Saturday, March 17, 2018

Captain's Corner: Head to beaches for snook

What's hot: Big snook are showing up along the beaches. As the winds and seas calmed down after last week's heavy winds, the water near the barrier island beaches cleared up. The improved visibility revealed schools of snook sitting in shallow water. Perhaps most notable was the willingness of the larger fish to bite. They tend to be quite finicky.

Tips: To target beach snook, you need to see them. There is a lot of empty shoreline. So walking the beach or idling the edge in a boat while scanning the water allows you to put your bait where the fish are. Many fish will be cruising over the sand a few feet from dry land. When over the white bottom, they will change the shade of their body to very light in order to blend in. It can be difficult to see them until it's too late and they spook off. Give each "maybe" a cast just in case. Often, it will turn out to be a snook. Any aberration in the sandy bottom close to the beach also is a potential snook spot. Downed trees, rocks, breakwaters and jetties are potential gathering spots. There, the fish are afforded some cover from predators. Another place to find morning beach snook is in the shadows of trees or buildings. Early in the day, when the sun is low in the east, these shadows extend out into the water, and the fish will gather in them.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at (727) 944-3474.


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