What's hot: Looming temperature drops will have snook seeking warmer water. As cold fronts make their way through and water temperatures plummet, snook will move into deeper pockets that do not cool as fast. They also will be found around structures that hold heat such as natural limestone rock, seawalls, dock or bridge pilings and dark muddy bottoms. The best time to target winter snook is at night because they will be grouped up in warm water waiting for an easy meal.
Tactics: The best areas to fish will be protected from the wind and have minimal water flow, accessible pockets of deeper water, a dark bottom and a structure. Make multiple casts, and use a slower retrieve. Winter snook are lethargic because of slow metabolism. You also can troll in larger areas of deeper water such as a river or arroyo. These include the Anclote and Cottee.
Tackle: Most winter snook fishing is done with light spin outfits or conventional bait casters. The most popular baits include rattle traps, slow-diving plugs and soft, plastic jigs. Artificial lures are generally used with this type of fishing, though a live shrimp usually will not be turned down.
Seth Leto runs Pristine Fishing Charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 385-0382.