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Snook Fishing on Florida's Mosquito Lagoon

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Snook Fishing At Sebastian Inlet

World Famous Snook Fishing in Florida

Friday April 29, 2016

Sebastian Inlet is renowned for some of the best snook fishing in the continent of the United States. Federal and State laws have protected the snook from over harvesting with management and enforcement as numbers are close to their natural condition prior commercial harvesting in the 1950's and early 60's.  Snook have become the highest ranked and most prestigious inshore gamefish in Florida as a difficult quarry and a tasty set of fillets over other several other inshore species like sea trout, redfish, tarpon and jacks. During the year you'll find anglers drifting baits and lures in the inlet current from the rocky and mangrove shorelines to jetties and catwalks. Angling from a boat in Sebastian Inlet is the preferred method for guiding on the inlet and night drifting is often very productive way to catch world class snook and tasty seafood for the table.

Where Are
Sebastian Snook?

Every angler wants to know the answer to this question and the answer lies in the season, water temperature and food source for these gamefish. Sebastian Inlet itself is a gateway between the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Knowing when are where the snook spawn is a major step in the right direction for an angler to find fish. Snook spawn on the beaches near and around the mouth of inlets. Some snook will find solitude miles from an inlet or Port but the lionshare will not stray too far from the inlet mouth. Snook spawn during the summer months of June thru August and then rush to the nearest food source to catch up on the fall bait runs before hunkering down in the leaner winter months. With this information at hand, anglers can often predict and follow the movements of snook in their seasonal places. Sebastian Inlet is known for fall snook fishing from September to December. During the summer you can often catch them around the mouth of the inlet and beaches. Wintertime is a tough time for snook at the inlet itself and it's often better to fish the Sebastian River.

When Can You Catch
Sebastian Inlet Snook?

The best time to catch a Sebastian Inlet snook is from May till mid December in the Inlet itself. Snook are tropical and barely sub-tropical fish that have difficulty surviving water temperatures less than 60° and often have to migrate southward toward Jupiter Inlet eighty miles south to the Loxahatchee River or milder temperature Intracoastal Waterways and inlets to combat the colder Central Florida winters. Other snook seem to tough it out in the Sebastian River and are difficult to target during the winter unless the temperatures are mild. The "short of it" is that snook in the Sebastian area are targeted mainly in the warmer times of the year late spring thru the mid to late fall depending on the approaching winter temperatures.

What Do You Catch
Sebastian Inlet Snook on?

White baits or Pilchards for bait

Snook eat anything when the moment's right! In many of Florida's inlets you'll observe large schools of snook laying headlong in the current waiting for the right moment to feed. When snook want to be finicky it can be frustrating and unrewarding for anglers, but a knowledgeable snook expert knows that it's just the matter of timing and often waits for that certain time period and tide that will turn them on. Casting from the shoreline with bucktail jigs or large swimming lures is very productive in the fall and knowing how to present a jig is deadly during the early falling tide. Drifting in a boat with live bait is extremely productive but experienced local knowledge is required to do night drifts in the swift inlet currents with multiple boats around. One of the best baits to use during the day for inshore of the inlet is the abundant pilchards that can be used to chum up even the finickiest snook often.

Snook are inshore fish with an attitude. They are generally a golden yellow in color with a dark black lateral line (stripe) running the length of their body. Their mouth is similar to a large mouth bass' size & shape, yet their gills are razor sharp so watch out when handling these guys.

Most anglers don't know about or haven't caught the four species of snook in Florida. In East Central Florida waters we have alot of common and fat snook. The tarpon and swordspine are more frequent in South Florida.

Snook are revered as one of the most prestigious fish to catch, partly because they tend to be finicky about how and when they will approach a presented bait but mostly because of their fighting tactics (which seem unfair). But if you want to tangle with a fish thats' bound and determined to give you a brutal fight... SNOOK is your fish.

Varieties of Snook Species in the Atlantic
Common Snook
Fat Snook
Tarpon Snook
SwordSpine Snook

From central Florida south, usually INSHORE in coastal and brackish waters, along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges; also on reefs and pilings NEARSHORE. They are usually low-light or nocturnal feeders so get up early or fish at night for these large inshore preditors.

Snook fishing in East Central Florida is most often during the late spring, summer and fall months and starts to fade into the colder winter months. Typically during the winter months snook either head south or look for backwater areas where the water temperatures are move favorable. Don't look for snook to be active feeders during the winter months of January - March unless we have prolonged warm fronts or indian summers that bring the snook into a more active feeding cycle. During the spring snook are migrating toward their summer June-August spawning grounds along the beaches near inlets and ports. Snook often stage between their winter holdouts and the spawning grounds on spoil islands, docks and structure before heading out to meet their mates on the beach.

