Here we are in the first month of our two-month snook season, and it started out slowly due to cold water temps. The trout have been incredible, and the reds have taken up the slack.
However, last week ended with a big bang on the snook fishing. I was running a three-boat trip on March 6, and I had noticed the snook action slowly picking up as the week went on, but on Friday they exploded! I started off my trip as usual going after some good eating trout for the box and then moving on to bigger and better stuff. Well, it was a lot bigger and better to say the least! After already having a limit of nice trout and a few Spanish mackerel in the box, I went to my second spot, where I spent the rest of the day. It started off with a slot size 30-inch snook, then another, and another then more big trout in the 25- to 28-inch size. Then some reds that were just under the 27-inch max size limit, then a 35.5-inch snook.
By the time it was over, we had caught plenty of different kinds of fish, more than I could keep up with, but we did have four snook in the slot and the one that was an oversize fat trophy. Needless to say, it was a great day on the water! The best thing about it is that this is just the beginning of what's to come with the spring months just ahead of us. This has been a strange winter to say the least with it getting cold really early this past fall and then warming up in the middle of the winter then getting cold again. I know we will most definitely have a few more weather fronts in the near future, but I think we are out of the woods. The bait just spawned out this past week on the full moon, and I saw a lot of fish moving so I am really looking forward to the next few weeks of fishing to see how good it gets this spring. I will say that over the winter months when it warmed up, we were catching a lot of big snook and most of them were over the 40-inch mark. So if we were getting them, then I can't wait to see what's going to happen over the next two to four months.
Remember that the spring months can be some of the best fishing of the year with surprises just about every day. The Spanish mackerel will be showing up soon and right behind them the kingfish will arrive. All the while, I will be keeping my eyes open for the cobia and tripletail, as well. I believe we will have an abundance of bait around this spring and that is exactly what the fish want. We should also start seeing more and more of schools of reds showing up, and if you remember last year how good the bite was for mangrove snapper on the flats then I have some good news! The snapper are still in close, which means they should come back inshore sooner than last year.
Capt. Shawn Crawford