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Species Information

Scientific Name:Centropomus undecimalis
Common Names:robalo, snook, common snook
Environment:Inshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:72-78ºF (22-26ºC)

About 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 near pilings or other underwater structure.

Snook Fishing

World Record: 53-pound 10-ounce (24.28 kg) in Parismina Ranch, Costa Rica.
# Fish Caught:171845 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1830 12:00:00 AM and located at 27.76169, -97.15883.
Latest Record:4/11/2024 10:19:00 AM and located at 25.78888, -80.25030.
Common Techniques:Bottom Fishing, Casting, Fly
Popular Lure Types:Bottom Rig, Flies, Topwater
Fishing Spots:4944 Snook fishing spots.

Latest Snook Fishing Reports and Spots

Cabeço dos Robalos - 4/15/2013 11:02:20 PM


Fly Fishing Navarino Island Chile - 3/27/2013 7:45:41 PM

Fly Fishing Navarino Island Heli-Fishing Last Frontier. We had an excellent start of the 2013 down here in Patagonia. During  August  2012 we w (View)

Man Catches Fish With Bare Hands - 4/29/2012 6:19:46 AM

You know people travel miles spend lots of money and invest in fancy fishing equipment to catch the fish of their dreams but in Cabo it’s not a (View)

4-10-24 - 4/4/2010 9:16:00 AM

Some tough winds are going to make fishing offshore and in the surf pretty tough for several days. The good news is that inshore fishing has be (View)

Fun week of April 7-11 2024 - 4/11/2024 10:19:00 AM

Oh yeah this has been a fun week.  The early part of the week had great conditions and then the wind increased as the week progressed but that (View)

April 21 2022 - 4/21/2022 11:57:41 AM

Javier Hernandez aka Rey Robalo surveyed his kingdom on April 21 with this stellar Snook catch at the Nosara River Mouth. (View)

January 20 2021 - 1/20/2021 2:47:00 PM

At FishingNosara we keep security guards on the boats overnight; it’s a tough job with long hours keeping lookout. Recently they have spotted so (View)

February 18 2021 - 2/18/2021 3:54:52 PM

Virgil Russell and Javier spent a nice morning at the Nosara River Mouth in late February. As usual Rey Robalo summoned one of his loyal subjec (View)

January 10 2021 - 1/10/2021 1:51:18 PM

Javier aka Rey Robalo marked the new year with this excellent Snook release on the Rio Nosara. Joined by Dario aka Príncipe Robalo  we are stok (View)

Snook Fishing in the Dominican Republic - 2/12/2017 11:06:25 AM

General description: Snook (also knows as Robalo Sergeant Fish or Line fish) is one of the more popular fish to go catch here in the Dominican R (View)