• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On October 2, 2018
  • Comments
  •  2

I just returned from Islamorada in the Florida Keys, and snook are on the prowl.

Captain Max Gaspeny out of Bud N’ Mary’s Marina and I snuck out to hit the local bridges for an hour trip to see if we couldn’t land a few linesiders of our own, and the grounds did not disappoint. Gaspeny found an edge on one of the channel bridges and deployed the anchor.

On his boat, we employed 7-foot Shimano Teramar and Ugly Stik Tiger spinning rods, Daiwa BG 4000 and Penn 5500 Spinfisher V series reels spooled with 30-pound Power Pro. A 40-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader was fixed to a size 2/0 Gamaktasu Octopus hook.

With pilchards Gaspeny castnetted a few hours prior, we hooked one through the nostrils and cast out close to the bridge abutments. As the first pilchard was sent out, it wasn’t but a split second before the line betrayed itself and went tight straight vertical under the boat. Max picked up the rod and reeled swiftly to get bent big time, battling a sweet slot 32-inch snook to boatside. Snook were crashing the pilchard baits on the surface nearly every other cast. Freelined baits drift over the shallows next to the rock rubble, but when the current is ripping, we had to affix a 3/8 ounce egg sinker above the leader to get it down deeper into the zone.

Baits are freespooled back with a slack line to funnel between the bridge abutment outflow and inflows as snook lay in wait to inhale pichards wafting on by. If the line catches up and comes tight, reel up and make another cast. We fought off a mess of boxer mangrove snappers that inhaled the pilchard baits that were way to big to fit in their mouths, but nonetheless, they were a blast and taste great on the grill. Snook fishing exists year round along the Keys bridges, but now its heading into prime time season. It’s a solid time to visit Islamorada. Go get your snook on!


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