When it comes to Snook fishing, it’s no secret that live bait is going to land the most fish. The natural presentation it has is too much for the fish to resist. With fishing, however, there should always be an added element of difficulty.
Artificial baits put anglers and fish more on an equal playing field and an angler’s skills are truly showcased when using artificial lures. Here is a list of 10 deadly Snook lures that will keep the challenge, but always catch fish.
Rapala Skitter Prop
The Skitter Prop is a plug bait that always seems to work. This is a great bait to throw in the mangrove trees as the Snook are feeding. It causes quite a bit of movement in the water and in saltwater fishing, that is key. Snook love to surface feed and the more action on the surface, the better.
This lure doesn’t take long to master. Unlike “walk-the-dog” lures, you don’t have to perfect any difficult technique to use it. All you’ll do is pick your spot to cast (likely near structure) and begin reeling and jigging the rod back towards you.
Some may call it a twitch, but all-in-all it’s a simple action. The wide body is going to shoot water up off of its sides every time you twitch. The fish can’t miss it and will likely give it a swipe right away. This bait will cost you around $10 a piece.
Strike King Spinnerbait
Many use the Strike King Spinnerbait for Redfish, but the Strike King Spinner is potentially even more useful for Snook. This bait is made for saltwater action. It won’t corrode and has plenty of weight to reach your desired portion of the water column.
It weighs a ¼ ounce and has a nice amount of movement. The added weight makes it easy to cover quite a bit of water. If you have no idea what is hitting or where the fish are located, use the Strike King Spinnerbait. Throw it wherever you think the fish may be and do a nice steady retrieve.
This bait comes with a 4 or 5 inch Shad tail attached to its hook. You can easily change the soft plastic to fit whatever conditions you are fishing. You’ll find this bait for around $4 or $5.
This DOA Baitbuster is a wonderful swimbait to use for Snook. You can also use it to target tarpon and even larger freshwater fish. You can find these in trolling and shallow models. The trolling model is going to work great if you want to bounce along the bottom.
Fish the shallow model on the flats or under the mangroves. With a medium retrieve, the bait will rise to the surface and imitate a scared baitfish. Don’t immediately start reeling once it hits the water. Let it sink for a few seconds and then you can begin.
You’ll find the Baitbuster for around $5 a piece. These baits have proven to catch Snook so purchase a few and see them in action.
The DOA Shrimp will find its way into many lists for best saltwater bait. The shrimp is extremely realistic and a variety of fish will eat it. Don’t be surprised if you land multiple types of fish when using the DOA’s.
You can fish these in several ways and all methods seem to catch Snook. The easiest way is to tie it directly to your leader and fish it along the bottom. As long as it is sandy, the DOA is a wonderful bait to use. The fish see it as a realistic shrimp and don’t take long to strike.
You can also fish it under a popping cork. Read more in this article about how to fish under a popping cork. Depending on where you would like the DOA to sit in the water column, you’ll catch plenty of fish.
If neither of these options are working and you’re fishing an area with heavier vegetation, raise the level of your rod tip to keep the shrimp higher in the water column. You may cause your shrimp to spin a bit more, but it should catch fish.
You can find a pack of three DOA shrimp for around $10.
Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon
The Johnson Spoon is another legendary lure that always works to catch Snook. It’s simplicity makes it a great bait to use if you’re unaware of the location of the fish. Throw it out all over the water and see what strikes.
The main thing to remember is to use a snap swivel when using the Johnson Silver Spoon. The spoon rotates quite a bit in the water so it’s best to have a swivel to prevent excess line twist. If the fish aren’t striking, try to switch up the pace of your retrieve. You can slow it down, speed it up and even throw in a bit of extra movement.
If you’re looking to help a beginner learn how to fish for Snook, the Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon is the way to go. You can find these for around $12 a piece.
Flare Hawk Jig
Jigs are always smart to use when fishing for Snook. If you know they’re bottom feeding, using a jig is the way to go. These work great around bridges or other structures in the water.
If you know the fish are deep and you can’t quite see them, use the Flare Hawk jig. The Snook will hit it if you slowly bounce it along the bottom. Be sure you’re using braid and heavy enough reels. You never know what is going to hit one of these jigs.
These jigs will cost you around $3 a piece. It’s a great bait to use for a variety of fish!
Yo-Zuri 3D Inshore Twitchbait Slow Sinker
The Yo-Zuri is a smart choice to use when you’re looking to fish with a jerkbait. It sinks slowly and has plenty of action. It will cover a wide variety of the water column and when it comes to Snook fishing, that is important.
This lipless crankbait is only around 3.5 inches long, but is plenty strong and has a solid reputation of withstanding quite a bit of abuse. Use these in the deeper areas you fish.
Once you cast, let it fall for a few seconds. As you reel, it’s not a bad idea to throw a pause in amongst your jerks to let it fall in the water column. A wounded baitfish won’t continuously swim without taking a break. Snook will often hit these baits in the fall.
The Yo-Zuri will cost you around $9 a piece.
Live Target Mullet
The Live Target Mullet is a must for anyone targeting fish that like to surface feed. This wake bait has an extremely natural looking presentation. If you see recent oil slicks, throw the Live Target Mullet. The snook will strike it like they would a live Mullet.
While these are a bit spendier (around $17), the strikes you receive on the Live Target Mullet are worth every single penny. Snook loves this bait and will attack it any time it’s in the water.
Rapala Skitter Walk
The Skitter Walk is a high quality Snook bait with a proven track record. This walk-the-dog lure takes a bit of getting used to, but once you have the rhythm, it’s game on! The Snook can’t resist it for long. Make sure that when you’re using the Skitter Walk, you twitch and pause during the retrieve.
You’ll want to tie this to braid so you don’t receive any unnecessary line twists. The lure has a few beads on the inside that add to the commotion that is already being created on the surface.
Throw this on a calm evening and you’ll receive enough action that you won’t want to leave the water. The fish will consistently blow it up when they have the chance! The Skitter Walk will run about $15 a piece.
The Wind Cheater is a lesser known Snook lure, but it still produces fish. This lure is made to cast long distances and cover a massive amount of water. You can find these in 4.5 and 6 inches.
They’ll only get to about 8 feet deep so keep that in mind when you’re choosing to fish them. If you’re completely clueless on what to throw, the Wind Cheater will help you search. Tie it on during a windy day and you’ll likely catch fish.
These will cost you around $9 a piece.