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Snook Sport Fishing PHOTO GALLERY:
Islamorada Fishing Charters Florida Keys

Sport fishing for snook in Islamorada Florida Keys I consider also the best in the fall. Casting at snook in the back country creeks, along the mangrove shore line, or on the flats - sometimes with their “backs are out of water” - is something all inshore anglers should experience.

While fishing the creeks and shore lines, the snook can be so fired-up they are blasting bait on the surface and you can see them 50 yards away. What a strike, when you hook up. Watch out! They will make short, "bull dog" runs toward the mangrove roots hanging deep into the black tannic water - what a tug of war! They jump too, be ready! Bow to him as he jumps, shaking his head. Keep the rod low or they can take the line up into those knotty mangrove branches hanging sometimes 25 feet out from the shore of deep under cuts. For the best success I like using live bait, specifically pilchards, but casting top water plugs or flies, like sliders, can be very effective and challenging for the experienced angler.

Fishing the flats and potholes, once hooked a snook will often make a nice, strong runs across the flats, because it is so shallow. I've had snook actually sky rocket a fly, "completely out of water," as the fly comes across the pothole. Snook, redfish, and trout will hang in the white potholes waiting in ambush. While fishing the flats and potholes, we will also be fishing for redfish as they cruse and tail in the shallow grass flats.

We have caught as many as just over 20 snook in a day, along with baby tarpon (5 - 30 lbs. range), redfish (accomplishing a back country slam), trout (accomplishing a "super slam"), big jacks (up to 10 lbs.), jewfish (up to 20 lbs.), snapper (up to 2 1/2 lbs.), and lady fish all in the same day tallying more than 50 fish caught. Not all days are like that, but this type of fishing with live bait is a "rod bending day" action packed day often catching 20 or more fish of all species.

Now casting plugs and flies for snook and baby tarpon is a little more intense. Top water strikes are always the most fun, everybody loves a surface bite, but hooking these fish are much more difficult and a little frustrating. Sometimes it takes two or three strikes by the same fish on the same cast. Don't give up, keep the fish interested. Many opportunities are lost because the angler missed the first bite and thinks it's over.

You also have to be an accurate caster! Not only just keeping the lure or fly out of the trees along the shore line, but casting it into tight pockets of overhangs back underneath the limbs by a foot or two and as accurate as a 6" - 12" diameter. Now you will get it in the branches every once in a while, no problem. But do not try to fool yourself by saying, "Oh, I can do it with a little bit of practice that day."  First you will not have the lure where you need it most of the day, resulting in very little action. Second, you will get very frustrated, by constantly having to retrieve the lure from the branches. Third, I will not have the live bait to fall back on, because we take off directly to go casting for snook.

So if you are not sure about your casting ability but would like to try, we should get some bait in the morning. This can take an hour or more, but often just 30 minutes. We will fish half a day or so with the bait to catch some fish, then we can fish the rest of the day casting the shore line or potholes.

Now casting the potholes on the flats for snook and redfish do not have the trees as snag hazards, but it still requires the accuracy to catch fish. If you do not get your lure there on the first cast, you most likely will spook the fish and your opportunity is lost. This will result in a frustrating day. Also, not every pothole will have fish, and quite often we can not see the fish. So we must cast at every pothole we come across, which can be tedious, but after you catch a coupe nice fish you'll keep at it. So please keep this in mind when we are planning your day.