How to cast a fly to a staged snook in Palm Beach
Lets start with step 1. You’ll have to effectively cast the fly to the fish before you can catch him. If you cast your fly line over their backs they will spook and though some fish will eat directly after you do this my experience with snook is, they will not. Snook are very weary and cautious. I set my skiff up for a 45 to 90 degree cast if I can. In most cases I advise my clients to cast up current a few feet in front of the fish (only letting the leader roll out in front of the fish), not the fly line; and let the fly drift back towards the fish.
How to feed a snook a fly in Palm Beach
Ok, your probably wondering why I specify Palm Beach right? It may sound weird but fish in different areas and different habitats are looking for different foods and actions. In Palm Beach we primarily fish snook sitting near structure, in current, facing upstream, waiting for their next meal to be swept in front of them. Snook in the Everglades for example may be sitting on a shallow muddy bank soaking up some sun rays. Each scenario the fly might vary and the approach and the ‘‘feed’’ may vary. Ok, back to the end of step 1; you’ve got your fly drifting at a 45 to 90 degree angle as the current moves it closer to the fish I advise my angler to do short medium to fast ticks in order to get the attention of the fish. You will know when the fish tunes into your fly. He will suddenly move in line with it and move up to investigate. As soon as the fish does this, I tell my angler to just start stripping the fly as fast as they can back to the boat and not to slow down.
How to hook a Palm Beach snook on fly
Now you are stripping your fly back to the skiff as fast as you can and the fish is right behind it giving chase with his nose 1 inch behind the fly. You watch him eat! Don’t panic. I always tell my angler to keep the rod tip down a few inches from the water pointed in the direction of the fly. Never lift your rod tip, (we all know this but are likely still guilty.. haha). Just keep on stripping at the same pace until he comes tight. Now you have leverage. You will need it!
How to fight a snook on fly
You’ve come tight with your rod pointed at the fish with no slack in the line. Now you lift. The snook will most likely try to turn and run directly to the closest structure (in our case a dock piling). Keep your rod tip low. You will in most cases have to fight the fish on the rod and not use the reel. Do your best to keep the fish tight, giving him no slack. When lines go slack fish spit hooks. Fishing so close to structure our fly outfits are 7-8wt but the weakest link in the line is 25-30lb. If you have to horse a fish go ahead and horse him away from the dock. Once the fish has attempted to run to the dock with no luck 2 or 3 times he will tire out. At this point you can reel up the slack and get him on the reel to finish up. Net, a quick picture, and send him/her back home! Sight fishing snook here never gets old and I thoroughly enjoy putting people on them as much as I like to fish them myself! Especially their first snook!
If you are interested in Fly Fishing or Light Tackle Fishing with a professional inshore saltwater fly fishing guide in Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, visit www.flyfishingpalmbeach.com or www.oracleexpeditions.com to reserve your date!