The Snook (Centropomus undecimalis) are found in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, from southern Florida and Texas to Brazil. There are six Atlantic and six Pacific Ocean species. These fish can grow to over 4 ft and a can weigh in well over 40 lbs. The typical fish in the Florida Keys are 5-15 pounds. They are predatory hunters (an opportunistic carnivore), fast and just a lot of fun to catch.
"a prized game fish that fight, jump and will wrap you up on submerged trees and roots where they love to hide."
They feed on shrimp, mullet, menhaden, pinfish and crabs; they will also attack a fly. On your trip we will fish some remote shore lines where fish cruise the grass line. This is one of the more exciting ways we fish for these aggressive feeders. Stripping a fly 12-20 inches from their nose (as if they spooked the meal) and you’ll learn just how ferocious these toothy guys can be. These fish will crush a bait or fly and rip off line going back to their hiding place so be ready when they strike. Put a little pressure on these fish and they will jump two body lengths out of the water just to let you know they do not like being hooked.
They do not change from male to female as they exceed 40 pounds.
…a common miss conception”
Snook can get so big that they appear to have female parts but a male is still just a big fat boy with an attitude. Snook are a favorite of sharks, dolphin (yes as in Flipper) and most anglers nearly fall out of the boat on that first strike. Females usually spawn during a full moon phase to release her eggs and release about two million eggs. The male swims along the female, fertilizing the eggs as they are spawned. First year fish grow to 12 – 14 inches, feed on increasingly larger live prey, and are mostly found in mangroves. These fish are sexually mature in about four years and will grow to about 24 – 26 inches long. Big fish are most active in water temperatures of 68 – 78 degrees.
"a distinctive black lateral line"
This lateral line endows them with an extraordinary ability to feel movement in any water A Snook and teeth, lots of sharp nasty teeth. Snook species are capable of inhabiting both fresh and saltwater. These are ambush feeders and big fish love structure. This sixth sense allows them to find and attack prey in water of low visibility. Fishing in the Everglades is a blast where there are some great areas for locating bigger fish. Our Everglades tour is a beautiful place for a charter and also where we can located some baby Tarpon. In these canals we will often see alligators and salt water crocs no more than a hundred yards apart... as a back-country guide I can tell you this is a rare treasure. As we fish for many species in the lower Everglades you will see dozens of species of water birds and can experience lots of bugs at certain times of the year. I recommend you bring some bug spray just in case.
... sensitive to temperature changes, particularly cold weather
These guys hate temperatures below 60F – at temperatures below 58F they are in danger of dying. How ever larger fish will move to deeper water and be fine but inactive. Snook are ambush feeders and big fish love structure. A big fish is a tough hard fighting gamefish. Brian Helms has been catching these fish since he was 8 years old and has learned all the tricks to find and entice. It is not just claiming to be a guide that gets you on these fish it is the years of experience of your guide that makes the difference.
What to bring?
9-11 wt fly rods – Medium wt spinning gear with 20lb test