"Mix in a Curve"
Fish, snook especially, can get tired of seeing the same lure time after time. While some lures have a long tried and true history, throwing a little curve at the fish sometimes can trigger a bite when the classic lures are being ignored.
Pictured is a Gambler Lures swim jig(normally considered a bass lure) that when presented correctly absolutely drives snook crazy. Of course that may be because they don't see it much...YET!
"A 'Single' Advantage"
Throwing lures with a single hook, as opposed to several treble hooks, is a great choice to consider when snook fishing at night. Using a single hook lure has advantages for the angler and the snook. Anglers tend to find that a single hook "sets", and stays in, much better than treble hooks do. Anglers also find that a single hook is much easier to remove from a snook's mouth than a large mouthful of treble hooks is. On that same note, snook that are going to be released very often suffer less damage from one single hook than they do from treble hooks.
Flair Hawk style jigs are a great choice for snook fishing at night. As is a DOA Baitbuster, like the one in this snook's mouth just before being released.
"Steer em' out"
Ever find yourself in this situation...a snook inhales your lure and promptly finds himself wrapped up in a pile of mangrove roots or numerous dock pilings? As soon as a snook, and many other species, feels the hook it is going to the first structure it can find. To keep them from getting to that structure try these tricks.
1. Try gradually steering the fish away from the structure. The harder you pull against a snook the harder it pulls back. BUT, "leading" a fish in the direction you want it to go by steering him with the rod can change his direction in a hurry. It takes a little practice, but over time it is easy to actually lead (not unlike walking a dog on a leash) the fish right around structure into open water.
2. If the snook wins and gets into, and wrapped up, in structure first try putting the reel into freespool and/or backing off the pressure completely. With no pressure often times the fish will swim back out the exact way it came in. If it doesn't, it can often be slowly and easily lead back around and out of a tangled situation. Just remember the harder you pull, the harder the fish pulls back...so back off, ease up, and steer the fish out.
Below is a little video of Capt. Eric (http://www.freighttrainfishing.com) using these tricks while fighting a snook at Jupiter Inlet.
"Super Swimmer and Super Sharp Hooks"
Bruiser Baits "Super Swimmer/Super Swimmer Plus" and LAZER TROKAR HOOKS are a match made in heaven for hunting giant largemouth bass and lunker size snook. The action and vibration put off by the "Super Swimmer" has the ability to call in trophy fish from a long way away. Rig it weedless and swim it through heavy cover where the big ones are hiding.
Pro Tip: Capt. Eric at The Freight Train recommends keeping a few Super Swimmers in the box for the nights that the snook don't want to bite the flair hawk. Swim a "Super Swimmer" slowly along the bottom and hang on, it may just be one of the biggest snook bites of your life!
"Hurry up, and slow down"
From Capt. Eric at The Freight Train Charters
One of the biggest problems I see people make when starting a fishing trip; is getting in an extreme rush right off the bat. Don't get me wrong, I still get very excited EVERY TIME I get to a fishing spot. BUT, it is very important to not rush in to fishing.
Take a minute or two and see what's going on. When I stop the boat or walk out on a bridge, before making a cast; I see what the tide is doing, is the bait here, which way the wind is blowing, how are the fish laying, etc. It only takes a minute, but by taking these things into account I know that I will be presenting my baits and lures much more naturally.
PRO TIP: When fishing snook around dock lights or bridge shadow lines the first couple of casts are by far the most important. Bad and misplaced casts, bringing the lure behind fish, or plunking them on the head will put them down in a hurry! Catching a fish on the first cast may be considered "bad luck" by some, but when it comes to snook fishing it may be the only chance you get!
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