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Snook fishing in the summer has to be one of my favorite and they have always held a special place with me as this was by far my favorite fish to target. As many know I have fished the South Shore of Tampa Bay since I was a kid and it is home to some of the best Snook fishing in the West Central area. Summer This time of year you can expect plenty of smaller fish but the number of fish has been astonishing. Smaller bait on the flats requires you to use a 10 ¼ inch mesh net.  Bait is small this time of year but very plentiful.  Don’t spend the entire day looking for bigger bait. The key is to get out early and get back around noon. Anything on the flats after that is just too hot. Fishing on the outer flats in the deeper potholes with good tidal flow is the key as these areas that hold plenty of bait and cooler water. 
I have had great success using the Cajun Thunder Back Bay Floats for Snook. They give you an added weight to make longer casts since bait is so small. Also downsizing your hook to a #1 Daiichi circle will be a perfect match for Snook fishing in the summer. The bigger fish are going to be lazy and you will not catch them in numbers but they can be targeted and caught with the right techniques with baits and a lot of patience.  Big Snook are around some of the Spoil Islands, Rocky Banks, wrecks  and Docks just to name a few.  The key once you have found them is getting them to bite. For years I always asked myself what is there bait of choice? Why won’t they eat?  Truth is after days on the water and hours of studying the patterns I have come to the conclusion that they don’t feed often but when they do it’s something easy to catch and something BIG. I have had great success using dead bait soaked on the bottom. It’s a very boring way to fish and you are going to catch a ton of junk fish (Catfish, Stingrays, ect.) but at the the end of the day you will be increasing your odds of getting that trophy Snook you have always wanted.
Areas to start looking consist of everywhere mentioned above but you have to find the areas that hold the big girls. Typically they hang together and if you are fishing the smaller fish they are way more aggressive and will beat them to the bait. It’s also a good idea to bump up your tackle to the medium sized stuff (Daiwa BG 4000 with a St Croix 8 Foot Medium Heavy Rod) especially when you are fishing in areas with structure.  This means bumping up you line and hooks as well 3/0 Daiichi circle hook matched to 50lb Fins Braided line and 40 to 50 lb Fluorocarbon line.  
Last tip is to fish the better tide of the month. A lot of things are not predictable but tides are. You want to target BIG Snook around the New and Full Moons and you will definitely have more success catching these trophy Snook. If you would like to get out and do some Snook fishing with me feel free to give me a call on my cell at 813-727-9890 or check out my website at Tightlines!
Captain Jason Prieto is a native resident of Tampa and has fished Tampa Bay and its surrounding waters for the past 20 years. He is owner and operator of Steady Action Fishing Charters which is based out of  Tampa Bay. To book a charter, you can reach him at 813-727-9890 or If you would like to catch him on the radio tune into Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show on Face book Live and You tube! Every Wednesday evening at 6 to 7 Pm