Snook is a special species of fish that most saltwater fly anglers are fond of due to their unique characteristics. Commonly found in South Florida, snook is known to be a smart fish species that presents a great fight before you catch them.
They are picky eaters making them unpredictable. Their unpredictability makes catching them an exciting challenge for every fly fisherman. Snook can be found in different locations and can be caught all year long.
In this article, we will provide a detailed guide and useful tips to help you fly fishing for snook.
Best Locations For Fly Fishing For Snook
One of the best things about fly fishing for snook is that these fish species are well distributed. This means you can find snook in different locations at different times of the year.
In this section, we will discuss the type of snook that you can find in different locations. We will also discuss the best fishing techniques for specific locations.
Fly Fishing for Snook On Grass Flats
The best thing about fly fishing for snook on grass flats is that snook is available almost throughout the year. The prime temperature for fishing snook on grass flats is 72 degrees.
The best way to have an enjoyable snook fly fishing experience on the flats is to cast your fly at dawn and sunset and sight fish when the sunlight is up. Grass flats with potholes are sure to hold baitfish, so you will likely find snook there.
Florida bay has a lot of grass flats where you can fly fish for snook successfully. Other locations include Pine Island Sound, Sarasota Bay, and Tampa Bay. The best flies for fishing snook on grass flats are bend backs, and shrimp pattern flies.
Fly Fishing for Snook in the Backcountry
For many fly anglers, fishing for snook in the backcountry provides the opportunity to catch trophy snook. Some of the best locations for fly fishing snook in the backcountry include Whitewater Bay, Indian River Lagoon, St Lucie Rivers, and The Ten Thousand Islands.
In the backcountry, snook can be found feeding under the mangroves or down the oyster bars. The best time to way to catch them is to cast your fly when the water is moving.
As such, a falling tide presents the best opportunity to catch snook, as they usually go after forage fish at this time.
Beach snook fishing is the most popular form of fly fishing for snook among anglers. The reason for the popularity of this form of fly fishing is snook is the availability of big snooks on the beach.
All you have to do is to get your presentation right and cast at the right time, and you can be sure to catch enough beach snook. Just like fishing on grass flats, beach snook fishing is best done at dawn or sunset. On the other hand, sight fishing can be done when the sun is up.
The spawning period between June and early October is the best time for beachgoers to catch snook. It is best to cast from dry sand during periods of high tide. Otherwise, wading out into the water is better. You can be sure to find surf snook cruising through the troughs nearby.
Fishing Docks and Bridges
While this is not a popular spot for many fly anglers, you can also find snook in areas close to docks and bridges. Docks and bridges that are located near a pass or inlet are regarded as snook central.
This is because moving tides carry food to these structures, causing snook to be gathered there. While both docks and bridges hold big fish, the bigger snook can be found around bridges.
Best Time To Go Fly Fishing for Snook
As mentioned earlier, snook can be fished almost all through the year. However, as the year is broken into different seasons, it is important to prepare for behavioral changes from the snook.
If you are looking to catch snook at a period when they are most active, then you should target them in mid-June.
This is a period when they go after croakers and small baitfish, so you should match this with small flies. You are most likely to find snook in the bays and flats from April to July.
In July, the bigger baitfish enter the bigger shoals, thereby attracting big snook. With the availability of bigger snook, you will require larger and heavier flies for this period.
In August, the large females feed in preparation for the spawning season. During this period, it is easy to find the smaller male snook as they swim close to the females.
Fly Fishing Gear for Snook
Without the right gear, you will have a difficult time fishing for snook. This is why it is important to be intentional about the gear that you choose for fishing snook.
An eight or 9-weight fast-action rod is suitable for fly fishing for snook. With this rod size, you can cast small baitfish while still having enough weight to deal with large snook and strong breeze.
For your fly reel, it is best to go with something that has a good drag. This will help you deal with larger snooks that pull hard. If you are beach fishing for snook, then your reel should be loaded with an intermediate line.
If you intend to fish deep into the water, then a slow sinking line works just fine. Be sure to add a leader and tippet to your fly line.
Other fly fishing gear that you should have to include a cooler box, polarized glasses, wading boots, and a fly pack. A raincoat and flask of hot tea can also be useful on cold days.
Tips For Fly Fishing Snook
Below are some useful tips that will help you to have a successful session fly fishing for snook.
Choose The Right Gear
Choosing the right gear increases your chances of catching snook on the fly. Invest heavily in your fly rod and reel, as they have a great impact on how well you cast.
Snook can be quite picky, so you want to make sure that you choose the right flies at all times. Some of the best flies for snook include glass minnows, bend backs, shrimp, divers, and muddlers.
Choosing the suitable flies for the time of the day is crucial. On cloudy days, it is best to cast dark flies. On days with good sunlight, cast flies with bright colors.
Your presentation has to be near perfect in order to catch the attention of snook. Make sure to lead the fight enough and pull hard once they bite.
Care for the fish and keep them inside the water at all times. Taking them out of the water increases the risk of leaving them injured or dead.
Fishing for snook with the right gear will afford you a great fishing experience. Make sure to go dressed for the occasion in order to ensure your safety and protection. In addition, make sure to have fun and take pictures of all your best catch.