Snook can be found in all of the salt and brackish waters in Central Florida. The three smaller species (swordspine, fat, and tarpon) and many of the small “common” snook prefer to hide in backwater creeks and canals throughout the Indian and Banana River lagoons from Sebastian northward to Oak Hill. Larger “common” snook tend to gravitate toward the inlets and beaches near Cape Canaveral and Sebastian. The most exciting time of the year to fish for snook is during the “Fall Mullet Run” that occurs along our Atlantic Coast beaches starting in late August. Millions of these small baitfish migrate southward at this time of the year and the snook are right on their tails feeding with reckless abandon. When the snook group up to attack the mullet schools It is one of the most visual feeding frenzies that you will ever experience, and almost every cast is met with an arm jarring strike. This baitfish migration is usually over by mid-November, at that time the snook fishing slows down considerably.
Smaller snook (15 to 22 inches) are excellent targets for spin and fly fisherman using light tackle. These fish usually feed aggressively on small minnow or shrimp imitations throughout the morning and evening periods. This is an excellent species for beginning and intermediate fly anglers to target as well and fly fisherman often will out fish anglers using artificial or live offerings.
Eight to twelve-pound class spinning outfits are the most popular type of gear to use for small snook. Fly fisherman usually prefer 5 to 7 weight gear. A variety of live and artificial offering will tempt snook, but it’s hard to beat a small topwater plug or popping bug during early morning periods. Snook smash these with reckless abandon, often jumping completely out of the water to pursue these lures. Larger specimens (24 to 40 inches) usually hang around docks, piers and rock jetties where 15 to 30-pound class tackle is usually needed. Snook in the 10 to 20-pound range eat much larger baits and lures such as pinfish, 8 to 12-inch mullet, croakers, and large lipped diving plugs or 1/2 to 1-ounce jigs.