How To Fish Snooks


The snook, habitat and morphology

The robaliza or snook is an elongated body fish, its length ranges between 10 and 100 cm in length; has fleshy lips, in its upper angle of the operculum has two short spines. It has a variety of colors among which dark gray highlights from the back to white for its ventral area, it can be said that under the water, the bass is seen with a bright silver color with olive green notes. Their differences vary from the arrangement of the fins, the color and its length / width relationship among other aspects. The snook or robalizaIt is a very beautiful fish, elegant and very pleasing to the eye. Its elongated shape and its intense silver scales contrast with its highly visible sensory line on its black sides, which are even distinguished in turbid waters. This lateral line, which the fish use to determine any movement or vibration around them, either to change direction when they are inside a school or to detect prey, is distinguished by being extremely sensitive and effective, helping them especially when they hunt. night, with little or no light. The lower jaw of the snook is longer than the upper jaw. The color of these fish that frequent the salt water beaches is often more silvery than those that inhabit the continental waters, swamps or estuaries, seeking to imitate the bottom to go unnoticed.

Scientific name : Dicentrarchus labrax

Family : Moronidae

Order : Perciformes

Class : Actinopterygii

Max weight : 25 kg.

Max. Length : 100 cm

The fishing of robalo robalizaThe sound that it produces when it eats on the surface is very characteristic, like a dry suction ... suddenly alert to the fisherman's senses, especially when it arrives at dawn on a deserted and quiet beach, or in silent and isolated bodies of water, inside of the wetlands. The sight of sea bass or robaliza , although not exceptional, is very good. Some studies have shown that your eyes are very sensitive to light, so you prefer to stay away from areas with a strong brightness if possible. Although there are many versions, it is generally said that they only distinguish a few "tones", with preferences in white, red and yellow.

Snooks or robalizas have two very specific biological conditions:

They are hermaphrodites

They belong to the euryhaline fish group

All the robalos or robalizas are born males and only after two years and depending on the environment and the rest of the specimens in the area, some specimens become females; process that calls them hermaphrodites, wise behavior of mother nature, to ensure the preservation of the species. This sex change occurs especially when the snook or robaliza  reaches a length of 70 to 80 cm. It is for this reason that in the United States, it is prohibited and penalized that in its waters species are caught among these sizes, avoiding the death of a female that has not yet bred. In the regions of Florida that I have been able to visit, there are two closures a year and in times of capture, only two catches per fisherman per day are allowed .

The adaptation to different saline environments (such as salmon, which penetrates from the sea, to the rivers to spawn) includes the snook or robaliza in the group of fish called euryhaline . Fish with a high tolerance to different degrees of salinity of the waters, allowing them to travel or settle for long periods of time, the same in salty, brackish or totally sweetened water and which explains why they were captured inside several kilometers and in the coastal waters, far from the coast, up to 20 meters deep.

To ensure better offspring, the female snook or robaliza sometimes imposes a natural classification method to "get" the healthiest males. When the spawning season arrives between June and October, it is accompanied for a time by several young males, who continue to swim by their side long enough to keep the weakest along the way. In this period we saw the female (larger) with a harem of up to 5 males swimming, even less than two meters from the boat, without venting against any decoy or bait, because it seems to be a stage where it feeds very little, or nothing.

The laying of eggs of snook or robaliza

With the males at his side, he goes to the coastal waters and on the eve of high tide, he can lay up to 3 million eggs  that are fertilized by the sperm of the males that walk around waiting for the moment. The reason why the mouths and the entrances to the sea are chosen is because of the male's need to activate his sperm, which is only possible in salt water; and it is after these spawning processes, when the female, who needs to reconstitute her strength, will have as much food as she can. Therefore, it is said that when a good sized specimen is captured on a beach, it is a female, which culminated the spawning process in a nearby inlet of seawater. Unfortunately, they will only manage to transform themselves into fry between 20-30%, which will continue to be a victim throughout its journey and development through the different stages, where only less than 2% of the first time, could reach adulthood.

