December 13, 2011
Monster snook from the days of old still a distinct possibility.
There's no doubt, fish populations have it tough these days. Too name a few obstacles: more fishing pressure from a heightened Florida population, increased development along the waterfront at the expense of estuarine habitat such as mangroves and oysters, and nasty runoff that can cause algae blooms and fish kills. Add commercial takes into the mix and a fish species can be destroyed without proper management.
But fish are resilient.
In fact, most inshore species are protected from commercial take with the “gamefish status” designation and seem to be flourishing. Seatrout are a surprising exception to sound management, with the FWC recently passing new laws that allow two commercial fishermen to keep 150 seatrout per day.
One species that took an especially hard hit during the 2010 winter fish kills—the snook—seems to be rebounding with authority. And that starts with a strong population of adult breeding snook. Many snook perished in southern and central Florida areas in 2010, but there is reason to be optimistic the future.
Florida Sportsman members such as Marker594 are posting fishing reports of consistent snook action on large fish. In fact, his crew hooked into a monster that many FS members consider to be the biggest they've seen in recent times. Check out the forum sections in southern parts of the state to see other impressive snook catches.
Still, Florida may have some catching up to do when it comes to giant snook. The more remote tropical locations such as Costa Rica have untouched and under-pressured populations containing some truly large fish. Florida Sportsman member Matt Jorn posted a recent photo of a mammoth snook caught in early December from Nosara, Costa Rica. The fish—which was so big it looked fake in appearance—was sizable enough to do battle with record I.G.F.A. catches.
So tell your story, log onto the forums and let's see some photos.