Snook Fishing Tips

The Best Snook Fishing Tips

Welcome to Apex Fishing Tips, this section of our website is committed to snook fishing. On this web page you'll learn about three species of snook (common, Mexican and tarpon) and snook fishing. The information on this page will help you catch bigger snook, more often, regardless of how many years of fishing experience you might have.

Below you'll find 7 snook fishing tips that will help you catch three different species of snook, specifically the common snook, the Mexican snook and the tarpon snook. Both expert and novice anglers will find our snook fishing tips useful. If you would like to share some snook fishing tips with your fellow anglers, please contact us and share them.

Along with 7 snook fishing tips we're going to educate you on the common snook, the Mexican snook and the tarpon snook. You'll also find the latest all-tackle world fishing records for each of these snook species down below. We've also provided some additional resources on snook fishing and some awesome pictures of snook caught by other anglers.

7 Snook Fishing Tips

  1. If you want to catch snook you need to visit Florida. Some of the best snook fishing is found along the coast of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico. These areas are home to the common snook and a few other snook species. They can also be catch off the coast of Texas, Louisianan, Mississippi and Alabama. However, Florida is the golden standard for snook fishing.
  2. Snooks, like most active and ambush predators, use structure to hunt prey. Use this to your advantage to find locations favorable to snook hunting prey. A lot of anglers like to fish around bridges, docks and piers. Snook like to hang around these during high tide due to the abundance of bait fish. You'll also want to fish channels, mangroves swashes when the tide is high.
  3. Snooks are not picky eaters. That means your choices for live bait are extensive. Generally, any schooling bait fish is good for catching snook, especially pilchards. However, anglers do catch snook using other types of traditional live bait, like shrimp, crabs and squid. Many large snook are caught using large, wounded or dead bait fish, like mullets or ladyfish.
  4. Snooks are a subtropical fish species and that means they prefer warm water. In the winter snook are going to be deep, so you'll want to keep your bait as close to the bottom as possible. In the spring they start to migrate out of the deep and into shallower waters as the summer starts to peak. In the fall they'll start migrating back to their winter retreats and spend their time in the deep warmer waters as winter starts to peak.
  5. Snooks like to feed around dawn and dusk. They start biting an hour before the sun comes up and don't start to slow down until about an hour or two after sunrise. They pick up again about an hour before the sun goes down and don't start to slow down until about an hour or two after sunset. Many anglers swear by night fishing for snook and claim they get the best catches long after sunset, especially around the time when the tide comes in.
  6. A good strategy to catch snook is to locate channel edges accessible from shore or from a boat. Get to these locations during the low tide and position your fishing rig. As the tide comes in the snook will need to pass your fishing rig as they leave the deep channels to feed. Timing is everything, so do your research and make sure you know the tide schedule and the locations of channel edges.
  7. Snook can be a difficult fish to land after you hook one. They can be quite large and have a ton of energy. When you get a snook hooked don't fight it when it runs, this is how they snap your line. Instead, let them run and get tired, when they stop is when you should reel them in. Ensure your line is always tight, snook are known to jump. If your line isn't tight when they jump, you'll lose the fish.

About Snook (Centropomus)

Common Snook (entropomus undecimalis)

Snook is a common name for saltwater fish species that are members of the family Centropomidae. Snook are found it warm waters, notably the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Three common species of snook sought by anglers are the common snook (Centropomus undecimalis), the Mexican snook (Centropomus poeyi) and the tarpon snook (Centropomus pectinatus).

All species of snook are carnivorous and have a diet that commonly consists of fish, shrimp and crustaceans. Coloration of snook varies by species and the waters in which they live in. However, all species of snook have a black lateral line along their body. Some of the best live bait to catch snook is shrimp, grunts, scaled sardines and ladyfish. Snooks off the coast of the United States are heavily regulated with creel and size limits.

Snook Fishing Records

The below International Game Fish Association (IGFA) snook world fishing records are up to date as of 2019.

Snook Fishing Pictures

A common snook caught while fishing

A picture of a common snook (C. undecimalis) caught on a fishing trip.
(Credit: FWC / Flickr)

A mexican snook caught while fishing

A picture of a mexican snook (C. Poeyi) caught on a fishing trip.
(Credit: kevin.pieto / Flickr)

A tarpon snook caught while fishing

A picture of a tarpon snook (C. pectinatus) caught on a fishing trip.
(Credit: Chip Mayhugh / Flickr)

Snook Fishing Resources