Growth and development of snook

The growth and development of bass sea bassThe small larvae will come alive for 20 and 36 hours, with only 2 mm in length. In less than 30 days, they will grow to more than 4 centimeters in size and will feed on zooplankton and very small larvae . The first months of life of the snook will be spent eating safely to achieve, if possible, a greater body mass, which will lead them to fill the year with about 15 cm in length; management to develop another 15 cm the following year, where they can reach their first kilogram of weight. From the third year and depending on the feeding conditions, the robaliza begins to develop very quickly, obtaining a body weight of around one kilogram per year and the need for more food added to their inexperience, can lead to attacking everything that stands in their way, which will lead to many catches of specimens weighing only 1-2 kilograms.

What water temperature does robaliza prefer?

The snook always prefers waters that remain close to the temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, although it can survive in the ranges, from 22 to 36 degrees. If we know that this species is highly adaptable to changes in water salinity, we must also know how vulnerable it is to low temperatures where a sudden change that causes water to fall below 15 degrees Celsius can stun them to total immobility. , and a degree below 13 can lead to death .

And what about the sex of the snooks?

The sex of the robaliza is impossible to define it with the naked eye . Your approximate age can be calculated based on your weight. If we already know that a snook usually reaches one kilogram per year from the second year of life, we can estimate that a sample of about 5 kilos per weight can be approximately 3 and a half to 4 years old . Only with studies carried out by specialists can the age of this species be determined. For this it is necessary to examine the otoliths, a small bone inside your ear, formed by concentric rings, where specialists can "read" the age of the bass with great precision .

Habitat of snook, mangroves

There is no doubt that the mangrove is the best nursery for many growing species, including the robaliza. It is the most efficient zooplankton reserve, where in addition to providing the best refuge and food, the species will find more stable temperatures due to lack of water flow and proximity to the bottom. They are areas where the robaliza and other species in development will be protected from their main predators :

The man

The Sharks

The great Barracuda

They will also be able to protect themselves from the cold winds and the birds that share wetlands, which will try to feed themselves as they do on the beaches, both the small robaliza and the fry, crabs, larvae and shrimp that serve as food. The difficult process of survival will make it more prudent . He will train him to better define his attacks, especially when he decides to start returning to the sea, where he indicates in several reports that when he embarks on these trips and does not establish himself in a certain perimeter, he hardly eats. Their development and learning will be complemented by hunting first on the nearby beaches, docks and breakwaters, until they enter deeper waters, as part of a better training, becoming more cautious and evasive, where their priorities will be focused on:

Make your attacks more effective

Avoid the attack

Some snooks will reach open waters , they will stay a long time to spawn until they come to spawn, others will leave little or no water, and others will settle in the waters near mouths and beaches, where they can stay for the rest of their lives , where they are taken out quite regularly. In any scenario, the male can live until 14-15 years and reach about 14 kilograms of weight , while the female, longer, can reach 20 and 21 years , with weights of up to 25 kilograms ; These sizes and weights will also depend on the area, country and waters in which this fish lives.

Snook fishing, tricks and tips that work

Using currents and tides

Bass fishing in the nightAs for inshore fishing, if there is one thing we can take into account, it is the currents and the tides . For the most recent, they should know that they do not mean the same thing:

The current is the flow of water

The tide is the descent or the height that reaches, more or less volume in a certain area

Generally in the open sea, the tides are less noticeable than in inland waters, to have a reference, while in channels, ports and beaches it is the opposite, because of the marks left by the tide in its various changes. In estuaries the changes are more evident, where the largest prey of bass will remain in the central channel, until the water gradually begins to fill the adjacent channels, a good moment that we can enjoy when the volume of water is full, throwing our fishing rod in these deeper areas, with lures of medium depth and where to be on board a kayak, can give us great advantages in fishing .

