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linesiders, robalo, sargeant fish

Snook have long, pointed heads with strongly projecting lower jaws. The back is gray, with a yellow-green tint, and it is separated from the silvery lower sides and belly by a distinctive black lateral line.

Snook are year-round residents of mangrove-lined bays, estuaries, canals, and lower reaches of streams and rivers where the water temperature is 60°F or warmer. They will move between freshwater, estuaries, and saltwater. The species is seldom caught in water deeper than 65 feet. During the spawning season, fish may be seen congregating around passes between islands and mouths of rivers.

Snook are agressive predators that seek their prey throughout the water column. Foods include both freshwater and saltwater species of crustaceans and fishes. Some of the items identified in the stomachs are crayfish, shrimps, crabs, pinfish, pigfish, mullet, anchovies, and mosquitofish.


The flesh is delicate and flaky. It is best broiled or baked.

Average growth differs greatly between each type of snook. Tarpon snoot, fat snook, and swordspine snook will not grow as long as a common snook. They will rarely grow larger than 7 pounds.

Most snook landed in the United States are caught by anglers fishing in Florida with live bait or artificial lures, including saltwater fly patterns. Anglers fish year-round, although there are closed seasons, by wading or using boats to fish among the mangroves and in the passes and inlets. A popular method is to freeline a live baitfish on or just under the surface. Bait such as menhaden, small mullet, sardines or silversides are chummed with catfood and caught with a cast net. Some minnows are crippled and released, others are retained for bait. As the snook move in to feed on the crippled minnows, a minnow is placed on a 1/0 or 2/0 hook and allowed to drift over the feeding fish. A stiff rod and medium-size baitcasting or spinning reel with 8- to 15-pound test line is standard for all except the larger individuals.

53 lbs. 10 ounces (common snook) Parismina Ranch, Costa Rica

60F to Warmer


More Species:
Dorado | Marlin | Rooster Fish | Sailfish | Snapper |
| Tarpon | Tuna | Wahoo

Information courtesy of Salt Water Sportsman

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