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Best Snook Fishing Charters in Tampa Bay

Top Snook Fishing Charters in Tampa Bay


  • Size 3 to 15lbs
  • Food Value Good
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Snook Fishing in Tampa Bay

The Snook fishing Tampa Bay has to offer will keep you captivated year-round. This elusive and hard-fighting catch inhabits all parts of the Bay, from the beaches, flats, and mangroves to jetties and docks.

You might hook into a Snook anytime, anywhere, making this fish the most popular catch in Tampa Bay. With no shortage of methods to try, you can enjoy chasing after Snook countless times without growing tired of it.  

When and Where to Catch Snook

For the best Snook fishing in Tampa Bay, try hitting the beaches or mangrove shorelines. You will find this fish closest to shore in the summer months, when they are hungry and ready to bite any number of baits you toss their way. They reach their peak from May through September, some of them reaching close to 30 lbs in size.

The south end of the Bay tends to see especially large numbers of Snook. Down here you might reel in between 50-100 Snook in a day when the season is right.

Of course, the docks are a favorite Snook location, especially at night. A number of Tampa inshore fishing charters specialize in fishing the dock lights at night, during the Snook’s prime feasting hours.

In cooler months, Snook tend to lose their appetite as their metabolism slows. This isn’t to say you’ll have no luck at all, but you’re going to come away much happier if you focus more on other inshore species and happen to hook into a Snook while you’re at it.

How to Catch a Snook

Snook fishing in Florida is catch-and-release throughout much of year. However, there does come a time each year—usually around spring—when anglers are allowed to keep one Snook between 28-33” in length. You must purchase a special permit if you intend to keep a Snook ($10, price subject to change).

You can catch Snook using a variety of methods, such as drift fishing, still fishing, casting, and trolling. When it comes to bait, this fish is most fond of scaled Sardines and live Pilchards. Try bottom fishing with Mullet heads or Ladyfish halves for a large Snook in deeper water like the Port Manatee channel.

If you’re one for artificials, Snook tend to bite a variety of jigs and plugs. Mirror plugs, jerk plugs, and topwater plugs are all effective, as are spoons and plastic jigs.

You can also enjoy fly fishing for Snook in Tampa Bay. Large streamers and poppers tend to be effective. Many anglers manage to catch 10-20 Snook a day on fly, sometimes more.


  • Size 3 to 15lbs
  • Food Value Good
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Tampa Bay Snook Fishing Seasons

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Snook fishing in Tampa Bay varies moderately throughout the year. High season is May to September and November. Low season is January to March and December. There is no closed season.