Have you ever seen the fall mullet run? It is pretty spectacular if you have not. Millions of finger mullet and full-size mullet migrate south every year for warmer waters. You can see these massive schools swimming right under the surface moving along the beach line. If you are an angler this means more than a memorable view. It is time to go after the big game that is underneath them.
The Indian River and Banana River Lagoon run parallel with the Atlantic Coast line where this southbound migration happens. Snook, Redfish, Bluefish, Lady Fish, Sharks, and much more will be a lot of fun to catch for Brevard County anglers. The most prized of all is the world famous common snook. It’s a beautiful fish with a lateral line that gives it a unique identity.
Fishing for Snook – Get Ready for a Fight!
The Common Snook will strike hard and put up a great fight. Expect long runs where you want to have plenty of line on the reel. Expect jumping where you want to use a few techniques like lowering the rod. Also, beware of structures like pylons and rocks which can break your line – you’ll want to use at least 20 to 30 lb. test. The Common Snook also has a gill plate that is razor sharp. However, using 50 lb. to 70 lb. fluorocarbon test line should do the trick. Fluorocarbon is invisible in the water giving it a premium price in most stores.The bait that is recommended are buck tail jigs, mirror lures or top water bombers. The best bait during the mullet run is an actual live mullet. To catch them you will need a cast net with small mesh. Simply look where you see the schools of mullet and move towards them slowly to cast over them. Make sure you have a live well, aerator or a live bait bucket to leave in the water to keep them alive. Mullet can be hooked through the lips with a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook. You can also grab a snook rig in a bait store that is ready to go.
Cooking Up Your Catch
The snook is absolutely delicious for those who like fish. It has a firm white meat that is delicious on the grill, blackened, or even fried. Since snook is not a commercial game fish that can be sold to restaurants or fish houses, I would take advantage of giving it a try since you will not see it on the menu. However, please stay in the know at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website on the seasons and size limits.
Protecting Our Snook Population
Please know that the snook population was hurt very badly a few years ago from the cold winters and there are many programs that you can get involved in. If you do decided to keep or release a Snook we would love it here at Harbortown Marina if you would take a picture and share it with us.Good luck, and do not hesitate to send us a message if we can help with any tips on where the bite is!
For more Snook Species Facts: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/fish/saltwater/snook/snook/
For Snook License and Permits: http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/
For Snook Regulations: http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/snook/
The Snook Foundation: http://www.snookfoundation.org/news/partner/442-snook-foundation-receives-west-marine-conservation-award.html