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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The fish are still working bait in Matagorda bay, eventhough the water temp is down. Fished a large school first hour after daylight with several near misses and one lure thrown quickly after hook-up.
Capt. Scott Graham put three fish in the air on fly and had a couple of short misses at the boat, while we were fishing nearby.

Reports of a couple of schools of snook seen and one caught while sight-fishing shorelines. Glad to hear they are coming back in the area, been gone for a long time now.
 

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Interesting about the Snook sightings. Four years ago I saw three of them near the base of the north POC jetty. I was reluctant to even tell anybody because I knew they would think I was mistaken or full of BS, but the water was clear and I got a really good look at them. They were definitely Snook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Back in the 80's, I would see small schools cruising the north jetty rocks close to the surfline, but could never get them to eat. I have not been there in over ten years, so don't know if they are still around.
With the increase in tarpon and mangrove snapper numbers over the past few years, I hope the snook will follow in their finsteps.
 

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Snook

I was shocked to catch a snook off the Port A jetties last spring. I had no idea there were any in the area. Over the course of the season I caught about 1/2 a dozen more while fishing for tarpon. None of them of any size but it was always a pleasant surprize to find one on the end of the line.

I don't know snook well enough to know if they were fat snook or common snook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure about telling them apart myself, we have both species here on our coast. All I am sure about is that I'm glad they are coming back. I've never caught one in PO'C, a couple are caught around there each year on accident similiar to tarpon. Just recently there is a handful of us fishing the tarpon with success, so maybe there is a snook fishery also. This is a new species to concentrate on for my expeditions. I'll keep you informed when I catch some.
 

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Worldangler
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Snook in Texas

I have never caught or seen a snook in POC, but as a kid, I caught some very small ones in Rockport, usually in late August or September. I have heard (and seen the picture) of one caught at the Freeport jetties.

There are actually 4 species of snook, and all four are found in Texas waters. The common, swordspine, fat, and black (there's another name for this one, but I can't recall it now). I have caught 3 of these species, missing the swordspine. Interesting enough, I have only caught common snook outside Texas (unless you count the Pacific snook as a separate species). Most of my Texas snook have come from the Port Isabel jetties, where is there are surprisingly a lot of them - if you target them. Have seen one about 30 pounds chasing bait repeatedly at the tip of the north jetty down there. Spent a lot of time hunting them in South Bay - but have never caught one there. The Mexican Flats at SPI and the river also hold pretty decent quantities. If you pitched soft plastics directly into the rocks down there and let the current/surge carry the bait out - you will catch one eventually.

The common snook is the largest and most widely found. The others are not suppose to reach sizes more than a couple of pounds. The fat snook is stockier, and the one's I've caught have a darkish grey/black tint to them. The actual difference is in the number of spines in the fins, but I can never remember which has how many.

I LOVE snook, it is my favorite fish and I've chased them all over the gulf and carribean to the pacific coast (Baja West Coast). They seem to be very cyclical - specially in Texas - with peaks coming about every 5 years. They are VERY temperature sensitive, and IMHO, the only time you seem them creep up the Texas coast past Corpus is when we have a long warm water period (mild winter, early rise in water temps, and late in season before cold weather). Even the mildest winter will scoot the fish south (or deep) in a hurry.

Long time ago, there was a large enough population in Texas that went unmolested - and because there was much more deep water (before holes were sanded in and tugboats churning up the deep water), middle and lower coast snook hit the deep water but stayed within the bay system. Nowadays, I am convinced they just leave and head south. But back then, the snook were around in enough numbers that most serious middle/south coast anglers would tie into a few every season.

They called them 'pike' or 'saltwater pike'. In fact, Doug English/Sportsman Lures used to make lures especially for them - the Pike Troller for example (they also made a king-troller and bass-troller). In my collecting of antique lures I was puzzled by a Corpus lure manufacturer making a lure for 'pike' and talking about catching 'pike', until an old-timer set me straight and produced some old newspaper clippings and photos of the 'pike' - which are clearly snook. If you read any old literature on the Texas coast and they mention pike - they're talking about snook. Trolling the rivers during the colder months was a popular method for catch 'pike' on the lower coast.

Just got back from a trip earlier this month from Boca Paila in the Yucatan where my bud, Pat Collis, and I spent a week fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon, and of couse - SNOOK. When I get back to the house tonite, I'll post pictures that I'm sure y'all will enjoy!

