Snook fishing has come a long way since the kill of 2010. Tampa Bay hosts some of the best fishing in the entire coast. The bay is lined with miles of
backcountry and rivers that serve as a great nursery. These rivers and creeks offer a great food source and also help protect smaller Snook from predatory fish. Tampa Bay is a great destination to come and fish. I’m hopeful that we will be able to give you
some tips to make your next trip on the water a good one.
When targeting Snook in Tampa Bay educating yourself on their patterns will give you an idea where to start targeting fish. Snook are very predictable
as long as you know some of the key elements. The most important would have to be water temperature. This will move Snook to certain areas based on the temperature.This might seem complicated but it’s really not. Here is a recipe for finding Snook almost year
round. Winter time Snook fishing is typically around the rivers and residential canals as these areas provide warmer water. Spring and Fall fish move onto the flats and backcountry. This time of year is awesome as fish are typically very hungry and active.
Summer time is the time of year that Snook spawn. Snook fishing leading into the spawn can produce some big hungry breeders as they tend to fatten up leading into the spawn. Following this pattern every year will give you a very good idea as to where to start
your day fishing.
Type of bait would be the next big step towards catching Snook on a regular basis. Snook are primarily a live bait targeted fish and Tampa Bay has an abundance
of live bait.In this area bait of choice would have to be Greenbacks and just like the pattern mentioned above for Snook bait will follow a pattern throughout the year. During the cooler months greenbacks tend to move to deeper water so you will catch bait
around the towers and bridges. During this time of year using a good sonar like the Simrad 12 with structure scan technology will help locate bait around the deeper markers. You will also want to throw a big cast net with enough weight to sink. (Humpback castnet
is a decent choice). This will make bait easier in the winter. During the summer months bait is typically all over the flats just bring chum. If you want to throw artificial baits you can’t go wrong with any of the Mirrolure Mirrodine Baits. I also like using
the Zman paddle tail baits in the winter time.
Last would be where to fish. There is an old saying that I heard as a kid and is so true. They say 90 percent of fish are caught in 10 percent of the area.
This is so true, the key is finding the 10 percent and the of the area. I’ve spent many years finding areas that have fish and every year these spots vary depending on the weather but typically these spots will hold fish year after year. When trying to find
areas that are productive can be at times a pain and seem overwhelming but not impossible. Here are some key areas to start. Snook are ambush predator fish so this means you want to find areas with good tidal flow. These same areas typically will have cuts
and troughs and fish will be in these areas. Oyster bars and potholes are also great areas to look for Snook. During the summer months try and look towards the passes, spoil islands, and beaches. The last task would be finding which tide will be most productive
in that particular spot.
Last is tackle. I often see people use gear on the flats that is just too big. Daiwa J braid 15 lb spooled up on Daiwa 2500 Saltist matched up to a St
Croix Avid 8 foot Spinning rod is the all around perfect combo. Match this with 30lb fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook and you are ready for action for just about any Snook fishing Tampa Bay has to offer.. Tightlines!