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Orlando Snook

Florida's Best Snook Fishing On the Beaches and Lagoons

Sunday June 24, 2018

One of my favorite inshore game fish are snook, also called a rabolo in many central American Spanish cultures, but in Orlando Florida we simply call these inshore predators snook. On most occasions snook are considered a nocturnal or night-time feeding fish as they're most active during less light and have God given abilities to see their prey at very low light levels with the assistance of a huge lateral line for sensing movements in the water around them.

However in the summer, snook spawn on the beaches and can be caught by casting from the shore or toward the shore from a vessel if the surf's not too dangerous. During the month's of June, July and August snook are out of season and cannot be harvested during these months as they are reproducing and need time to regenerate populations and do their thing for several weeks. It's not against the law to catch a spawning snook, but it must be released unharmed as quickly as possible. During this time you may find snook receptive to angling methods with both live bait and artificial lures, I prefer the live bait as I've seen the larger, more educated snook pass up many artificial's only to gobble down a nice live finfish, crab or shrimp readily. You also may land your largest snook as they tend to be the biggest breeding females that entertain several smaller males during this cycle.

"My husband, Captain Richard Bradley took me out for a morning of snook fishing near Orlando and we caught 22 snook in a short time with the largest being a whopping 28 pounds. I'll never forget how much fun I had watching these huge snook explode on our baits."
Capt. Gina

During the fall the snook find their ways back into the inlets and along the mouths of inlets and ports in anticipation of the annual fall mullet run when millions of finger mullet swim southward as the water and air temperature cools along the Florida coastline. Our fall mullet run is legendary and can be very spectacular to fish during as snook and other predacious fish fill their guts on six inch mullet. You may witness snook performing cartwheels in the surf gorging themselves on mullet along with jacks, barracuda, sharks and redfish.

As the summer months wanes into fall and early winter snook become more active at night and can be caught at Sebastian Inlet and Port Canaveral during the late night and early mornings. Anglers can be found searching out snook under docks, around pilings and along shorelines at Port Canaveral and at Sebastian, my most advanced anglers find delight in drifting for snook with live baits. Both places are close enough to Orlando for a visiting angler to take time off from a family vacation or business trip and book a trip with a Orlando Snook Fishing Guide.

Orlando Fishing Captain

Orlando's Best Bet for Snook

I've been snook fishing around Orlando Florida all my life and I've never been more impressed with the fishery than of my later years. Yes! It's aggravating to have strict limitations on such a great eating gamefish, but the snook are rebounding and the fishing has never been as good during my lifetime as of now. I've taken friends, family and people out for snook when they're biting and it's a blast for the most part and often requires patience and skill to tempt them into a bite. But when you hookup and land a snook it's a very satisfying feeling indeed.
Pictured on this page is my wife Captain Gina holding a couple of snook that we both caught simultaneously before we released harmlessly back into the ocean. Both snook where outside the legal slot limit and one exceeded twenty pounds, they were also caught out of season during the summer spawn. It's not often that snook are caught during the daylight hours and in such beautiful weather, but it can be done during June thru August if the conditions are right.
When visiting Orlando next time... Look us up for a snook fishing trip. We provide the best professional Orlando fishing guide service for you and or your family while visiting Orlando and catching snook or known in Spanish as "rabolo".
Hope to see you soon,
Captain Richard Bradley

Snook spend their summer months of June, July and August on the beaches. Like many of our Florida tourist snook like to lay close to shore when it's calm and have sex at the water's edge (pun intended). Snook typically won't go far from the inlet or port that they are acquainted with so generally speaking they can often be found pretty close to where their fall migration to the inlets for the fall mullet run will supply them with the much needed post spawn calories.

Snook are inshore fish with an attitude. They are generally a golden yellow in color with a dark black lateral line (stripe) running the length of their body. Their mouth is similar to a large mouth bass' size & shape, yet their gills are razor sharp so watch out when handling these guys.

Most anglers don't know about or haven't caught the four species of snook in Florida. In East Central Florida waters we have alot of common and fat snook. The tarpon and swordspine are more frequent in South Florida.

Snook are revered as one of the most prestigious fish to catch, partly because they tend to be finicky about how and when they will approach a presented bait but mostly because of their fighting tactics (which seem unfair). But if you want to tangle with a fish thats' bound and determined to give you a brutal fight... SNOOK is your fish.

