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Late Summer Shots.

One of the most sought-after fish species in South Florida is the common snook. Starting Sept. 1, the snook season along the Atlantic and the Gulf coasts reopens. The adult snook population has been going through their spawning rituals since early May. Now, with fall on the way, the adult snook population has started their annual migration from the spawning areas along the oceanside beaches, ocean inlets and offshore reefs into the inshore waters where they will spend most of their time till their spawning season starts again next year.

Snook attract a lot of attention from fishermen for many reasons. Snook feed on an assortment of baits. Live, dead or artificial. The snook can be found almost everywhere in South Florida at one time or another. And of course, the main reason snook attract so much attention from fishermen is because of their eagerness to attack a live bait or artificial lure with quick and sometimes violent strikes. Hook a snook bigger than eight pounds on light to medium tackle in an area that has pilings or mangrove roots and you will be amazed at how strong and fast that fish will fight as it struggles to free itself. Vicious strikes from the surface to the bottom, sizzling runs, thrashing on the surface and jumping clear of the water are all descriptions of what a snook fisherman might experience.

From Deerfield Beach south to Ocean Reef during the day, snook can be found under most of the inshore bridges, under docks, in potholes over the shallow grassflats and hiding along and under mangrove shorelines. Snook will also hang out in the areas of salinity dams or flood control gates as they wait for the gates to open and flush freshwater baitfish to them. Once the freshwater baitfish hits the saltier side of the dam, the saltwater stuns them and makes for an easy meal for a hungry snook.

As the sun sets, snook fishermen target the bridge shadowlines created from the overhead lights. Those lights attract an assortment of baitfish and shrimp that the snook are eager to inhale. Dock lights that are scattered throughout the bay and Intracoastal Waterway also attract baitfish and shrimp, thus attracting hungry groups of snook.

Snook can be targeted on foot or by boat, canoe or kayak. Finding a hot spot for snook fishing from land becomes more difficult each year. Some of the best areas are owned by homeowners who do not want a stranger fishing from their property. Other spots are off limit with signs nearby stating private property and many bridges either are too dangerous to fish from or have posted signs stating no fishing. However, if a snook fisherman is determined to fish from shore, then he or she can try a few of these locations that have sea walls, docks and mangrove-lined shorelines within an easy cast. Such locations include Homestead Bayfront Park, Matheson Hammock State Park, Bill Baggs State Park, Oleta River State Park, Greynolds Park East, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, Hugh Taylor State Park and Hillsboro Inlet State Park. Snook fishermen wishing to fish from a boat, kayak or canoe have an advantage over the shoreline fishermen. The vessel allows you to work miles of shorelines, lots of docks and any bridge or flat you wish to target.

HUNTING

Muzzleloaders in Zone A can target antlered deer which meet regulations within the Deer Management Unit from Sept. 1-14. During the same dates turkeys can also be hunted. Big Cypress WMA has archery season dates Sept. 1-30.

BEST BET

Has your stockpile of spiny lobsters dwindled? Mostly calm and clear waters during September can make snorkeling or diving up a 6-spiny lobster limit easy if you can find them. Re-visit your go-to lobster hot spots that have been untouched since the beginning of the new lobster season. You will be pleasantly surprised to see lots of lobsters where they weren't just a few weeks ago.

SOUTH SCENE

Sept 1: Atlantic and Gulf snook season re-opens

Sept 8: Offshore Anglers of Pompano Beach, Snapper Master Tournament, Pompano Beach

Sept. 14-16: Florida Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival, South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach

Sept. 14-16: Miami Outboard Club Swordfish Tournament, Marathon

Sept. 15: The Everglades Bassmasters of South Florida Tournament, Lake Ida

Sept. 25: Pompano Beach Power Squadron Boating Course

By Alan Sherman

getemsportfishing.com

(786)436-2064

Caption: Andres Cacicedo caught the bonefish in Biscayne Bay on live shrimp. He estimated it to be 8 pounds.

Caption: Snook season opens on both coasts on Sept. 1.
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Title Annotation:South
Author:Sherman, Alan
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Sep 1, 2018
Words:761
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