Booking a snook fishing charter in Tampa Bay will ensure you have a successful day on the water. Snook can be wily fish, and it often takes an experienced angler to be able to consistently bag larger ones. But this does not mean you cannot catch them yourself. In the guide below, we will go over some basic tips that the professionals use to improve your inshore fishing game.

Snook: What You Need to Know

Snook are found not only in Tampa Bay but also in both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of North and South America. They can typically be found in mangroves, under docks and bridges, and around pretty much all other types of inshore structures. They have a very pronounced line running from their head to their tail, which helps them detect prey. It is because of this line that they have been dubbed “linesiders.”

Snook feed primarily on crustaceans and small fish. They like to ambush their prey, which results in a tell-tale “thump” when they hit your bait. When hooked, they will often put up a spirited fight that usually includes a couple of jumps.

Unlike many other species of fish in Tampa Bay, snook do not have sharp teeth, so they can be lipped much like a largemouth bass. They do have a razor-sharp gill plate you need to be mindful of. And although they are often released, they do make good table fare if you plan to keep your catch.

Tackle Setup

While on a snook fishing charter, a light saltwater spinning or baitcasting setup is recommended. Monofilament can be used, but thirty-pound braid coupled with a fluorocarbon leader will do a better job of covering most situations. The use of circle hooks is highly encouraged, especially if you do not plan to keep anything.


A snook fishing charter will often pitch a lure or bait near inshore structures like docks and bridges. Be sure to pay attention to the current though. These fish are extremely sensitive to the tides and will not bite as well during a slack tide. Be sure the water is moving or wait until it is. Fishing at night can be very productive, especially during a full moon.

Also, it helps to ask the locals around Tampa Bay about better fishing spots because different areas will fish well on different tides. This kind of nuanced knowledge can only come with experience, so do not be afraid to ask your local bait shop about where they fish. Or better yet, book a snook fishing charter with Salinity Now and let us do all the work for you.


There are a variety of artificial lures your local snook fishing charter will use to target these fish. Some examples are:

  • Bucktail jigs with plastic tail attached
  • Soft plastics such as a DOA Shrimp or Jerk Shad
  • Topwater plugs like a Mirrorlure or Zara Spook

It should be noted that it is best to use topwater plugs during low-light hours such as the early morning or late evening.

Live Baits

A variety of live bait will work, but it is a good idea to stick to whatever can be found in Tampa Bay. Examples of live bait that will work in nearly every area are:

  • Live pilchards
  • Live “finger” mullet
  • Live sardines
  • Live shrimp

Snook Fishing Charter in Tampa Bay

Though it is possible to go out on the water and catch fish on your own, it is suggested you book a snook fishing charter with a reputable local captain if you want to have a truly memorable day. Let the professionals at Salinity Now handle all the hard work for you so you can focus on what really matters — catching fish. Call (727) 480-3620 or contact us now to book your charter in Tampa Bay.