Years of conservative snook regulations and improved environmental conditions have resulted in a boon for anglers.

Snook fishing has been excellent. Late summer, during the annual mullet run, should be the best snook fishing of the year.

How to catch more snook

During the day, look for the fish along the surf line or inlet. As the sun goes down, move inshore to fish in the dock and bridge lights. Light shining on the water draws in bait and snook follow.

Match the hatch with a live mullet or pilchard on a 4/0 J-hook. For mullet over six inches, bump up to a 7/0 J-hook. A shrimp on a 2/0 J-hook is hard for snook to turn down.

No live bait? No worries

A bucktail, DOA shrimp or Live Target mullet imitate the real thing. Don’t hesitate to toss a small crappie jig; snook love them.

Snook fishing is no time for light tackle. The wily fish love to run under docks, into bridge pilings and through mangroves. It takes a 5000-series spinning reel and 30-pound braid with a four-foot, 50-pound mono leader to stop snook.

Landing a snook in heavy cover requires quick moves in the kayak. Before making a cast, turn the kayak to paddle or pedal away from the snags and hangs. With a big snook on the line, be prepared to turn and burn.

Eric McDonald is a professional guide with He’s put his clients on snook up to 42 inches.

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