Snook Fishing in Clearwater FL

Snook fishing Clearwater Fl is at the top of the list for most inshore anglers living here or visiting the area. Snook are the most sought after, and probably the most difficult fish for anglers to catch. The average fish weighs between 8-12 pounds, although, a Snook over 20 pounds is not out of the ordinary.

Snook fishing Clearwater Fl and a nice beach SnookSnook fishing Clearwater Fl is such a challenge because Snook are very finicky. Once they have spotted you, they don’t always cooperate. However, when this fish decides to strike, there is no question about it. With the drag screaming, Snook will usually throw in two or three acrobatic leaps in an attempt to dislodge your hook. They will try to head for the nearest cover such as mangrove roots, oyster beds, and even dock pilings in an attempt to break your line. They also have extremely sharp gill plates that can cut a line instantly. Your goal is to keep them from using these defenses before they get the best of you.
Snook Fishing in Clearwater

Snook Diet

Several different baitfish can be used to entice these beautiful fish to eat, depending on the season. Grunts, pinfish, shad, large shrimp, even small crustaceans can be used while Snook fishing Clearwater Fl. However, the most popular baitfish for most of us Florida Fishing Guides, are scaled sardines, a.k.a. greenbacks. One very effective way of stimulating fish into eating is chumming with these baits. We will often injure a few baits by squeezing them in our hand and throwing them toward our objective. In most cases, that is a mangrove shoreline or a current moving along the beach. The injured, and erratically swimming baits serve as an easy meal to the Snook, stirring them into an eating mood. Then, unwary of your hooked offering, they will strike your bait without warning. Hold on tight!

Snook Fishing in ClearwaterSnook Behavior

Snook Fishing Clearwater Fl and a backcountry SnookAround Clearwater in the spring, usually beginning in March, the Snook will begin moving out from its winter haunts and onto the flats. The water begins to warm and after a long dormant period of eating very sporadically through the winter, these fish will have a veracious appetite. They will lie in shallow water, gathering warmth around oyster bars or in sandy potholes. As baitfish move across these areas, Snook will ambush them.

As summer approaches and the water really warms up around Clearwater, us charter guides start looking toward the beaches for large concentrations of spawning Snook. These fish have hearty appetites, needing plenty of energy for their spawn. It isn’t uncommon to have 20-30 Snook hook-ups on a charter. There is no guarantee on landing them all, though. Remember, Snook do everything possible to break you off.

Fall brings a slight decrease in water temperature, so, the Snook make their way back towards the backcountry. Still finding them on the outside, they know it won’t be long before winter sends them deep into the rivers and canals in search of warm dark bottom.

Snook Fishing in ClearwaterCold Weather Can Affect Snook

Snook fishing Clearwater Fl releasing a SnookWinter can be devastating to Snook. As water temperature dips into the 50’s, Snook become very lethargic, and can even die from such cold waters. The best place to find Snook in winter months is deep in the residential canals where the water heats over dark bottom. The brackish waters of the local rivers and creeks will also hold Snook during these colder months. They can even survive in completely fresh water, if necessary. Here they eat mostly during the warmest parts of the day. Feeding on whatever baits are available. As spring approaches, we start the cycle over once again.

Capt. Brian

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