The sea bass or sea bass as a good opportunist, uses currents, when you can bring your food, better, if you have a secure fishing position near where you will always be waiting for your prey, you will know that it will attack regularly, against-current . At low tide , we can look for more in the middle of the channels, while at high tide, it is safe to go further in the limits, the water and stone structures, where the grass fish usually try to maintain themselves. If we want to take this simple rule and take into account the currents, fishing nights will always be better before and after the new moon , which are the days of the month with stronger currents; and if we choose bocanas, bridges and crossing areas , the practice ofThe bass fishing has shown me that good specimens can be obtained in the first two hours of water intake, and up to two hours after the water starts to flow.

How to catch sea bass?

Fishing snooks on the beach or coastThe Haddock fishing with artificial lures , qualify it as one of the most difficult to perform successfully; although we compare it with black bass , where we would agree that bass is less voracious than bass , however, with much more power, strength and endurance. If we add his intransigence to the real catch, his tricks to get rid of the lure when he feels trapped, including his incredible jumps out of the water, we could understand why the snook could be the most difficult challenge for all types of fishermen and the most desired species for lovers and fans of this great sport that is fishing !

The first thing to learn is that bass fishing or robaliza , does not look like any other type of fishing. The snook is a fish that acts as an ambush to catch its prey, either from a bridge, on beaches, under boats or in the vicinity of excavated rocks. You can wait for the right moment, calmly and carefully, until you get close enough to open your mouth and literally absorb your prey, and very rarely, fail in your attacks. If our bait manages to confuse it, it will swallow immediately, otherwise, seconds will be enough to realize the deception, and it will spit, without knowing many times that it held it in its mouth and will be at that moment, when we will thank for having a sensitive fishing rod and enough training to detect this action and match the hooks, before the artificial spit.

The Secrets of Fishing in the Sea

Do not you still have the best book on all the Secrets of Fishing in the Sea?


That is one of the reasons why many fishermen, and I include myself in it, that prefer to try to catch the bass with soft lures and vinyls of worms and worms , etc., trying to confuse the predator to keep the plastic longer in the mouth, and with the first sign of possession, give the hook and try to hook it, as we will see later. Probably ... the "luck" of fishing with a bait armed with 2 or 3 triple hooks , and that once captured by the fish or at the time of regurgitation, some of the pieces (or several) are hooked on the thin buccal membrane , when the snook tries to expel the "fake" food once it has detected it.

How to fish bass in the swamps?

The estuary requires a change of response when we are behind this species that usually patrol the sides of the water, taking advantage of the security provided by the roots of the mangrove  in search of small fry hidden among the submerged branches, including the smallest of their species. Although in these areas the reduction of space is less relevant, it is necessary to understand that it is a very dangerous scenario , due to the protection it finds and will use the bass between the roots of the mangrove, where it will enter whenever it feels threatened.

This requires a hook  strong enough to nail it on the first try and a reel with a more accurate brake to keep our line from getting tangled between branches, trunks, and structures filled with rocks, etc. If we walk through narrow channels where the wind runs, we can try to place ourselves right on the edge of the shore in favor of the wind, this will slide the small bugs and the floating garbage, that's where the bass will come to feed and we as fishermen will be prepared to throw the rod at that precise moment

If the channel is large and the days cold or rainy, we can try to fish in the center, in the deepest part where the bass finds its comfort zone thanks to the heat of the bottom, where even, it will move more slowly and logically, it will eat less . In those moments, we should "serve food" as best we can, with slow and realistic samples and lures , investing our time without haste to "convince" them. On hot summer days hitting the strong sun, it is likely that the robaliza prefer the middle of the water column , where any floating or popper can attract your attention.

Fishing of the robaliza on the salt water beaches

Fishing robalizas from the beachThe fishing of the sea bass on the beach are the qualifications that the coastal fisherman will improve, if he does it regularly in the same waters. In this scenario, the same can sink from the shore, crossing the coast, in Troll at low speed, we even go back to the same fishing from a kayak, where it is a lot to be carried by a gentle current, I have been shooting with a lot of disturbance of the zone of stop by diagonal to the shore, where the bar can wander in areas of extremely weak waters.

