Skip to main content

Best Live Bait Rigs for Snook & How to Use Them

Snook season kicks off today, here are the top three live bait rigs we'd recommend tying on during your search for a slot.

Snook fishermen are fortunate enough to be able to target these great gamefish in many different places with many different applications. From the spillways to the beaches, live bait is hard to beat for linesiders. Here are a few of my favorite rigs for snook, no matter where I’m fishing in the state.

1. Circle Hook & Small Float

man holds fishing float in hand
A small, streamlined cork still allows the bait to swim freely but still lets you see when the bait is getting close to the strike zone.

I like to spice up the typical free-line rig with a small float, roughly three feet above the hook. This is my go-to when fishing mullet along seawalls and docks. The reason for the float isn’t to keep the bait high in the water column, but more so a visual for me. The small, streamlined cork still allows the bait to swim freely but still lets me see when the bait is getting close to the strike zone or near structure. The small size also doesn’t cause much resistance when the fish is swallowing the bait and swimming away prior to setting the hook. I’ve had snook spit baits out before the hook-up due to the resistance of a larger cork being pulled underwater. 

2. Knocker Rig

knocker rig and soft plastic in palm of open hand
Ideal for fishing near structure. Plastic bait shown for illustration; live will be used.

A knocker rig excels when fishing areas such as docks where a precise cast may be necessary to get your bait in front of the fish but give a little more movement to your bait over something like a jig head.

The knocker rig is as simple as they come, an egg sinker right above the hook. The weight “knocks” down onto the hook. These work great for any baits that like to be on the bottom. Large live shrimp, pinfish and croakers are a few that come to mind. Keeping a tight line, the weight stays snubbed up to the hook in the water, fishing like a jighead.

Open your bail and the weight will then lay stationary on the bottom. Your line will then slide through the hole of the weight, allowing your bait to swim freely. Close your bail and get tight and the bait snubs right back up to the weight. Great for fishing around structure where you want to let your bait have maximum movement but stay out of the snags at the same time. 

3. Jupiter Rig

hand holding jupiter rig with egg sinker and finger mullet
Want to keep the bait on bottom while allowing a little slack for the bite? The Jupiter rig does just that. Pictured is finger mullet. Photo: Cliff Budd

The Jupiter rig gets its name from the fabled Jupiter Inlet, arguably the best giant snook spot in the world. This rig pins an egg sinker in between two swivels, then an 18-inch piece of leader on the bottom swivel to a circle hook. The idea of this rig is the opposite of the knocker rig, as the weight is unable to slide up and down the line due to the swivels. The goal is to hold your bait in place on the bottom in the heaviest of currents, which you typically find in the inlets and passes. The short leader keeps your bait from spinning and snagging in the tide, as well. This is meant to be fished downstream of the boat. Note: You only want to nose-hook your bait with this rig, as they will drown in the current if hooked in the back or tail.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

How to Buy and Rig a River Fishing Kayak

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Power or Paddle? Bonafide PWR129

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

It's a Skiff, It's a Kayak: Bonafide SKF117

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage Lynx to the Next Level

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight Packed with Features

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Extend Your Range in the Salt Marsh

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Florida's Capital Fishing

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 FULLY RIGGED Fishing Machine

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Mounting Forward-Facing Sonar on A Kayak: Mounts, Scanning Applications and More!

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

On The Water with Old Town: Bass Fishing at PRIVATE GEORGIA LAKE

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

DECKED-OUT Old Town Sportsman BigWater ePDL+ 132 Complete WALK-THROUGH

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Dreambuild: Old Town ePDL Gets Rigged to the Hilt

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now