Fourteen teams that braved last Saturday’s bumpy sea conditions to compete in Reef Environmental Education Foundation’s fifth winter lionfish derby in the Upper Keys managed to whack an impressive …
Become a Better Snooker
Snook: it’s one of Florida’s most popular game fish for several really good reasons. You can catch a really big one close to shore–sometimes literally right in your backyard–in both fresh and saltwater; when hooked, it makes lightning runs for the nearest obstruction and then roars back at you and leaps out of the water; and it may veer from eating any bait, lure, or fly you offer to refusing everything you throw at it.
And it’s good to eat.
If you would like to bump up your snook game to the point where you can consistently catch this enigmatic species in a variety of situations, then make a reservation for Captain C.A. Richardson’s Guy Harvey Outpost Academy Snook Module Sept. 8-9 at Guy Harvey Outpost St. Pete Beach.
The host of the award-winning show “Flats Class TV” and co-host Captain Bryon Chamberlin will teach you all you need to know about snook biology and habitat, as well as the correct rods, reels, lures, flies, and techniques for besting the linesider throughout its range from Tampa Bay to the Everglades, Keys, Gold Coast, and Indian River Lagoon.
“This is geared more to the intermediate-to-advanced angler,” Richardson said. “I don’t fish bait much; we won’t talk about it much. I’m a plugger; Bryon may be the best fly caster I know. This is for artificial and fly enthusiasts — probably your best opportunity to be one-on-one with two professional fishermen who fish for these fish all the time.”
The academy opens with a cocktail party Sept. 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at RumFish Grill, followed on Sept. 9 by a 9 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. classroom session. In addition to lectures and visual aids, attendees will be able to practice what they’ve learned in a giant casting pond using a variety of tackle.
“The best part about the class is casting the lures in the casting pond and showing exactly how they are supposed to work,” Richardson said. “You get a certain rhythm and if the [snook] don’t want it that day, you won’t catch them that day. This is the nitty-gritty stuff that others don’t really tell you.”
Some of the module’s topics include: how to make snook bite in the troughs along the beach; what techniques are best for the mouths of creeks or beneath docks at night; what presentations work in inlets, rivers, and mangrove shorelines. And you’ll also get nuggets like this one:
“People tend to be too careful fishing for shallow-water snook,” Richardson said. “They like a quick, over-the-surface presentation where it’s making a surface signature. They want it high–not at eye level. They’re very weak to that because they know the [bait] has no place to go. It never fails.”
Module attendees also have a shot at winning valuable raffle prizes, such as Yeti coolers; Simms Fishing fly gear; Smith Optics sunglasses; Falcon Rods and others.
Attendance is limited to 75, so make your reservation now at http://bit.ly/2sZgpHU. You can also reserve a spot at Richardson’s upcoming sea trout module Nov. 17-18 at Guy Harvey Outpost, St. Augustine Beach.