If we can see a good school, that we can not see on this side of the country, and we aspire to have more than one dam, it is better to stay as far as possible, present the lure with discord and throw it two or three meters ahead of the leader who travel first and recover against the current, avoiding noises and unnecessary noises that can scare the rest of the members. If we walk in unknown areas, we can try the body of the water with a small Popper and recover gently, with sets between parallel and diagonal lines on the shore, to cover areas of half the water in the breakwater area.

On some small boats, we can do low speed trolleys or better with electric motor. The border areas, between the coastal grasslands and the clean bottoms, are generally very effective also where our fish, usually patrol the sea in search of food.

Something I read in many reports of fishermen experienced in Florida, and that, in addition to surprise me, I began to assume, is that to fish the sea bass on the beaches, such as Yucatan and Quintana Roo (flat bottom and sand), advise not to get in the water, "it is a very serious error" that may or may not mean having or not having

Among the various reasons for this advice are: one, that the sea bar on sandy beaches and flat bottoms, tends to get too close to the shore, where it will patronize with discretion, looking for schools disoriented sardines, lyes or crabs that dig small waves, so much so that we saw how they drag their belly, stuck to the bottom, exposing their The other is that the sea bar, instead of seeing us or identifying us as their captors, etc., will alert their senses to the movements we make with their arms and cane, that by its fearful instinct, "something" great is approaching and that can mean danger and therefore, nothing like understanding that if we see the fish, it can also see us ... The other reason, is the noise that we can produce when walking with very submerged feet very close to the shore,where without realizing that we can go to crush shells, crabs, brush small stones, etc., reassure that the sea bar is scared and therefore store away from the area to assume sounds, such as those that would produce a large predator time to cut a type of prey

As we know, the sea bass is difficult to see because of its imitation with the bottom, and that is when we can help with the banks of sardines that attack, or with the birds that are placed from the rest of the food, or that walk on the banks in particular, extracting shrimp and crabs. This does not mean that if there are sardine jumps or birds that peck the bottom there is sea bass, but this will indicate where there is a good feeding area for the grazing fish and of course, where our predator can also feed.

One of the most adrenaline methods that are generated is the fishing of pickets with surf rods or salmon more than 8 feet long, and where the sizes are generally very different from those obtained in the beaches of the southeast coast of the country, low and flat backgrounds.

In addition to the length of the reeds, in this modality another aspect is added and it is the space, since it is not the same to fight against a small seabass in a closed or limited environment such as an estuary, estuary, etc., than to fight against a small sea bass in a closed or limited environment, is with greater catches in Open s Pace, that although it is far from the danger of mangrove and protect it

Fishing in docks and port refuges

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These are the preferred environments for many, for the safety and possibility of finding this species at any time of the year, much better at night, when we can escape from the Agency for a while and where boat traffic does not bother as much as during the day AY. In Yucatan, the nightly days were frequent when leaving the office and with good fishing in the ports of the shelters, when, after work, we were in the outskirts of the city, where the same thing was fished from breakwaters, that the trolls with electric motorbikes, boats aboard boats and inflatable boats.

During the day, it is good to throw in the shade under the boats, where they are left waiting for the possibility of attacking or where they also find the best temperatures during the winter. When it is cold, the sea perch usually remains attached to the hulls of boats, especially small and white, where it seeks to appreciate the heat produced by the ground or bottom, exposed to the sun's rays.

In the pillars built on stilts, they will almost always be below and constantly followed, since they are very animated areas between the forests, bases and structures that remain sunken, where the refuge of grass, shrimp and small crabs are usually found, which are the most important part of your diet. If there is sun, from these very bright days, it is likely to be below or also on the shaded edges projected by the spring on the water, at this time the lures that we can let through the stream are effective. Pier, to start the recovery once located in the darkest areas.

