Facts About the Snook Fish
If you’re thinking about taking a trip to the Florida Flats to enjoy the fishing that can be found there, then you’re probably already familiar with the common snook. It is one of the most popular specimens for anglers in the area, as it can be found in a wide variety of environments. It’s possible to catch them with traditional tackle, deep sea gear, and fly fishing equipment.
Fishing Snook for Sport and Food
One of the most popular reasons for anglers to seek out the common snook is the legendary fight it puts up. This fish is rather lively, often refusing to give up. Many fishermen will scoop it up with a net once it is reeled in, as it’s still fighting even after thirty minutes or more.
Snook are known for their long runs, which can cause inexperienced fisherman to lose them entirely. Be sure to leave plenty of slack on the line while your snook is pulling to avoid this rookie mistake. It’s also likely that your snook will jump out of the water while you’re fighting it. Don’t worry, though, as it’s unlikely for this magnificent feat to break the line. Simply enjoy it for what it is.
Another popular reason for fishing snook is that it is illegal to buy or sell them. The only way to taste snook meat is to catch one. Thankfully the flavor is worth the effort, and the common snook is known throughout the Florida flats as one of the most delicious species. Be wary, though, of how you clean the fish. The snook is often referred to as the soapfish, as improperly cleaned catches can have a soapy taste to their flesh.
Appearance, Behavior, and Habitat of the Snook
The snook is, by no means, a gorgeous fish. It is rather common in appearance. It has a forehead that slopes down to a large mouth. The lower jaw protrudes. It has a yellow pelvic fin, a high dorsal fin, and a distinct line running laterally down its side. One interesting fact of note is that the common snook grows to be much larger than all other species of snook. The largest ever caught in Florida weight over 44 pounds.
They can often be found with their mouths oriented towards moving water. They swim against the current with their mouths open, hoping to catch fish swimming downstream. They may also jump clear out of the water, as mentioned above, for unknown reasons. The largest specimens are only able to clear about half of their bodies.
The common snook can be found in virtually every environment in the Florida flats, including deep water, estuaries, streams, rivers, and the surf. You may find them in schools in open water or swimming alone. They can be fished from these different environments with a variety of methods, including traditional tackle and fly fishing techniques. They’re one of the most popular fish for angling expeditions, as the baits and techniques used to catch them are similar to the redfish, which is another popular species for sport fishing.