Snook are one of the more actively pursued fish in Florida waters—there is a lot more pursuit than catching. They have a disposition similar to a largemouth bass, but are much faster and more powerful. Snook are wary, shy, smart, tricky, finicky, and at times very aggressive feeders. They are masters of their environment and are very adapt at using whatever is available to escape when they are hooked. At times they jump and appear to be able to throw the hook easily while at other times they use their razor sharp gill plates to cut the line and gain freedom. They don't have teeth but they will quickly wear through the toughest of leader materials with their extremely abrasive mouths. It pays to be with an experienced guide when you decide you want to pursue a Snook on light tackle.
Snook will eat just about any kind of bait you can imagine. For pure fun and excitement, nothing will get your adrenalin flowing like a Snook blasting a top-water plug. As crafty as we claim Snook can be, they have one serious weakness; they're suckers for live bait like greenies, sardines and pilchards. They just can't seem to resist, and for this reason most of our trips are done with this live bait.
Snook are a year-round resource, but depending on the time of year they can be plentiful or hard to find. During the summer months from about May through September, Snook can be found in great numbers. Typical trips this time of year will yield good numbers of fish.
Our prime tarpon season is from May through September. On a typical summer morning the air is still, the estuary is full of fish and you see the telltale signs of the Tarpon rolling and gulping air.
Tackle for this kind of fishing is either spin or traditional style reels using 20 pound test line tied to several feet of heavy leader. The large mouth of a tarpon is lined with rock hard bone, and it takes some effort to get penetration of the hook. When the tarpon realizes he his hooked, the battle than ensues with runs and jumps providing an experience of a lifetime for most anglers. A typical angler will be lucky to land a couple of fish out of 5 to 8 hookups. When you jump several tarpon in a morning of fishing, you've had a great day. With some patience, the right guide and equipment, your chances of success is greatly improved.