Snook are widely known as a popular gamefish that is targeted here in Florida. When you think snook, you think Florida, but not all of Florida’s waterways hold this popular species. Along the Gulf of Mexico, snook can be found as far north as the Yankeetown area. This is due to the freshwater springs that run off into the gulf and provide enough warmth for these tropical water dwelling species to winter over in. Also known as linesiders, due to their notable lateral line, these fish do spend some of their juvenile life in low-salinity waters. This is why the Tampa Bay area of Florida is home to some of the more popular snook fishing within the state.
Tampa Bay is fed in large part by a few freshwater river systems: the Hillsborough River, the Alafia River, the Manatee River and the Little Manatee River. These freshwater rivers empty into Tampa Bay and help create estuaries that play a vital role into the snook population and longevity. Juvenile snook, once born will migrate into the brackish water where they will thrive and mature. Once mature and ready to spawn, they will make their way into the high density saltwater where they will reproduce. That time is now.
Snook come nearshore in high-salinity areas to spawn during the months of July and August. This is a great time to target the big mommas and catch your personal best snook. Snook season is closed in the Tampa Bay area until the end of August for spawning purposes, so any fish that are caught must be handled with care and released immediately and unharmed. That’s ok though, because pictures speak a thousand words.
There are a number of ways to target these drag ripping gamefish. Live greenbacks are a solid choice for this time of year, but when you’re hunting those monster females, cut threadfin is the go-to bait. They just can’t help themselves and will devour that bait time and time again. That’s something that will never get old.
Captain Jason Prieto is a full time captain and has been fishing the waters of Tampa Bay since he was a kid. He is a native Floridian and would love to share his knowledge and experience through his charters. If you are interested in booking a trip you can reach him at 813-727-9890 or here. You can also catch his latest fishing reports by tuning into his radio program Tampa Fishing Outfitter Radio Show on 1040 NBC sports Sundays from 8 to 9AM or on our Facebook live feed Tampa Fishing Outfitter Radio.