Inshore Fish!ing Report
Snook in the Dark
Jupiter Inlet, Fl
by: Jim Sawyer
It was just getting dark on the first Friday night of snook season when Capt. Asaro and I joined the line at the boat ramp near Jupiter Inlet. We were expecting a crowd and weren't disappointed. Chris has been telling me about the great night fishing for snook in Jupiter Inlet and this was a quick scouting trip with a little "fun fishing" thrown in.
Jupiter Inlet is well known as a center of activity for snook fishing year round, either in the inlet or along the beaches depending on the season and tide. Capt. Chris wanted to introduce me to night fishing for snook around the lighted docks along the inlet and side canals. This is one of his favorite trips for light tackle and flyfishing clients during the winter. It is also one of his personal favorites and he says this fishery first got him interested in flyfishing.
I already knew that snook feed best at night and that they use shadow lines as ambush points. What I didn't know was the fantastic number of snook that can be found in this inlet when conditions are right. If you have never seen a school of 20 or 30 or more snook milling about under a dock light, popping bait as it flows by in the current, I suggest you owe yourself that treat. There are plenty of other places where you can fish lighted docks, but I have never heard of another one with this number of resident snook.
I might add that the sight is made even better by the presence of a light tackle outfit or a flyrod in your hand. Watching that many hungry snook, watching your lure as you work it through the water creates a real sense on anticipation. It can also create a real sense of frustration if your approach and presentation aren't just right. These are well educated fish and they've seen it all before. Fortunately, Chris knew all the tricks so nobody got "Snookered", even on our short trip.
I won't try to give you all the facts and details. One trip doesn't make me an expert and this is a fishery where details make all the difference between just seeing fish and catching them. If you want to know more, Chris has published a short piece about flyfishing Jupiter Inlet for Cyber Angler called "Sightfishing for Snook under the Moonlight". (Or even better, Give him a call at 561/789-4283 and try it for yourself.)-or- Check out his new site at <http://www.sightfish.net/>.
Just one reminder, if you are going to try this on your own, please give as much thought to your boating safety as you do your fishing success. While I was always completely comfortable during our trip; this is a busy inlet, there can be strong currents in some areas on some tides and things tend to happen differently in the dark so be a good scout and be prepared.
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Last modified on 12/23/98.