Boat-based Snook fishing

Boat-based Fishing

SHOP ALL snook fishing Gear

Fishing the Flats & Mangroves

This is perhaps the most iconic method of snook fishing. The fish seem to be tailor made for mangroves. When working mangroves, cast as close as you’re comfortable. If you’re up current of your spot, fishing live bait, you might let it drift back into the cover a bit. When you feel the thump, give the fish a second then come tight. Put the heat on and try to get the snook out of the tangle of roots. When you’re working the mangroves, cast the edges of channels, deeper holes or, if you notice an area that holds fish, throw some blind casts. Gulp baits on jig heads or small swim baits or soft plastics can be good options here.

Using the Current

Snook are classic ambush predators. When the tide is pushing current, pinch points can be great places to fish. Look for areas exposed to flowing current that also provide a backwater or eddy where snook can hide and await food to drift past. On a falling tide, look for deeper channels on the flats that drain large areas or places where mangrove channels drain into open areas. Bridge pylons, oyster banks or deep, sandy holes on the flats can provide the same effect.

The Set up

Whether sight fishing the flats or making your way down rows of mangroves and oyster bars, the ability to consistently place your bait where you need it will help you catch more snook. A 4000 or 5000 model spinning reel, spooled with 10-20 pound braid, mounted to a six-and-a-half or seven-foot spinning rod is a great all around snook set up. As a general rule, the clearer the water, the lighter the leader you’ll want to deploy.


For a sunny day on the flats—when you’re searching for snook in shallow, gin clear water—25-pound fluoro might induce more bites. If you need to put the brakes on an over slot around mangrove roots, bridge pylons or docks, you might bump up your tackle. A conventional reel or a larger spinning outfit spooled with 30 to 50-pound braid provide good options for catching larger snook in places where you’ll need backbone to keep the fish out of cover. These scenarios also call for heavier leader—in the range of 40 to 60-pound mono (depending on water clarity).