The State of Florida has managed snook conservatively since the population of fish was hit hard by cold weather a few years ago. Some estimates put the loss of adult snook at 50 percent. But that conservative philosophy seems to be paying dividends, as the fish become more plentiful and larger in average size as time goes on.
For up-to-date snook regulations in Florida, go to eregulations.com/florida/fishing/saltwater.
Where: Stuart, Florida
Capt. Rufus Wakeman
Hot Tuna Charters
Capt. Mike Holliday
Fish Tales Guide Service
River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp
Jensen Beach, Florida
Rods: Spinning, plug-casting rods sized to fish 12- to 20-pound braid or mono.Fast action is helpful for casting.
Reel: 4500-class spinning reels, -midsize baitcasters.
Terminal tackle: 30 to 36 inches of leader tied to the main line (braid or mono) with an Albright Knot, and tied to the lure or hook with a Loop Knot.
If throwing lures, use 30-pound fluorocarbon leaders; if using bait, use 40-pound fluorocarbon. Use a 3/0 to 5/0 circle hook with bait, depending on the size of the pilchard, threadfin, sardine or pogey.
In the inlets, opt for 60-pound fluorocarbon leaders with 6/0 circle hooks, to release spawning fish quickly.
With topwater plugs around docks and bridges, go with 20-pound line for long casts, and a 40-pound-fluorocarbon leader.