When’s Snook Season?

Chores wrapped up, I headed down to the Merry Pier for a couple of hours late afternoon Saturday. I figured I’d burn through a dozen select shrimp, and be on my way. The dock was fairly crowded, but no fish were evident.

One dock denizen tried my trick from last week- drop a lizard fish down among the pilings, and see if any snook were hanging around. They were there. In seconds, he was struggling with a huge bruiser, probably approaching 40″. His 50 lb. braid and 60 lb. leader held up fine, but the fish managed to throw his hook, and was gone.

So, I’ve got a big shrimp down on the bottem. All of a sudden, it gets really nervous- I can feel it jumping at the end of the line. Concerned it might be the subject of a puffer attack, I brought it up to check it’s condition. As it neard the surface… WHAM! A snook the size of my leg appeared from the depths, inhaled the shrimp, and headed back down. I set the hook, and managed to turn her towrd open water.

The snook screamed off about 30 yards of my 17 lb. mono, then turned and headed back toward the safety of the pilings. I kept the fight up for a couple more minutes, but soon the line was cut among the barnacles. ‘Course, this snook would have been way to big to keep had it been in season- still, I’m looking forward to grilling up a filet or two once the season opens.

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