Scientific Name: Centropomus undecimalis
Ideal Temp: 72-78ºF (22-26ºC)
Environment: Inshore, Surf
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.
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.
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.