What's hot: The daytime snook bite has slowed a bit, but the nighttime bite continues to be hot. Remember, snook remain off limits for harvest in Gulf of Mexico, Everglades National Park and Monroe County waters, so they must be released. Snook can be seen spawning during the afternoon outgoing tide. The fish will drop into deeper water after they finish the spawn, and as the sun starts to set they feed aggressively. Snook feed throughout the night, although the best bite will be during the first hours before and after the tide turns.
Tactics: Snook can be found in deeper cuts along the beach and in the passes leading out from the Intercoastal Waterway to the gulf. For the bigger snook, try using a hand-size pinfish, mullet or threadfin herring, and concentrate on the passes. Look for an area of good moving water that is diverted by structure, such as a point, jetty or bridge piling. The biggest concentrations of fish will be in the eddies formed by swift-moving current that passes around the structure. Cast your bait up current and let it drift naturally with the tide.
Tackle: When fishing the beach, all that is needed is a 10- to 12-pound spinning outfit, a piece of 30-pound leader and a hook to match the size of the bait. When fishing around bridge or dock pilings, beef up the tackle. Use 30- to 50-pound braid on a large spin or conventional outfit, a piece of 48-pound test leader and a thicker gauge hook. If the current is too strong, use a little weight to slow the bait down during its drift.
Seth Leto charters out of Tarpon Springs and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 385-0382.
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