One of my favorite inshore gamefish 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 livebait 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.
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.
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".
Captain Richard Bradley
Lagooner Fishing Guide
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.
Snook can often be found between their winter hideaways and summer spawning grounds on the beach. Making their way up the intracoastal or Indian River Lagoon near islands, sandbars, canals and grassflats. Spring is the time for shallow water anglers to get excited about catching breeder sized snook in shallow water as they make their way toward the inlets and out to the beach.