Late summer and fall produce some of the best fishing for snook at locations like Sebastian Inlet, Port Canaveral or Cocoa Beach.

Backwater snook can be fished for with a wide variety of artificials from jerk baits to top waters and plugs, much like bass anglers do around shorelines and structure including mangroves, stumps, docks, etc...

Saltwater flats often hold nice sized snook, look for baitfish, nearby structure including dropoffs or mangrove shorelines or docks. Fish for flats snook with live bait like pilchards or greenies or subtle shrimp or baitfish imitations. Remember that snook like the comfort of structure and can feel vulnerable in the open flat. Often snook have to be excited with live chum to get them to cooperate in open water flats.

Inlet fishing is usually done at night with livebait by drifting during the preferred tide phase (usually outgoing) or throwing plugs like bombers, rapalas or other baitfish imitations. This type of fishing is not for the novice and can be very challenging on the angler. You often break off and must have above average skills when fishing in heavy currents at night during the outgoing tides and fall swells.

Snook spawn primarily in summer; cannot tolerate water temperatures below 60 degrees F; can tolerate wholly fresh or saltwater; schools along shore and in passes during spawning season; feeds on fish and large crustaceans.

Remarks

Snook in East Central Florida have many different habitats and conditions that make them a great target for anglers looking for variable ways to catch this elusive fish. Juvenile fish can be caught in the estuaries, canals and backwater areas almost all year long. While not as prestigious as large breeder snook, they are non-the-less enjoyable to catch and will bite on everything from baitcasters to flyrods and everything between. Juvenile snook are suckers for artificial's and readily take live bait as well.

Big breeding snook spawn on or near the beaches of Central Florida and always have a passageway or access to the beaches or inlets available to them. The only time a breeder snook is generally caught in the backwaters here is because it's a cooler transitional time period usually. Canaveral snook spend their winter months in the Port under docks, wharfs and around other structure like boats and pilings. You often see them hanging around the lights at night in small and large schools. Sebastian Inlet Snook are caught in the inlet itself during the summer and fall months and many of the larger snook migrate south to Jupiter Inlet or hunker down in the fresh warmer water of the Sebastian River a short distance away.

Articles and Photos about Snook

Sebastian Inlet Snook Fishing
Catching Breeding Snook on the Beach Video
Port Canaveral Snook Fishing
IGFA World Record Sized Snook
Night Snook Fishing in Port Canaveral
Double Hookup Snook
Beach Snook From Boat
Kids Catch Snook
Big Snook On Beach
Father Son Snook Fishing
Mosquito Lagoon Snook
Daytona Snook Fishing
Orlando Snook Fishing
Indian River Snook Fishing
Canaveral Snook Fishing
Indian River Snook Guide
Cocoa Beach Snook Fishing
Mosquito Lagoon Snook Fishing
Orlando Snook Fishing Charters
Indian River Snook Fishing

Regulations

Not less than 28" or more than 32" Atlantic - Not less than 28" or more than 33" Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park

Season Closed December 15th thru January 31st & June thru August on the Atlantic Coast.
Decemeber thru February & May thru August on the Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades National Park

State Record

44 Pounds, 3 Ounces

Snook Fishing

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: December 11 2015 18:01:49.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

April showers bring May flowers and the redfish in April of 2016 have been flooding the flats as the water is warmed by the Florida sunshine blasting the shallow water flats. Cold winter weather is finally starting to leave us and on nice days we've seen some awesome fishing for giant redfish in smaller to medium sized schools in the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River north of Titusville. Redfish are notorious for gathering up during the transition months into the summer and April is not disapointing any of my anglers. We've had days where there are redfish targets less than 100 feet from each other and if you didn't get a cast on the last one or blew the fish out, all you had to do is wait and another opportunity would present itself shortly. Since this is a Mosquito Lagoon report I'm only gonna mention here that you need to checkout the Indian River and Canaveral Fishing Reports about the Tripletail and Cobia catches. They're a great alternative for the flats fishing.

Spring of 2016 has the college kids coming to our area for a fun fishing trip with their family or friends. April is the last month before they hit the books again and it's a perfect opportunity to take advantage of what East Central Florida's Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River have to offer. Call (321) 868-4953 to set up a spring break fishing trip for you or your favorite college friend today.

Fishing Forecast

April Offshore Forecast

Where are the snook in April?

Snook can often be found between their winter hideaways and summer spawning grounds on the beach. Making their way up the intracoastal or Indian River Lagoon near islands, sandbars, canals and grassflats. Spring is the time for shallow water anglers to get excited about catching breeder sized snook in shallow water as they make their way toward the inlets and out to the beach.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
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Inshore Charter Fishing in the Banana River Lagoon near Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

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