It’s great when a plan works out for a certain type of species and you get to capitalize on it with multiple solid fish. Over the past few months I would push my kayak in the dark water during sunrise, before work, and make my way out to these long concrete walls next to the water, targeting snook. This one day in particular, it seemed like everything was perfect – the tide, the water, the lure. If you haven’t targeted snook along seawalls, feel free to read on!
My experience with seawalls shows that snook, as usual, prefer moving water. You’ll want to look at the location where you want to fish, check the tides, and look for a tide that will make the water come at the seawall or move along side of it. For instance, if a seawall faces the North and the tide is moving North (away from the seawall), usually the bite won’t be as good. You’ll want to pick a tide where the current is moving bait at the wall or swiftly along side of it. As you have probably watched, snook like to use the wall as a “backboard”, if you will, and use it to pin and trap the bait fish on it.
This day in particular I was using a gold/black backed Mirrolure He Dog since the water was a little tinted and they have a good rattle. There’s nothing like seeing a snook rocket out of the water for a top-water plug! The water was only two feet or less in depth and as I made my way around the point in order to set my kayak up, made my first cast parallel to the seawall. After a few twitches of the wrist and a few zig zags by the plug, I saw a “V” swirl out from the wall and at my plug. Knowing I was going to have a bite I started to get anxious and got ready to set the hook. POW!!! As I set the hook the lure came flying by me!
Taking a deep breathe and resetting my gear, I took a second cast in relatively the same area and worked the plug again, this time the snook wasn’t letting go. BAM!!! I set the plug and the fight was on! My drag was set so he could take line if he wanted, which he did, so off he goes trying to shake the plug out of his mouth. I was anchored up in the kayak and what does he do? Tries to use my rope to his advantage by wrapping himself around it! I was able to get him freed and just about to land him when he saw me and took one final run under the kayak – not where I wanted him to go, I knew there were some rocks and oysters down there. As you guessed it, SNAP! I knew that he was pretty tired so I pulled anchor and got out my net and started to search for him along the wall. After a couple of seconds I saw the shiny plug swimming in the water, I went to net him but he took a swift kick and eluded me, spooking another nice snook along the way. After getting a good glimpse of him, it was easily a 32″-33″ snook.
So retying on another top-water, I made my way to another seawall, but before casting, turned on my GoPro to what I thought was video mode…wrong! As I reviewed my days work later, it revealed that the camera was in burst mode, which shot over 1,000 still shots instead of video!! Aaaahh!! Anyway, making the cast along the second wall resulted in a violent eruption as soon as the plug landed – FISH ON! I wouldn’t make the same mistake by having him take line and doing as he pleased so I tightened down the drag a bit and tried to break his spirit quickly, which worked and I had him netted in no time, although he was a smaller specimen. Nevertheless, like I said, I’ll take a snook on top-water any day.
After taking some pictures and moving on, I found another nice wall (by this time the sun was starting to make it pretty hot) with a tree that was casting a shadow over the water. Looked like a perfect spot for another linesider. Another first cast resulted in a snook taking the lure less than five feet from my kayak! What an awesome sight to see it unfold right before your eyes! This one took some nice acrobatic jumps right next to my boat and was a fun fight, probably one of the smallest fish of the day.
Continuing on, I made my way to the mouth of a creek with a bridge, which is another haven where snook like to hang out, especially when the sun is starting to really beat down. Again, another snook committed to hitting my plug but I couldn’t get a good hook set and lost him.
On the way back to the launch the BIG tarpon started to roll but wouldn’t have anything to do with what I was throwing, although they were just crushing the schools of mullet all around me. Still, a very amazing sight to see.
So as a wrap-up, try fishing some seawalls in your area! Plan the tide to make sure there’s some good water flow. Fan cast near the wall and work your way out, and try different plugs if you’re not seeing any results. Although I used top-water the whole day and had an amazing bite, landing several snook, sometimes they’re more picky and will need more finesse to get them in. Make sure you’re anchored up before you make the cast if you don’t want the snook pulling you in places you know you’ll get broken off in. Hold on, and be ready for a fight! Have fun!