavy leader and bigger hooks. A 4-foot length of 25-pound fluorocarbon leader will assist in the abrasion from a snook's mouth and gill plates. For hooks, a size 1/0 will still have enough gap to penetrate a snook's mouth. With little structure off the beach, lighter drag settings will keep the leader from chafing. Park the boat on the beach and walk toward a school to help with a stealthy presentation.