Snook

(Sphyraena novaehollandiae)

The humble Snook has a reputation for having a glass jaw when hooked! It is a very sluggish fighter and is also considered to be a relatively poor table species. Most Snook are encountered by anglers targeting other more desirable species such as tailor and herring. Snook do make exceptionally good bait when used whole or cut into strips for such species such as mulloway and yellow tail king fish!

Distribution

Snook can be located from as far south as Albany up to Shark Bay throughout Western Australia. They may also be encountered in S.A. and VIC as well as northern Tassie.

Growth

Snook are a fast growing species that can reach lengths of up to one meter plus and weigh as much as 5kg although most Snook encountered throughout Australia average around 600 grams to a kilo and anything larger is considered to be a horse.

Habitat

Snook prefer shallow bays and inshore reef systems with large areas of healthy sea weed beds as well as sheltered sandy bays with heavy cover near by. Water depths of 1 – 15 meters are most suitable.

Identification

Snook are often mistaken for their smelly cousins the pike which are much shorter in body length and posses a kerosene like smell. Snook can be easily identified by their much longer, thinner body shape and lack of foul smell. They are generally brown to green in colouration with a silver belly. The mouth has a set of large teeth used for clamping down onto small bait fish with before consumption.

Taste rating

  • Thirty Taste Rating
    30%

Snook are considered to be a poor quality table fish by most!

Sport rating

  • Thirty Sport Rating
    30%

Snook posses average fighting abilities at best!

Tackle requirements

Ultra light spin and fly combos are ideally suited to targeting Snook both from shore or from boat with braided, gel spun and nylon lines with a breaking strain of around 2 – 3kg proving ideal. Light 10 – 20lb nylon or fluoro carbon leaders of around one rod length help to prevent the fish from seeing brightly coloured lines when fish are being fussy during calm, clear conditions and also prevent bite offs.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Small cut or whole pieces of peeled prawn or fresh fish as well as squid are sensational baits for catching Snook, with very small soft plastics, metal lures, small stick baits and fly’s also proving to be successful at times.

Handy hints and tips

Using powdered or pellet berley with fish oils added will not only help to attract herring into your fishing area but Snook also. The activity of all the herring buzzing around will soon bring Snook calling and more importantly, keep them there! An old rag doused in fish oil will also work well in most herring/Snook fishing situations.

Preferred fishing times and tides

Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting Snook around most areas although some deep water locations will also produce good numbers of fish during low and falling tides. New moon phases are also preferable for most fish species including Snook.

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