Snook is one of the premier gamefish targeted by Florida anglers. They are a very accessible fish for all anglers as they make their home inshore. Anglers targeting this fish catch them from the beach and on skiffs. Snook are famous for their long runs and acrobatic jumps out of the water. They can also grow quite large with the Florida state record exceeding 44 lbs!
The vast majority of Florida anglers practice CPR (catch, photograph, and release) on this popular fish, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) does open up limited harvest seasons. Learn all the details of harvest regulations and best practices in this post from the FWC.
While the fishery is already more than 90 percent catch-and-release, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages anglers to continue to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home. Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC management goals but are still rebuilding to pre-cold-kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care in this region and use moderation when determining whether or not to harvest one.
When releasing a snook, proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about catch-and-release and the best way to handle a fish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater” then “Recreational Regulations.”
Photos: The Horse’s Mouth (top); FWC (above)