Snook bites across the board or region, in our parlance, is in full tilt and has been. With an eye to the pass bridges and docks with your shimmy shad-style softplastics, you're in the game. Although live shiners and threads maybe more attractive, that's a personal choice. You can avoid the hassle of bait acquisition, handling, and rebaiting with just about equally good results using the single hook-style softies. According to the reports and pictures and my own similar experiences, favored colors are greenbacks with white bellies in about 3–4"ÂÂ sizes. Larger sizes to 5–6ÂÂ" work well on bug bridge monster liners. These offerings are available weighted and hooked in three packets by companies like Storm Lures and others; very convenient and quick to change after you get terribly mauled by that bucket-list mega-liner. Half-ounce is the generally preferred weight for 3–5 inchers, but you can fish "loose pack"ÂÂ DOA, Gulp and other softies fished on a variety of jig heads. If you choose the loose bag lures, bring along some super glue; just a dab near the jighead will secure the softie for multiple casts and missed strikes.
Whoop-ass snooking on "the Dark side" is great for the vampire anglers, especially if you're a working stiff! My chum the welder and his plumber buddies hack the bridges around the Sanibel Causeway, Blind Pass, Big Carlos, and New Pass. Up in my stomping ground El Jobean is world famous as a snook stampede haunt for buster hog liners; 20–50 tackle not overkill. This is "Zone Tolerance Fishing" so be ready to crank down the drag, yoke back, and pump and reel. Generally the present you're offering is just at the edge of the bridge and dock lights; this gives the bad boy snook a chance to ambush their prey. Aim small, miss small!!
Be ready for quick and safe releases and don't hang the fish vertical; this can cause internal organ damage. For that prize photo, support the fish by the belly, use a gripper on the lower lip, and work quickly. Save "Sherk" for another day; big snook are old snook maybe 5–7 years. And they lead a rugged life; have respect for your elders!!
Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312