02 Mar Snook season opened March 1st 2017 !
Snook season opened March 1st 2017 ! Its the date a lot of anglers wait for in anticipation after a few months of the season being closed. We have 2 different seasons in Tampa Bay where anglers get a chance to take one of our premier game fish home to enjoy for a meal. The Spring season is open from March 1st and closes on May 1st. We also have a Fall season that opens on September 1st and closes on December 1st. The rest of the year its all catch and release. I personally prefer to release these fish. But if an angler wants to keep one that is within the legal limit I have no objections. The legal size limit is 28″ to 33″. That is a very tight slot. These fish will test your angling skills and even some of the best anglers lose the battle. The bag limit on Snook is 1 fish per person per day. This is the regulations that the FWC has in place.
If you want to land one of these fish you can use different methods. I have a couple of different methods I use when fishing for Snook. These methods will also work for Redfish and we do catch some of those also while Snook fishing. Live baiting is the preferred method at times but I also do what is called dead sticking when the conditions are right for that. Sometimes Snook can be very finicky and they wont touch a live bait. This is when Dead Sticking can be a very effective method. Fresh cut Lady Fish, Mullet or Pinfish put on a hook and layed out in a spread on several different rods will entice these fish to eat. Many times the larger fish are just flat out lazy and want an easy meal.
Snook are not the only target species this time of year. I love Snook fishing but I also love fishing for Trout, Redfish and many other species. I like to call my charters,variety fishing charters. Catching multiple species on a charter keeps it interesting for everyone. I do however get those hard core anglers that just want to target certain species when fishing. I always do my best to accommodate my anglers.
March 1st was yesterday as I write this report. One of the anglers I had on board yesterday was lucky enough to take home the first Snook of opening season. It was in the slot size limit of 29 inches. I sure hope he enjoys the fresh fillets. Snook is one of the best tasting fish Tampa Bay has to offer.
We have also been catching a few Redfish and Trout on fishing charters. I had a couple of guys out who work for the Phillies basball organization and they had a lot of fun catching all 3 species of fish. Snook, Reds and Trout!
We are still on a great Trout bite so don’t discount these fish as table fare. With a legal limit of 4 per person angler can take home a nice bag of fresh fillets if they wish to.
Our weather is beautiful here in Tampa Bay. We had a very mild winter and this has translated into an early spring kick off to some great fishing.
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Thank you for stopping by and reading my Tampa Bay fishing reports.
Capt. Steve Betz