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It’s August and the fishing can be as hot as the weather on some days, and completely turn off on others. It can be a very frustrating time of year for many anglers in search of one of the most iconic gamefish in our waters; the Snook! I’ve been fishing my entire life and just like many of you, some days I catch fish until I’m tired of it, and somedays fishing is so slow I honestly get tired of fishing.
I don’t care who you are or how vast your knowledge is, sometimes getting the fish to bite is a challenge. During the summer months, some fishing days are full of double digit catches and some days it’s next to impossible to even find the bait. But why? Well, many factors come into play but one of the most obvious, and sometimes overlooked factor is simply the heat.
The water temps can reach over 90 degrees by noon and often times the fish will just shut off. They still have to eat, but most of the time, they choose the times of day that are a little more comfortable for them.
In August, early morning or night fishing is going to be your best bet. Snook love an abundance of baitfish, moving current and warm water temperatures. They are opportunistic feeders who exert energy when needed but are completely happy stacking up in one place for hours. They stack up in areas where, you guessed it, a strong moving current will flush baitfish right in their face, producing an easy meal. They are also very structure-oriented, and even when you see them cruising the beach, they are usually just moving to their next spot near a drop off, mangrove bed, dock or other underwater habitat.
High Tide Snook fishing differs from Low Tide Snook fishing as well. Think about it, how many times have you caught a fish and go back to that spot over and over. My guess is, you catch fish there again but not every time, and that can be frustrating Why aren’t they always there? The short answer is, they are, just not always when you’re there. With a high tide, Snook enjoy deeper water near the mangroves and shorelines so they tend to hide out under the cover of the groves, ambushing pray as it swims by in the current. You can also find Snook under docks at this time. During a low tide, less water is near the shoreline so the Snook won’t be there. They tend to be in deeper channels and on drop off edges during the lower tides. This isn’t to say you can’t find an abundance of Snook in deeper channels or under bridges during high tide, it’s just more likely on a low.
Even with all this information, if you don’t have the local knowledge of where the fish tend to be, you're going to spend a lot of time scouring miles of the dense mangrove shorelines of Florida. This is where hiring an experienced fishing guide can make your day on the water a lot more successful. I’ll be honest though, there’s days where we find the fish, all the conditions are right on paper, but they won’t eat. It happens, and anyone who says otherwise is just down right lying to you. If fishing was easy, it wouldn’t be so rewarding. The thrill of the hunt, the days that shut us out, and especially the days that a plan comes together and the fish are happy to cooperate, are what keep us addicted and coming back for more. Tight Lines! If you want to go Snook fishing with me, call me at 727-253-5893, follow me on Instagram @captmattselby or on Facebook under Epic Sport Fishing.