Snook

The common snook is a species of marine fish in the family Centropomidae of the order Perciformes. This species is native to the coastal waters of the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, from southern Florida and Texas to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.


The dorsal surface is a dull gray color with a yellow to green tint, and is separated from the ventral surface by a well defined black lateral line. The pectoral fins, pelvic fins, second dorsal fin, and the dorsal lobe of the caudal fin are all a bright canary yellow; however, some river specimens may be considerably darker in color than those from coastal waters.

Other identifying characteristics of this species: Second anal spine does not reach vertical from the caudal base; nor do the pectoral fins reach vertical from the tip of the pelvic fins. The maxillary reaches to or beyond the vertical as measured from the center of the eye.

Meristic Counts: 
     Lateral Scales: 70-77
     Gill Rakers: 7-9
     Anal rays: 6
     Pectoral Rays: 15 or 16

Occurring in shallow coastal waters (up to 20 metres (66 ft) depth), estuaries, and lagoons, the fish often enters fresh water. It is carnivorous, with a diet dominated by smaller fishes, and crustaceans such as shrimps, and occasionally crabs.

Considered an excellent food fish, the common snook is fished commercially and foreign caught fish are sold in the USA. It is also prized as a game fish, being known for their great fighting capabilities.


The common snook is also known as the sergeant fish or robalo.


"At the June 2012 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting, Commissioners voted to keep the recreational harvest of snook in Gulf of Mexico waters closed through Aug. 31, 2013. This closure will offer the species additional protection after a 2010 cold kill detrimentally affected the population. Snook closed to harvest in Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic waters in January 2010 after a severe cold kill affected snook population number."

This means that all Snook are "Catch and Release" only in the Gulf of Mexico until August 31, 2013. At that time the FWC can choose to open or close Snook harvest for another season. The commercial harvest or sale of Snook is prohibited by the same regulations.


The snook is a vicious feeder and a strong fighter when hooked. Captures do not reflect actual numbers present but experienced anglers make good catches by using long poles and dangling live shrimp along pilings in clear water. They eat other fish, crabs and shrimp.

Snook are most often caught in the lower Laguna Madre near pilings or other underwater structure.

Species Information

Scientific Name:Centropomus undecimalis
Environment:Inshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:72-78ºF (22-26ºC)
Technique:Bottom Fishing, Casting, Fly
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Flies, Topwater
World Record: 53-pound 10-ounce (24.28 kg) in Parismina Ranch, Costa Rica.
Other Names:linesiders, robalo, snook

Latest Snook Fishing Reports and Spots

Plum Island Fishing Show. Tomorrow! 21st Year - 3/25/2017 9:41:48 PM

The 21st Annual Fishing Show is coming on March 25 2017! Plum Island Surfcasters had a very successful show last year and we are looking forward (View)


Bad photos. Good night. - 8/21/2016 3:46:57 PM

In an excellent visual example of why you should check out all your equipment before operation Stickman had a good night with fishing gear. Bad (View)


Daytime Beach Action Too - 6/5/2014 1:31:07 AM

More Beach It’s not just the night guys that are having good luck this week. Dave U sent this nice C&R striper earlier this week. Here’s what he (View)


Snook Fishing - 7/10/2013 3:48:12 AM

…has been very good but remember that linesiders are out of season now.  Catch and release only for another couple months.  Stay tuned as we hav (View)


Tyman wins Hi-Mar Striper Tournament - 10/29/2011 4:17:50 AM

Chuck Many of Annandale won the fall Hi-Mar Striper Tournament over the weekend for the fourth time in the last five years on his Tyman from Hi (View)


Ristori: Annandale man wins fourth Hi-Mar Striper crown - 10/29/2011 4:17:44 AM

Chuck Many of Annandale won last weekend’s Hi-Mar Striper Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years on his Tyman from Highlands. Ca (View)


Ristori: Mako Manias lures are big bucks and a truck - 7/19/2008 6:30:00 AM

The 26th annual Mako Mania Tournament sponsored by the Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association will be contested the next two days afte (View)


Ristori: Louisianas catch better than ever - 6/17/2011 5:18:06 AM

Louisiana had hardly recovered from hurricanes Katrina and Rita before being hit with last year’s oil spill plus this spring’s tornadoes and Mi (View)


Ristori: Sea bass season opens Saturday - 5/27/2011 7:58:04 AM

New Jersey’s sea bass season will open as scheduled Saturday. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin approved the Marin (View)


Ristori: Anglers earning their stripes in internal waters - 3/19/2011 12:58:50 PM

The 2011 striped bass season is officially under way as the opening of internal waters has resulted in the capture of keepers. Dave Showell wei (View)