Last year, I hooked, fought, and almost landed a snook down there that was every bit of 5ft long in surf at the boca! Lost him just as a guide from the lodge went to grab him. There are LOTS 15-30 lb fish at the mouth of the boca, but they are really, really hard to catch. They seem only to feed in the 30 minutes before sunset - you can see them all day swimming in packs of 2-5 fish, but you CANNOT intice them until the sun begins to set. Inside the boca in the bay flats and mangrove channels and islands, there easier-to-catch, but smaller fish up to about 10-15lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only place I've caught them in Texas was in in SPI, smallest 14" and biggest 34".

Snook are everything a largemouth bass or speckled trout wishes they could be!
 

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While snorkeling around the Port Mansfield jetties in late September we saw more snook than any other fish, by 4X-5X. The majority were fat snook or possibly juvinile common snook in schools or 40-60. common snook were cruising everywere in schools or 4-6 and averaged 20-30" in length. There was one or two common that were solitary and were easily over 40". Bigger than most of the big/bull redfish in the area at that time.

Most snook are usually caught during twilight, early in the morning or just at dark. If you fish these times, they are not uncommon to catch. We have most luck on shrimp tipped plastics. They rarely hit mullet but seem to love shrimp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info on the snook bite, I'll be putting it to test Monday am at PO'C.

The bidding for your generous lodging donation got out priced for me at this time (buying a new boat.) I will be getting with you later for a reservation next year. I spent a week down there a couple years back, but I was on a boat the whole time. Looking forward to a mini-vacation with the spouse or fishing buddies.
 

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Worldangler
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Check out this Snook

Jerome McKowen (holding the rod) fished with us a week down in boca paila. All week long he tried for a snook and tarpon, never having caught one before. He caught permit on fly, lots of bonefish and other species, but not a snook or tarpon. He did have one of each on, but both times the fish broke off or threw the hook.

On the last night, we persuaded him to join us on a self-guided jaunt to wade the mouth of the boca. (We like to do this after returning from the day's fishing with the guide at 4pm - can't get enough fishin'!). He already packed up his gear for the flight home the next morning, so we lent him a Curado and All-Star loaded with 12# test, and picked out a purple mirrolure (which I had caught some tarpon on the evening before).

We waded out and I could tell he was a bit apprehensive standing in a breaking surf with bait busting all around us due to jacks, sharks, cudas, snook, and tarpon. After about 20 casts he reports he's hooked up and we think it's just a jackfish, but when he gets it up - it's a HUGE snook! Pat Collis wades over and helps him land it and I snap a few quick pictures with a waterproof disposable, and the fish is released!

His first snook - we figure 40" and close to 25-30 lbs !!! The lodge record is only 22 lbs.

BTW, five casts later he hooks and lands a small tarpon - 10 lbs or so on the same purple mirrolure - his first tarpon.
 

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Chillin'
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Very interesting and informative info everyone. I always wondered why we never caught any snook when I was a kid in Port M during the 50's ... I've come to learn they were there but I 'm sure my dad never targeted them when he took the boys out. Anyway, it's good to see them making a slow comeback. I'm anxious to try for both snook and tarpon "one of these days".
 

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Makes sense now ... I had that opportunity to take a brief ride the waters a bit north of Sea Drift ... Nice area!!! We did not talk about the 'poons. To me the areas poons there would be the bay, the ditch or more likely the Gulf on the other side of the dunes ...????

Similarly in POC or are you guys fishing the Port itself?
 

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Capt. Charles Wright said:
OKAY ... break the code ... what/where is POC?

I am new to this board. It sure is refreshing to find Texans who have broken the infatuation with trout and reds!
The infatuation is there because thats the big two in Texas bays, I we had plenty of snook like florida, I'd be called snookr, because they are the best bay fish I have ever encountered.
Hit topwaters, jump, and peel off drag like a redfish. Snook, my perfect fish.
Man oh man!!!!!
 

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I certainly did not mean to put down Mr. Red or Trout. Here, in the winter, even though it is 75 degress today, the water is still "winter" cold. My trip today will likely consist of throwing flies at redfish most of the day ... we will see snook, probably lots of them, but they are cold and likely won't eat. In afternoon, we'll be on the grass flats with a pile of trout around.
 

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Capt. Charles Wright said:
I certainly did not mean to put down Mr. Red or Trout. Here, in the winter, even though it is 75 degress today, the water is still "winter" cold. My trip today will likely consist of throwing flies at redfish most of the day ... we will see snook, probably lots of them, but they are cold and likely won't eat. In afternoon, we'll be on the grass flats with a pile of trout around.
Stop rubbing it in.
good luck!
 

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Well, not quite as expected ... the redfish were far a few between ... managed on three small fish ... John did land a 33" snook on a very light outfit ... he did a great job wrestling her out of the mangroves and oyster bars ... finished off with a bunch of trout, ladyfish, blue fish and pompano ...
 
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