My story on spring snook for the Snook & Gamefish Foundation.
Spring has arrived, which means longer days, warmer water, less wind, and with a little luck, more snook.
The key is to be flexible. Typically, snook move from the backcountry, to the flats and then to the beaches from season to season. Perhaps that pattern is an oversimplification — inlets and passes and offshore wrecks come into play — but for the recreational fisherman, those three spots are the ones to focus on.
Since spring is a transitional season between winter’s chill and summer’s swelter, the challenge is to find which of those three locations — the backcountry, the flats or the beach — produces. And it’s not an exact science. A few years ago, I tried a formulaic approach, but found myself exasperated after consecutive fishless trips, so I called a guide friend of mine for moral support. His explanation: “Fish move.”
And so they do. Here’s a few tips to help you figure out where spring snook should be in the state of Florida, depending on where you live and the conditions, and how to catch them.
My story for the Snook & Gamefish Foundation on the Joe Bay Fisheries Project. Enjoy.
It’s now 2017, and the Snook & Gamefish Foundation Angler Action Program continues to grow. The electronic-logging program for fishermen has been used in state-wide stock assessments for snook, trout and redfish since its inception six years ago. But Angler Action is more than just a tool to assess the population for a particular species of fish. It’s now a big part of a study in the Everglades.
Joe Bay, a chunk of water on the northeastern shore of Florida Bay, which has been recently re-opened to fishing after nearly 40 years of closure, is the focal point of a comprehensive study to evaluate the impact of the no-fishing edict.
Since 1980 until late 2016, Joe Bay was off limits to fishing due to declining American Crocodile populations in the area. However, the American Croc, once endangered, has since rebounded and the no-motor area was re-opened to fishing in November of last year, which led to the Joe Bay Fisheries Project, headed by Florida International University Associate Professor Jennifer Rehage.
The FWC recently passed legislation that provides protection for South Florida barracuda. The Snook & Gamefish Foundation and the Lower Keys Guides Association were instrumental in getting these regulations approved. Well done.
My story for the Snook & Gamefish Foundation
Admit it. Anyone who’s caught a snook probably has dreamed of owning a Hell’s Bay or Maverick skiff with all the goodies, but it’s tough to write that big check, and all boats —it doesn’t matter if it’s a Gheenoe or a Hewes—continue to cost money, long after the initial purchase.
There’s no cheaper alternative than fishing on foot. You can walk the beach, hit the pier or wade the flats. All are viable options to pursue the linesider of a lifetime. All you need is basic fly or spinning gear and the motivation to find quality water. Below is a breakdown of some of your best bets along the Treasure Coast – what you need and how to fish each type of water.