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Night time is party time for adult snook. And we all know a good party has to have the right appetizers. Mature female snook are suckers for whitebait and pinfish. Friday night’s party started on the flats off the Skyway Bridge where the groceries were easy to come by, a little chum was all that was needed to bring both scaled sardines and pinfish within cast net range.

The ICW is lined with docks and canals, ease up on any dock or bridge with a light and you are ready to play. If you have never fished at night you have to put it on your to do list. As the sun goes down the water becomes an entirely different world.

Friday night’s party had plenty of action. Most lights we targeted held snook. Watching linesiders ambush bait holding in the lights is worth the price of admission. While we saw many large 30” and bigger snook the juvenile fish 20-28” were all we could get to bend a rod. Surprising was the number of redfish we took on the same docks.

Try not to cast directly at the lights, focus on the shadows. Toss up current and let your bait work naturally though the ambush area. This is combat fishing 101 and requires beefier tackle, 30 pound mainline with 30 to 50 pound fluorocarbon leaders finished with a 2/0 circle hook. When you feel the bait get nervous get ready, remember with circle hooks all you need to do is reel. Do not try to set the hook!

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Capt. Steven

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