The Enduring Allure of Snook

The Enduring Allure of Snook

A beginners guid to theis exciting gamefish.

  • By: Norm Zeigler
Like the memory of a kiss that sparks a lifelong love affair, people remember their first snook experience. Mine came along a sandy beach on Sanibel Island, Florida, on a hot May morning in 1995.

A Clouser Minnow tossed well ahead of a cruising fish in clear water brought a smashing strike. The fish was not big-22 inches-but it jumped four times and bent my 9-weight in an arc. Since then I have been as hooked as that first snook.

There is, deservedly, a certain mystique about snook. Part of it is their morphology: Powerful but notoverbuilt, with up-looking eyes, ski-slope noses and insouciantly underslung lower jaws, snook exude an air of pugnacious elan. Their coloration befits piscine royalty: ivory underbelly, gleaming silver sides, lateral lines marked by a single black stripe, bronze-gold backs and fins.

Another part of the snook mystique is their fighting ability. These are swift, robust fish that battle relentlessly from hookup to landing (and sometimes beyond). And they jump. How could anyone not love a creature that runs like a torpedo and explodes out of the water like a Trident missile?

The name "snook" comes from snoek, the Dutch word for "pike," as they bear a vague resemblance to the freshwater fish. Other common names are "linesiders," "sergeant fish" and "roballo." Scientists call them Centropomus undecimalis.