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Cannot get snook to eat my lures!

3779 Views 42 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  skinny_fishing
I don't know what the issue is, but so far this summer I have seen tons of snook and have not been able to get them to bite any of the typical lures I have caught them on before. I don't know if I'm doing anything wrong but I'm tempted to start using live bait again just to catch some fish this is getting old.

Paddle tails, flukes, rapala, various fake shrimp.....Nothing. Was just out this morning and saw snook everywhere right on shore, caught some jacks on the paddletail but the snook were not interested at all what gives?
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I don't know what the issue is, but so far this summer I have seen tons of snook and have not been able to get them to bite any of the typical lures I have caught them on before. I don't know if I'm doing anything wrong but I'm tempted to start using live bait again just to catch some fish this is getting old.

Paddle tails, flukes, rapala, various fake shrimp.....Nothing. Was just out this morning and saw snook everywhere right on shore, caught some jacks on the paddletail but the snook were not interested at all what gives?
I have fished for snook since 1970. Back then snook were unpredictable. Even with live bait. However, true to their nature they prefer ambush points and very low tides. This may be difficult with lures. A fresh blue crab cut in half is irresistible. Just take off some of the pointed parts. Half a blue crab attracts just about any small bait fish which in turn attracts snook who eat both crab and the bait fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
PS.. for even better action..... be on station on that stretch of beach - before the sun comes up - that first hour of daylight is priceless...
Agreed, but unfortunately the park doesn't open until 7am otherwise I'd be there before the sun came up.

I suppose I could do it on a public beach, but this spot is so nice and untouched, it really is a pleasure just to be there with no buildings or anyone else around it's so secluded and that's half the enjoyment of it.
 

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PS.. for even better action..... be on station on that stretch of beach - before the sun comes up - that first hour of daylight is priceless...
Captain Bob is correct regarding snook fishing before daylight. Back in the 70s I knew a fisherman who fished a rebel type lure at the same small bridge in Nokomis, Florida. Always on the outgoing tide he fished for an hour or until he caught at least one snook before daybreak.
 

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Like your idea of the fly rod. Snook love flies both mangrove and beach. Heck of a lot more interesting, challenging and full filling. FYI I do throw a spin rod especially for freshwater bass. Nothing wrong with spin. Surfcasting is my favorite type of all fishing. Snook do like flies.
 

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Snook are F-ing crazy that’s why I like em so much. They keep it interesting like tarpon. Some days they are so aggressive. Then you can’t buy a bite. I have hooked ‘em -play ‘em for for a bit -break ‘em off. Watch ‘em go back to the edge of the mangroves. Tie on another lure and catch the same fish again. Like nothing ever happened.
 

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A few thoughts about snook with lockjaw.. The first is simply this... if you've spotted a snook (or any other fish up shallow), you were probably seen a moment or two before you spotted that fish... Some fish don't show how aware they are - you simply won't get them to bite.... Give a thought or two to exactly where you were when you spotted the fish (and how close, how clear the water was, what the wind was doing... etc.). All of that contributes to success or failure. At night for instance fish holding in the shadows up under a bridge are very approachable - as long as you're not right in front of them... Those same fish in a docklight are super aware of their surroundings (and if you're on foot your best bet will be not to set foot on the dock that light is attached to...) -if possible... I tell my anglers at night that only the first two or three casts at docklight fish have a good shot at a bite in my area... After that, you could cast until your arm falls off with nothing much to show for it. Many times we'll move away to some other docklight then return an hour or two later to try our luck (if the fish are still there later on in the tide...).

One other trick that can make a real difference... Any time you find snook or tarpon or other prizes feeding... make a note of the exact time... Then when you can compare when they were biting with exactly what the tide was doing that day (or night)... you just might find a pattern (and if they turn on an hour before high tide today (or tonight), maybe, just maybe they'll be there and biting on another occasion - just before high tide (or maybe two hours into the falling tide - whatever it takes). We fish tarpon in rivers a lot and they seem very predictable - once you have some idea of when they like to feed...
One thing to add to Capt. LeMays excellent advice is that “Snook are Lazy” and don’t like to move very far for their food - why they are mostly ambush feeders. They definitely are attracted to current (often disorienting to bait they feed on) and structure - not unlike FW bass, again think ambush.

If throwing lures, always be sure to cast beyond fish and time the position of retrieve so as to intersect their path swimming away for a natural presentation, similar to the break point when shooting sporting clays. Far too many cast or swim a lure right at the fish which doesn’t happen in nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Kind of a funny story....Spent half a day at Ft. Desoto cruising around all over trying to get on some fish. Saw some reds and snook but they were not biting. We ended up drifting back and forth over a big flat catching a lot of trout mostly, then at the end of the day when we get to the boat ramp and tie off getting ready to load up my son saw some huge snook hanging out under the dock. We each threw in a paddle tail and they went nuts trying to eat them, my son got broken off twice, then I got broken off once then finally got one to shore by really trying hard not to let him under the dock to break me off again. Best fish of the day at the boat ramp :LOL:

So to this point after starting the thread, I've been having the best luck with Zman paddle tails, Slam Shady color.

Cloud Sky Water Vertebrate Shorts
 

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How do you do that without them noticing tho? No way my son would fall for it he's always watching what I'm doing lol
Keep the bottle in your pocket. It’s a gel formula and only takes a drop. And it really sticks on the bait good so you don’t have to reapply every cast.
 

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Funny I was using procure inshore on my baits when I went fishing with my dad recently he got skunked and I caught several snook and a red. He kept blaming it on he doesn’t usually fish with artificials but now that you posted this “secret” it makes me wonder. We were literally casting to the same areas. Hmmmmm😇

edit….was my first time trying procure
 

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My son caught this yesterday at the same spot....On a Pompano jig :LOL:

Way later in the morning too (around 11am) when snook aren't usually biting, I don't get it lol

Just saw this thread, so forgive me. It seems that you are less experienced than some of us old folks, and I don't want to judge or be a buzz kill, so I'll just offer some advice: don't drag the fish up onto the beach if you plan to release it. Same advice I give to my best friends and family, so please don't get upset. Keep them in the water, carefully lift for a quick pic, let 'em swim. Better for everyone. Mark
 

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Funny I was using procure inshore on my baits when I went fishing with my dad recently he got skunked and I caught several snook and a red. He kept blaming it on he doesn’t usually fish with artificials but now that you posted this “secret” it makes me wonder. We were literally casting to the same areas. Hmmmmm😇

edit….was my first time trying procure
Might as well use bait
 
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