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As you often hear me say night time is the right time for snook. The <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Tampa</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bay</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> waters become an entirely different world after dark. Downtown <st1:City w:st="on">St. Petersburg</st1:City> and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tampa</st1:place></st1:City> are all aglow in lights that reflect and dance on the waters surface. The ICW (inter costal waterways) come alive as restaurants, clubs and private homes turn on the lights. It’s then the docks, canals and bridges turn on the lights and the snook parade begins. Caution night snook fishing is addicting.

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Anywhere you have a light under the water or peering down into the water is worth a try. While every light may not hold snook many do so don’t be afraid to experiment even if you do not see snook present. Often snook are in the shadows stalking the lights edges looking for unsuspecting bait to ambush.

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The equipment used last night is actually light in comparison to what many anglers use at night. Redbone medium heavy 7.6” rods combined with Quantum Cabo 40 reels loaded with 20 pound Power Pro braided line finished with 40 pound fluorocarbon and a 2/0 circle hook. Drags have to be set tight as the action will be explosive with the linesiders heading for cover and razor sharp pilings. Don’t be surprised if you get your feeling hurt as snook have been to many rodeos and are famous for treating anglers badly.

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With the live well full of scaled sardines and pinfish we headed to the playing field. First stop yielded nothing. Second stop mirrored the first stop. Finally on the 3<SUP>rd</SUP> stop we hooked several snook. Once we got past 9 pm things picked up slightly. Several docks were thick with snook but it was a major challenge to get them to chew. The pattern continued this was fishing not catching. The night ended and overall the trip was fair at best. A few snook and trout were all we could muster.

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Navigation after dark is a whole new ballgame. Last Wednesday the moon was on its last quarter so it was dark out making it even harder to navigate. First and foremost slow down, use your GPS, be sure your running lights work.

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Capt. Steven

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