Saturday, April 21, 2012

Southern Drawl now offering night snook outings

George Scott of Massachusetts used a small shrimp pattern to fool this fine snook.

We’re now offering night snook trips at Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing.

It’s a fun way to catch fish – especially for those who have never caught a snook.

Last summer, Dr. Randy Ruskey of Illinois caught his largest snook ever while fly fishing for snook around lighted docks with me. Just a few days ago, Terry Rychlik of Connecticut caught his first snook on fly with me. George Scott of Massachusetts caught several nice snook while fly fishing at night with me.

Sometimes, it’s very easy: Just get your fly in the vicinity. Other times, its can be difficult, requiring pinpoint accuracy and extreme patience.

It’s all up to the snook.

I’m fishing a spot with plenty of light docks. Snook gather around the light to dine on shrimp and minnows. They’re usually voracious and quite willing to gobble up any fly tossed their way.

I went out alone recently and hooked and landed six snook to 28 inches. I also hooked and landed four spotted seatrout to 18 inches.

Ten fish hooked. Ten fish landed.

Doesn’t get much better!

For this type of fishing, I suggest an 8-weight fly rod with a floating line and 9-foot leader. Fly of choice is a small (No. 4 or 6) shrimp or baitfish imitation in white. The fly doesn’t have to be fancy at all.

In addition to snook, we sometimes get redfish, ladyfish and small tarpon. You just never know.

Guided night snook trips can be combined with daylight excursions. For example, could start at 4 a.m. and fish the docks until daylight. Then, we’ll head out on the nearby flats to fish for trout, snook, redfish and other species.

Or you can simply book a night snook outing.

Night snook trips are 4- or 6-hours. Four-hour sessions are $200. Six-hour outings are $250.

The average snook is about 22 inches. They do run smaller, but they also run larger. We’ve taken snook in excess of 30 inches.

For some reason, they seem to fight better in the dark.

It can be quite a chore to keep the snook from pulling your kayak under the docks. You have to learn to hold the rod in one hand and back-paddle with the other. You need to “pull” the snook away from the structure.

One important key is to be able to cast on a low trajectory to get the fly under the dock. To do this, you must alter your casting plane to total sidearm. You can’t get the fly under a dock using the traditional overhand casting plane.

Of course, it’s better to practice sidearm casting before you get on the water. It can be pretty tough to learn when there are a dozen hungry fish waiting for your fly.

Sidearm casting is pretty easy to learn and a very valuable skill.

Night snook fishing is good during stronger tides. The fish are usually available year-round. Only extreme cold weather shuts the fishery down.

Recently, we’ve been getting out on the water around 4 a.m. and fishing until dawn. We head for the nearby flats are first light to cast for trout, snook and other species. Rychlik caught snook and several nice trout on his outing.

If you’re interested in a night snook trip, please contact me at (941) 284-3406.

You won’t regret it!

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous! Do snook have a lot of teeth? I can't wait to try saltwater flies someday! Check out my blog sometime. Warm, freshwater species for now.