Spring Snook Fishing - William Toney – Homosassa Florida

March 16, 2021
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Snook fishing has become a popular sport in the past 7 years, with various areas along the Big Bend attracting them. In Homosassa, Florida, artificial lures like soft plastic shrimp and paddle tails work well. Deep, rocky shorelines and tidal flow are ideal targets. Live chumming can also be effective.

Targeting snook on the Big Bend has become a viable species to catch over the past 7 years or so. Each area along the Big Bend has it's own terrain or structure that anglers are catching snook on. They are in the Withalacoochee River, around Ceder Key and I've heard a few being caught around Steinhatchee.

Geographical Variations: The Big Bend's diverse terrain includes the Withlacoochee River, Cedar Key, and Steinhatchee, each offering distinct environments where snook thrive. This variety in habitat requires different strategies and techniques, making the pursuit of snook in this region an exciting challenge for anglers.

Lure Selection: In Homosassa, artificial lures are the go-to choice. The effectiveness of soft plastics and hard baits hinges on their action in the water. Glow and watermelon red flake soft plastic shrimp and paddle tails are particularly effective. Hard baits in silver/black, silver/green, and silver/chartreuse combinations have also proven successful. The use of a 30 lb. fluorocarbon leader is crucial, as snooks' abrasive mouths and gill plates can easily sever thinner lines. While a 20 lb. leader might occasionally suffice, the risk of losing a significant catch is higher.

Ideal Fishing Spots: Creek mouths with deep, rocky shorelines and deep holes with robust tidal flows are prime snook habitats. Timing is essential, with high outgoing tides offering the best chances. On the outside keys, snook migrate inward with incoming tides, gathering around points with hard bottoms. Before the tide strengthens, these fish often linger in deep sand holes.

Tactics and Regulations: Live chumming, a technique popular southward in areas like Tampa Bay and Chokoloskee, can be effective in activating snook bites. Regarding regulations, during the spring season (March/April), anglers must possess a snook stamp to legally retain a snook. The catch limit is one snook per angler, adhering to a slot size of 28" to 33".

Tidal Considerations: For the upcoming weekend, anglers should note that incoming tides will occur late in the evening or early in the morning, impacting snook movement and feeding patterns. This timing plays a crucial role in planning fishing expeditions, as snook behavior is closely tied to tidal cycles.

Additional Tips:
  • Weather Impact: Weather conditions can significantly affect snook behavior. Anglers should monitor weather forecasts closely, as changes in barometric pressure and temperature can influence snook feeding habits.
  • Stealth Approach: Snook can be skittish, so a stealthy approach in shallow waters is recommended. Kayaks or quiet, shallow-draft boats are ideal for navigating these areas.
  • Conservation: Practicing catch-and-release, particularly outside of the slot size, contributes to the sustainability of the snook population, ensuring future generations can enjoy this fishing experience.

By understanding these nuances and adapting to the diverse environments along the Big Bend, anglers can enhance their chances of a successful and rewarding snook fishing experience.

Capt. William Toney

Homosassa Inshore Fishing


Captain William Toney In The Spread, Instructor
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