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Hook Some Winter Snook in South Florida

hook-some-winter-snookAsk any avid angler crazy about South Florida winter fishing, and you’ll hear about snook, a favorite area game fish. Known as feisty fighters, snook strike hard and run fast. They’ll give you a long run complete with a number of jumps. If you like the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of reeling in a tough opponent, snook is your game. Imagine the excitement. A tickle, a twinge, a jerk, and WHAM, you’re off to the races. There’s plenty of action in snook fishing in South Florida sure to bend your pole.

Snook average from 5 to 10 pounds, but plenty of 15-20 pounders await your sporting pleasure. South Florida snook is a tasty, flaky white-meat fish. Meaty filets are a good source of lean, healthy protein and cook quickly when tossed on a grill or blackened in a pan. But the only way you can eat snook is to catch it; as a protected species, it’s illegal to purchase or to sell.

Winter snook fishing in South Florid is best in the tree-lined coastal rivers with underwater logs and branches and around structures such as docks, bridges and piers. They like to hunker down and wait for prey among these sheltered areas and wait for the current to carry lunch by. That makes South Florida’s craggy mangrove shorelines favorite snook holding areas. Look for them just off the bank where the water is a bit warmer. The structured areas are often productive sites for night fishing.

Both bait and lures get the job done for keepers, but most locals will tell you that South Florida winter snook will strike about anything, so the experienced fishermen enjoy the convenience of lures. You can fish for snook from the shore or by boat. If you enjoy the added fun of boating, South Florida has acres of fishable waterways that offer the added bonus of unsurpassed one-of-a-kind scenery. Boat rentals abound in the area and a lot of companies also offer guided fishing tours if you’re unfamiliar with the waters and choice fishing spots.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulates snook, so if you’re new to the area, it’s a good idea to become acquainted with the regulations. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Winter season on South Florida’s Atlantic coast and inland waters starts Feb 1st.
  • Daily catch is limited to one a day.
  • Size range is at least 28 inches long and not more than 32 inches long.
  • Gear is restricted to hook and line only.
  • Licensing requires both a saltwater fishing license and a snook license.

You can find more details at Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website and apply online for your licenses at the here:

If you enjoy the challenge of a fierce fighting fish, plan a South Florida winter snook fishing outing and try your hand at landing a great meal or a great trophy. Winter is a great time to hook some snook. And, as anyone experienced in angling for these hearty competitors will tell you, once you’ve hooked a snook, you’ll be hooked on snook.

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