The very word conjures up images of a predator patiently lying in cover waiting to pounce on unsuspecting prey. Mountain lions often perch themselves on tree limbs overlooking game trails, waiting for deer to make the fatal mistake of walking by. Crocodiles position themselves in the shallows with only their eyes breaking the surface and lash out when wildebeest come in for a drink.
In the aquatic world two of the most effective ambush predators are largemouth bass and snook. While bass are well documented at using these techniques less has been written about the snook’s sneaky reputation, so let’s take a look at how you can use bass strategies to land big snook.
Take secondary points for example. Tournament anglers know that the largest bass frequently haunt the points not seen on the surface but visible only to their electronics. Points extending from a bank into a channel serve as travel points for baitfish, so the bass and snook will sit patiently and not have to do much to earn a living. Lipless crankbaits like Rat-L-Traps are great lures for fishing such locations and allow the angler to cover a lot of water in a timely fashion.
Bass tournament anglers know that tight channels with a lot of water movement are preferred feeding areas for their favorite prey. Snook feed in much the same way and generally hug the shoreline on the outer edge of the channel or lie inside and gorge themselves on their choice of prey items that enter. These locales are great spots to fish walking topwater plugs as the snook often hit bait near the surface when feeding there. Try working your plug slowly to simulate a wounded baitfish and if that does not work speed, consider switching over to a chugger. Sometimes fish acting finicky respond better to them.
Finally bridge and pier pilings are great haunts for lunker largemouths and they are for snook as well, particularly at night. Most snook-country boat docks are well lit and snook often position themselves into the current alongside the pilings waiting for the tides to bring them a meal. Anglers can score big by throwing slow-sinking soft plastics like a DOA Bait Buster or stick with surface lures that might get less attention but certainly provide more excitement if a strike ensues.
(Photo courtesy NOAA)