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J. Addington On May - 10 - 2011

  If you love snook fishing, or want to try it for the first time, there is no better way then to hit Tampa Bay for your trophy fish. For many anglers snook are a species of fish they find unpredictable and hard to catch and so they mistakenly think only pros can catch them or the occasional lucky fisherman. The irony is the elusiveness of the snook is also what accounts for why the snook is probably the most coveted inshore species of fish in the Tampa Bay area.

  If you are planning on getting out to catch one of these linesiders then here are some tips you’ll need.  I know if you put them into practice, using patience and fishing the right holes, you will catch plenty of these rod-benders.

  When to catch snook in Tampa Bay:
  Late Spring, Early Summer. Full moon in May typically starts snook fishing in earnest around Tampa Bay but sometimes cannot get fully going until June. Be sure to follow FWC regulations (see here)!

  Where and What to catch snook with in Tampa Bay:
  Deeper pot holes on the flats and around mangroves with a live shrimp, white bait or pinfish. Artificials are also good, particularly using a D.O.A. shrimp or Mirro Lure. Deep passes and spill ways also turn out some big snook.

  Snook not only gang up in the major passes during this time, but also school heavily in much smaller channels and nearly anywhere there are strong tides. Snook sometimes gather around the channels between small bayous and larger bays in surprising numbers. For example the Port Manatee channel is famous for producing lots of big snook.

  Feel free to browse some of our snook hot spots here.

  Also, when you catch one here’s a great recipe!

  Have a question? Post a comment and I’ll be happy to answer it…


  • The Cyber Angler

    What I want to know is where you caught those two you’re holding.

    • J.S. Addington

      Palma Sola Bay. There’s a cut in the northeast corner that few know exists. The channel is only about 15 ft wide and from a distance of 200 yards or more it’s completely concealed by the mangroves. You have to wade fish it to find it or have scouted it by boat.

      The channel isn’t big but at high tide the water can get as deep as 6-8ft (I know because I had to swim it once and I’m 6’1).

      When I caught those two I’m holding I was wade fishing and heard a ruckus behind me about 8pm. I was going to pack it in because the mosquitos were bad but when I heard the familiar sounds of baitfish trying to catch air I had to investigate. Good thing I did because I could have tossed a butt naked hook in that channel that night and caught a plumpy. They were eating almost anything I could throw at them and 90% of the time running me right up in the mangroves and breaking me off. I ran through all my DOA’s and a half a bag of paddle tales and caught 6 nice one’s in about 45 minutes and then, as soon as it started, they seemed to stop feeding.

      • The Cyber Angler

        Just looked PSB up on the map and it’s a long drive for me so I’ll just have to take your word on this one, J. Sounds promising though and it is weird how some of the best fishing we do is really just being in the right spot at the right time with the right gear.

  • Bill Stevenson

    Jeff, we cleaned house at Weedon Island with8 reds and some truot. Awsome dude

  • J.S. Addington

    Really? That IS awesome. Glad the hot spot worked out for you. I have to thank my buddy Rick for showing me that one and being able to share it.