At night, as I have already pointed out, these scenarios are also very good for trolling with small boats, little by little in the central channels, or between boats or, in the best of cases, catsar around the zones of lighting produced by the luminaires, located in the structures. When we are located in these zones of light, we should not throw on them, but around them, which is the place where the seabass loiter waiting to locate their prey, which will normally wait to go out in the dark and taking advantage of small fish and shrimp , will leave the area illuminated by light.

It is also advisable that the lures cross part of the illuminated area (if there is better current) and reach the dark zone, where the sea bar will normally be planned.

These are hours in which small lures, no more than 3 ", are the best, which is the size of the usual prey that surround these scenes at night in search of their food and in clear areas, any rubber bait , moved slowly is good, as well as the lethal feathers and light feathers and Co "Lored Grub", or as he noted in one of his reports, a diligent fisherman S

Best fishing equipment for bass

From small boats, kayaks or from beaches in swamps, wharves and jetties, the equipment is usually the same:

Fishing rods from 1.80 m to 2.50 meters depending on the fishing position

Monofilament line or resistance braid between 4-6 kg

Spinning reels or bait casting

Line bass or monofilament or fluorocarbon leader

Without leaving aside those who seek their capture on beaches and coasts with long reeds, which in this species becomes an advantage and an adrenaline rush.

I think some aspects of this activity are very important, so certain details that make the biggest difference with other types of capture, such as:

Tension and resistance of the line (in the case of monofilament or braid)

Position of the cane

The reel spool brake

We must understand that water, as an aqueous volume, offers some resistance to the movements of any body that tries to move inside. This means that the robaliza, when jumping, will develop twice as many violent movements and with much more strength and energy, in the absence of this resistance in the air and for which we must prepare. In the first place , the line tension applied to the snook should not be the same as that applied to the tarpon or snapper among other fish, since most of the time the robaliza will be hooked by the membranes of the mouth (those in the mouth, trying to absorb its prey), these membranes, located between the upper lips, are very fragile and can break easily, leaving the hook stuck in them. Therefore, it is necessary that the tension of the line be favored by two factors: one is the position of the rod to work flexing at any time, without extreme resistance when the fishing rod at sea imposes it, and without the force is limited by the brake of the coil, where a rod at most MH (to my taste, better M) and length between 2 or 2.5 meters maximum.

Very flexible fishing rodThe second point is the line release. The action of the rod will always be more flexible if, at the same time, we work with a line of low average capacity , which allows us to pull a little without tearing the areas of the fish with the hooks, very possible action if we use very rigid rods , tighter brakes and lines of greater resistance, to guarantee the supposed capture. This tension is best achieved if we use slightly longer, medium or medium-hard (M-MH) rods and we can keep it in a good position to bend more and better absorb the pulls of the fish , without there being much resistance in the capture area and bass, so that the fish can move freely at all times.

The third point , has to do with the first two and is the control of the resistance (brake) of the coil . In this regard, my recommendation is to keep the brake applied with less force than usual . One for the jumps, since the sea bass can give a show in the air, which would envy any pelagic, showing incredible strength in its desire to get loose and just at that time without slackening our fishing line, take a few meters of thread before hitting or breaking the mouth, and of course, we will have better control, if we start from a certain calibration of the spool brake.

The fishing of the robaliza with artificial lures

Use of soft lures

Lures for soft snookIf I had to choose a decoy according to my own experience and way of thinking, my first option would be a soft lure like those of the DOA brand ,  there are many artificial brands but maybe this has given me quite good results, and why? change?. Other vinyls that are also very effective are the black minnows of Fiiish , many of the new fishermen prefer them, they give us many alternatives when it comes to fishing in different depths. The shad have been very efficient in places where the water currents have not been too strong, where the same force of the water will cause the tail of the vinyl to acquire its characteristic movement that few predators will reject. The worm or worms plasticI prefer to use them when there is little or no current, so they can lower and drop them in the bottom little by little and then "pull" a little, with two or three smaller pulls (to avoid that it goes up a lot) and go picking up the slowly, until some hungry robaliza enters.

