Fishing from land, whether it’s a beach, a dock, or a river bank, is in some ways an entirely different style of fishing. Snook fishing from the beach is no exception. In the Southern reaches of the United States, the spawning season for snook can begin as early as May and increase when summer is at its peak. Keep reading to learn how to capitalize on the behavior of snook during this time of the year.
When snook are in spawn mode, they move closer to land and set up shop among the inlets. During this time, they tend to prowl the nearby beaches for prey, sometimes even swimming within a few feet of the water’s edge. This is perfect for shore anglers looking to reel in snook this summer because the clear waters of these beaches allow for amazing sight fishing opportunities. When the waters or skies aren’t clear, however, and sight fishing proves difficult, keep an eye out for ripples in the water where baitfish are congregating. Also, be sure to follow the movements of any birds hovering above the water, as this usually means baitfish, which usually means predator fish, as well.
As with any form of sight-fishing, angling for snook from the beach requires a bit of stealth. You’ll want to make sure the sun is behind you and you’ll need to make sure to keep your profile small by staying low. Furthermore, try to refrain from fast movements, making noise, or churning up a lot of water. The key is not alarming the fish and reading their position before they see you. Once you learn how to read their path and present the bait where they’ll be, you’ll be in good shape. You do this just like a quarterback leads a wide receiver; cast the bait ahead of the fish’s path and reel it towards you so that its retrieval crosses the snook. Try not to drop a lure right on the fish’s head, as this is the quickest way to spook any fish.
Spawning snook usually fall within the 6-8 pound size range, but it’s not uncommon for beach anglers to hook into large females. For this reason, you’ll need to be prepared with the right tackle. Fluorocarbon leader is a good idea, and most will do just fine with leader around 30 pounds. Clear monofilament is also a good bet, as the waters will tend to be clear and the less visible the line, the better. Minnow baits, such as swimbaits and flukes, are great along the beach, as are bucktail jogs and shrimp imitators. Stick with visible colors, especially during days when cloud cover reduces the visibility, and you’ll be pleased with the results.
Really, the keys to beach fishing for spawning snook are to know where to look and how to present your lure to such a jumpy species. Walk the beach a bit and look for signs of fish on the prowl. Amber-tinted polarized glasses will make it easier to see among the waters and a good light tackle setup will prepare you for a fun morning of snook fishing. Not only is snook fishing an exciting aspect of Southern angling, but standing in the waters while doing so is a great way to stay cool in the sun!
courtesy of Sean McNally