Snook - Winter Lure Fishing Techniques with William Toney

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Instructor: William Toney

Snook fishing presents challenges, including snook preferences, lure selection, and the cold air and water of winter. Capt. William Toney, a snook fishing expert in Florida, shares tips for catching snook in Homosassa, Florida. Toney demonstrates how to find snook, select the best artificial lures, and understand tides, which can turn the bite on and off instantly. Being positioned at the right spot during these transitions is crucial for catching snook.

Description / Review / Instructor

Snook fishing comes with its own set of challenges. Questions like when will they eat, what do they prefer, and how to present snook lures are common. Add the cold air and water of winter, and you're up for a real test. They become lethargic, seeking the warmest spots for refuge. But will the tide trigger a bite in winter's peak, or will your lure entice a strike?

Capt. William Toney: A Snook Fishing Expert

Capt. William Toney has dedicated his life to snook fishing in Florida, particularly along the northwest Gulf coast. Homosassa is renowned, if not legendary, for its snook fishery. The unique dynamics of this region significantly influence the fish. With several first magnitude springs feeding the area, the river water remains around 70 degrees, while the Gulf waters fluctuate between high 50's to low 60's. This temperature difference draws snook into these rivers for shelter. The warm freshwater is the reason Homosassa's snook fishery has thrived over the years, avoiding the winter kill-offs seen in other fisheries.

Winter Snook Fishing Tips

The key question is: how to catch snook in winter? The cold drives them towards the spring head for survival. Robalo fish aren't cold-tolerant, so the trick is to follow the river upstream until you spot them. Once located, they'll likely remain in that vicinity for a while. You might wonder, "how do I find them?" A valid question, and one Capt. Toney elaborates on in his video.

Lure Selection

In the In The Spread snook fishing video, the focus is on artificials. Which are the best snook lures? The ones triggering bites that day. It might sound dismissive, but certain lures outperform others depending on the day. William Toney, a master at lure fishing for big inshore species, experiments with various snook fishing lures in this video. By trying different sizes and colors, he identifies the most effective lure, highlighting how minor adjustments can make a significant impact.

Understanding Tides

Tides can turn the bite on and off instantly. River fishing is distinct due to the constant outflow from the spring. However, when the cold Gulf water surges in with the tide, flow patterns shift. Snook are highly sensitive to this change. It's crucial to be positioned at your desired spot when this transition occurs. Recognizing the best tide and its most productive phase is essential. Being even 30 minutes late could mean missing out entirely. The bite window is that brief. The difference could be between catching nothing or two fish and landing 10 or 20. William provides comprehensive insights and demonstrates his techniques throughout.

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Louise Eastty 01.31.2020


Captain William Toney

Captain William Toney, a Florida native, is a fourth-generation fishing guide known for his expertise in Redfish, Sea Trout, Mangrove Snapper, Snook and other fish species. He is a licensed and insured guide, a Homosassa Guide's Association member, and hosts 'In The Spread', an online fishing instruction platform. Toney's expertise in redfish, tides, and bait presentation is unparalleled, and he shares his knowledge on seasonal fish migration patterns and tidal flows. His dedication to passing on his knowledge to younger generations is invaluable.

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