This work with soft lures has more advantage when we can recover them in a gentle current, so that the same movement of the water brings them a few meters back, to restart the recovery. The jerk baits , are ideal for strong currents where only small fish will be caught; they boast of swimming with greater force to cross the power that brings the current, reason why the recovery must be more energetic (like the fish would do it) than the attacks, which tend to be more violent. One thing that beginners fishermen must assume is that if we are very close to a bridge where a stream of water passes, it is always convenient to be located at the exit of the bridge and not at the entrance, moreover, if you fish with the small diameter line whether it is braided or not, because if there is a strong current, the bass, once hooked to the hook, will choose to join the direction of the water flow to increase the force of the resistance and thus try to escape.

I also saw some innocent fishermen and not so new in these tasks, that when they locate the snooks try to drop the lure as close as possible and this is a mistake ... and a privilege that only corresponds to the delicateness of the maneuver to the experienced fishermen of fly . The robaliza is not like the barracuda that is characterized by its territoriality, far from scare by its vulnerable nature and releasing a decoy in the vicinity, especially when using these noisy poppers , can drive away and away from the place to have a good time away or directly not to return, and that is understandable ... your genetic memory dictates that the survival of fish in the sea.

Fishing with hard lures

Hard fishing luresIn this type of lures my favorite would be the Xrap10 and the subwalk of Rapala and Yo-Zuri the Crystal Minnow F6 and F8. I must admit that I like to see the locals with their pen-like lures, sometimes from the shore throwing some of these feathers that can not be uglier, but when they are chosen by hand with short and followed shots, they can give us a real lesson in how to fish snooks in the traditional way with minimal resources, because there is no doubt that they work and ... they continue to do so.

With the little Popper of Yo-Zuri or Rapala , I try to throw away from the areas where I think the sea bass may be, so as not to scare it, and I wait a few seconds (something I always do) to start a smooth recovery to the area that interests me, and many times I do it only with the tip of the cane, slowly, without moving it from the place; a practice that if I walk through deeper waters, such as the beach or the central channels of the estuary, I recover stronger and closer, seeking to attract the attention of the predator that may be in deeper areas.

For colors and according to studies, we know that the robaliza can visualize the white color , decomposed in a strong flash that includes almost all the colors of the spectrum, which could appear the holographic effect of the grass fish. And that the same white, in combination with red, or black with red, create a very attractive illusion for this species. However, I am convinced that any decoy color, well recovered and placed at the right time and place, can lead to a good catch when the fish wants to eat.

How to use fluorocarbon thread to fish bass

If, in other fishing techniques, using fluorocarbon thread can be insignificant, with this species, he emphasized that much of it, its use is fundamental. The fluoro offers a high resistance to abrasion , which will allow us to fight fish in structural areas with "relative" safety, as well as enjoy one of the best defenses against the gills of the robaliza, if someone saw it jump close , you must remember that you move your head to try to cut the line with your guts, damage that often achieved even using a good leader.

The other factor in favor of "fluro" is its lack of visibility on the part of the predator , its surface is so polished that it is equal to the capacity of the water to let the light pass, making it "almost" imperceptible its presence for the fish, very useful in clear waters. Of the marks that I used, I can say that Yo-Zuri, Sufix, Seaguard, Berkley Trilene , are fluorocarbons that give us very good benefits to be successful in catching snooks of colorful sizes. In turbid waters or using long rods, I used monofilament of 25 kg of resistance or the same Yo-Zuri hybrid of 20 kg of resistance, with nothing to regret so far.

But above all and to finish, those of us who feel respect and admiration for this species, we must assume the use of a good fluoro leader, always and by obligation, to be one of the species that fights for its life, the epic fights and the better emotions when it tries to defend itself and the least important thing I can assure you, is to lose the capture. Let us try as far as possible not to leave a lure crossed in the mouth of the fish, since we will condemn it for the impossibility of eating, a sure, slow and painful death; a very unjust death that no fish deserves, at least, a gladiator the size of the sea bass, master and lord of the beaches and estuary.