Varieties of Snook Species in the Atlantic
Common Snook
Fat Snook
Tarpon Snook
SwordSpine Snook

From central Florida south, usually INSHORE in coastal and brackish waters, along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges; also on reefs and pilings NEARSHORE. They are usually low-light or nocturnal feeders so get up early or fish at night for these large inshore preditors.

Snook fishing in East Central Florida is most often during the late spring, summer and fall months and starts to fade into the colder winter months. Typically during the winter months snook either head south or look for backwater areas where the water temperatures are move favorable. Don't look for snook to be active feeders during the winter months of January - March unless we have prolonged warm fronts or indian summers that bring the snook into a more active feeding cycle. During the spring snook are migrating toward their summer June-August spawning grounds along the beaches near inlets and ports. Snook often stage between their winter holdouts and the spawning grounds on spoil islands, docks and structure before heading out to meet their mates on the beach.

Late summer and fall produce some of the best fishing for snook at locations like Sebastian Inlet, Port Canaveral or Cocoa Beach.

Backwater snook can be fished for with a wide variety of artificials from jerk baits to top waters and plugs, much like bass anglers do around shorelines and structure including mangroves, stumps, docks, etc...

Saltwater flats often hold nice sized snook, look for baitfish, nearby structure including dropoffs or mangrove shorelines or docks. Fish for flats snook with live bait like pilchards or greenies or subtle shrimp or baitfish imitations. Remember that snook like the comfort of structure and can feel vulnerable in the open flat. Often snook have to be excited with live chum to get them to cooperate in open water flats.

Inlet fishing is usually done at night with livebait by drifting during the preferred tide phase (usually outgoing) or throwing plugs like bombers, rapalas or other baitfish imitations. This type of fishing is not for the novice and can be very challenging on the angler. You often break off and must have above average skills when fishing in heavy currents at night during the outgoing tides and fall swells.

Snook spawn primarily in summer; cannot tolerate water temperatures below 60 degrees F; can tolerate wholly fresh or saltwater; schools along shore and in passes during spawning season; feeds on fish and large crustaceans.


Snook in East Central Florida have many different habitats and conditions that make them a great target for anglers looking for variable ways to catch this elusive fish. Juvenile fish can be caught in the estuaries, canals and backwater areas almost all year long. While not as prestigious as large breeder snook, they are non-the-less enjoyable to catch and will bite on everything from baitcasters to flyrods and everything between. Juvenile snook are suckers for artificial's and readily take live bait as well.

Big breeding snook spawn on or near the beaches of Central Florida and always have a passageway or access to the beaches or inlets available to them. The only time a breeder snook is generally caught in the backwaters here is because it's a cooler transitional time period usually. Canaveral snook spend their winter months in the Port under docks, wharfs and around other structure like boats and pilings. You often see them hanging around the lights at night in small and large schools. Sebastian Inlet Snook are caught in the inlet itself during the summer and fall months and many of the larger snook migrate south to Jupiter Inlet or hunker down in the fresh warmer water of the Sebastian River a short distance away.

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Catching Breeding Snook on the Beach Video
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Night Snook Fishing in Port Canaveral
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Not less than 28" or more than 32" Atlantic - Not less than 28" or more than 33" Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park

Season Closed December 15th thru January 31st & June thru August on the Atlantic Coast.
Decemeber thru February & May thru August on the Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades National Park

State Record

44 Pounds, 3 Ounces

Snook Fishing the Beaches and Inshore near Orlando

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: January 30 2017 21:08:33.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

June - 2018 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

June - 2018 Fishing Forecast

June of 2018 is looking to be a hot summer with hot fishing off of East Central Florida near Cocoa Beach. Orlando visitors should anticipate the warm weather and great fishing that coastal and offshore fishing provides in the warm Atlantic Ocean this time of year. Last year in 2017 we saw many tarpon exceeding 100 pounds caught off the Brevard County beaches along with a good amount of sharks, king mackerel and really big Jack Crevelle that kept things interesting. Looking forward to this year's forecast on the Space Coast remember that the coastal waters along the Atlantic seaboard and Ocean will probably be the most productive fishing during the month of June and as we look in to August the ocean will look to be the most inviting destination for anglers in the heat of the Central Florida Summer.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953

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Cocoa Beach, FL

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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Captain Richard was great company on the boat. He's a blast to hang out with and will glady joke around with everyone. When it came to the fishing it was a tough day to start but we were able to find a school of drummer fish. He was able to spot a school of fish from his boat which was pretty cool. We caught a good 20-25 lb black drumfish which made the whole trip worth it. For sure recommend captain Richard.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on January 22, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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