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Always Something New To Learn About Snook

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On: Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 9:53AM | By: Captain Sergio Atanes

Capt. Chris Camps, a good friend and part of the group, has a technique on how to catch big Snook in early December before the cold weather sets in, and I am always willing to learn some new techniques.

After some conversation, Capt. Chris invited me to go after some big December Snook using his technique, and before he could finish his invitation I asked him when and where. I suggested we bring along the camera crew and film it for my new TV show. We set a time and place, agreeing to avoid showing any of his favorite fishing spots.

Thursday morning arrived, and we had a moderate wind from the northeast with temperatures in the mid-60s and dropping as the cold front approached. A short trip from my home base, the Tampa Harbour Marina, we entered a channel that had old bridge structure on both sides protecting us from the shifting sands of the flats around it.

Capt. Chris explained that his technique works best with an incoming tide and the water temperature no lower than 68 degrees. The early bird doesn’t get the worm in this case, because you want the sun up for a while, allowing the sun’s ray to heat the exposed rocks; as the tide comes in so will the fish.

His method is to anchor up-current from the rocks allowing the bait to drift on either side. You can free line your bait but a float works best and it allows for better control of the bait and lets you control the drift of the bait as well.

We anchored our boat just like Capt. Chris wanted and after tossing some candy to the Snook (we use a bait bat with about 20 live sardines) the rocks started to blow up with Snook attacking the baits we had thrown.

The first cast and I was on with a 12-pounder making several jumps trying to dislodge the hook, but to no avail. I had him and he was mine. Looking to my right I could see Capt. Chris fighting one of his own, a big one. I could tell by his expression and that beautiful sound of line leaving the reel. After what seemed like an eternity, Capt. Chris landed his 38-inch Snook.

Within a few hours we managed to land over 17 Snook. I lost several really big ones to the rocks and left them to battle another day. I learned a new technique on Snook fishing that day, and one to pass on to my kids and my friends.

We were back at the dock by noon in time for lunch and with plenty of great footage for the TV show and some nice pictures of big pre-winter Snook to boot. The largest Snook landed weighed in at 22 pounds.

When: Fish ahead of a cold front for best action. Incoming tides work best.

Where: Residential canals or channels with structure

Tackle suggested for best results:
7.6 foot medium action spinning rod
Medium size spinning reel
20 pound test braided line
30 to 40 pound test fluorocarbon leader
3/0 circle hook


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