RAW

Snook fishing SWFL

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35 posts in this topic

6 mins ago, albacized said:

Last time down (in March) wasn't really a fishing trip, but did get a little fishing. I didn't make it all the way out on Pine Island, but did dabble around a bit at a small village called Matlacha (which I only found out on my last day down there is actually procounced 'Mat-La-Shay',,,lol)...Only managed a handful of small jacks. I was fishing some small bat park adjacent to a bridge...but it looked awfully fishing, and a couple of the locals (including one guy formerly of MA) mentioned it was a down period for that area...I'm usually a summertime visitor since that's when snook typically find the beaches and become easy fly rod targets (they're out of season to keep, but I wouldn't keep them regardless)

Matalacha is a cool little town, Bokeelia is about another 9 miles to the point. Ityhuge advantage is water quality , little to no red tide ever. Has great water flow with an abundance of bait. The 12 month fishery does have peak periods that bring big trout, pompano, permit and nice mangrove snapper . The water never really gets hot or stagnant. Even if don’t fish you just walk out and look in water or go at 7 pm look at all the monster snook/ redfish and watch the awesome sunset over Boca Pass

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Great post, and great pics....but it's a little painful.  I guess now I know where all my local reds/drum have gone off to!  :( 

Can't seem to find that many this season...but fall is always my favorite...we'll see.

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9 mins ago, meccalli said:

Were these caught on bait. What sorta rig did you use?

Fresh mullet, fresh fresh only, big chunks, sliding sinker above a swivel with 50 lb mono, 5-6/ 0 circle hook . All of my fish I see their path of travel, and slowly drift everything about 20’ from pier, they smell great and nose up and can take hard or just gum. Every snook I hooked or landed I saw eat!. I use a convential reel or bait runner and let them swim just a little, no line slack, just enough weight to get it down. 

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1 hour ago, meccalli said:

Oh nice, I guess you can't beat old fashioned cut bait. Great catches!

I do get them on plugs and fly rod. Its just that I want big fish!

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26 mins ago, RAW said:

I do get them on plugs and fly rod. Its just that I want big fish!

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Raw, try a Cohiba “Royale” (not Cubano) for a treat.

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1 hour ago, RAW said:

I do get them on plugs and fly rod. Its just that I want big fish!

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Although I generally stick with fly fishing, I agree with your sentiment - where I typically fish while in FL, I'm catching snook in the mid to high teens, maxing out at around the mid 20's inch mark on the fly rod. I also catch a lot of ladyfish as a bycatch, and the bait guys are more than happy to take them off my hands and live line them. The snook they catch are not that far behind in size to catching large stripers up here in New England. I've thus far ignored the urge to follow suite and bring a second, heavier action spinning rod/reel to live line one of these baits to bigger fish. As of the past few years or so, I've only used the spinning rod when the crowds come out to the jetty to watch the sunset in the evenings (no way I can fly fish with that many people walking around behind me - fortunately short lived and I'm back to fly fishing within a half hour after sunset)...

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In fact, that's one recommendation I'd like to throw out there for the bait guys - fish for ladyfish pretty much the same as you would for hickory shad here in NE and you'll be all set in terms of catching bait (also can use a sabiki rig for ladyfish)

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1 hour ago, albacized said:

In fact, that's one recommendation I'd like to throw out there for the bait guys - fish for ladyfish pretty much the same as you would for hickory shad here in NE and you'll be all set in terms of catching bait (also can use a sabiki rig for ladyfish)

For snook in SWFL the black are king, a 3lb mullet has immediate smell factor, do use ladyfish chunks and live line need fish/ ballyhoo mostly early and late in the day. The snook by the pier are in groups 3-20 starting out about 200’ away from pier facing tide, They normally stay away from crowds. So I find their path and basically sight fish them as they move forward, critical that I keep line tight and ready, no sleeping, The big ones usually head for structure so you need to be quick to turn them. On light tackle evening using that grass pig soft bait I target snook and reds in 1-3 of water on pier sides. Nobody fished got them, best 2 hour window  on fly rod was 9, son on light spinning had a fish a cast, He landed 15 slightly bigger . Such a unique fishery, very few guys pursue them on big bait. Bad part is bees love the mullet and I get stung 4-5 times an outing, they crawl into head, Had a kayak but Voit not react fast enough.

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No words can describe, and that was my final trip back to Florida which started as  12 year old in 1957.  Guys if your anywhere near that pier, don’t miss the chance to hundred of snook just sitting there and a few pods of 50” monster big freight train

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18 hours ago, RAW said:

No words can describe, and that was my final trip back to Florida which started as  12 year old in 1957.  Guys if your anywhere near that pier, don’t miss the chance to hundred of snook just sitting there and a few pods of 50” monster big freight train

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I'm across the continent, but that sure looks like heaven to me...

Butch

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Wife’s has 3 siblings with serious health issues, 5 sisters who really don’t help each other, except my wife of 57 years so she wants to be there and do what she can, I understand that time is short. So be it

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