Snook – Its what’s for Dinner
As of Sept. 1, snook season is open in our region. So, from now until December 1, those anglers wanting to harvest a snook within the designated slot of 28-33 inches may do so. That being said, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC, is encouraging anglers who do catch keeper snook to use moderation when deciding on whether to take one home or release it. This moderation is due to the fact that although snook numbers have reached a healthy population after the freeze of 2010 they are still not where they were prior to the freeze.
Now, this doesn’t mean you’re a “murderer” if you decide to keep a snook for dinner now and again. Although I don’t particularly care for the taste of snook myself, most people do. And with the size and bag limits put in place, you should be able to harvest a snook if you decide you want to. I don’t suggest going out every night from now until Dec. 1 to try to fill your freezer with snook, but a keeper here and there is what it is. A keeper.
Let’s give a little credit to the snook, too. They are not stupid fish. It’s not like those keepers just swim up and jump in the boat. It takes a lot of time and dedication to even get a chance at a keeper. Those bigger fish are smart. How do you think they got to be bigger fish? It’s not because they ate every bait that crossed their path.
On a final note, snook are the most popular backwater species in our region. And with that being said, they receive a considerable amount of pressure. Being conservation-minded is a great way of thinking when targeting snook but don’t forget that it’s our God given right to harvest and eat one. And if FWC is diligent with enforcing closed seasons, bag limits and slot sizes, we should have a manageable fishery for years to come.
Remember, snook survived the gill net era so I’m sure they can outsmart a few sporties now and again.