The Stuart, Florida area is known to many as the snook fishing capital of the east coast, and possibly one of the best snook fishing locales nationwide. Snook are a fun game fish to pursue, Captain George says. They are great fighting, hard to catch, delicious to eat and protected with strict limits of one per person between 28 and 32 inches long. Interestingly, most snook are born male before some eventually reverse sex and change into females. It's in the 28 to 32 inch slot size that the population is estimated to be about half male and half female with the females generally ending up as the big spawners that get above the 32-inch mark. Along with some of the best snook fishing anywhere, the Martin County, Florida area is also one of the few places where all the subspecies of snook can be found. In addition to common snook, anglers may also find tarpon snook, fat snook or swordspine snook. Captain George says it's usually just the common snook that gets big enough to reach the slot size for legal catching, however you'll occasionally run into a fat snook that will hit the 28 inch slot size or a little above. Most of the other subspecies run smaller and can be difficult to differentiate between. The prize, when it comes to snook fishing, is hooking up with a 40-incher. Many people fish a long time and never catch a snook above 40-inches, but the Stuart, Florida area makes it possible to find and land these prize snook. There are certain times of the year that you are more apt to catch them that big, Captain George says, like when they spawn in the inlets during the summer time and also in the fall during the mullet run when you find a lot of big fish around the bridges and structure. Snook are very structure oriented, Captain George says, a lot like bass. He says snook are often targeted by dolphin in the rivers and eaten so they like to stick tight to structure like docks, bridges, rock piles and more. There are a lot of different techniques to catch snook, he says, use live bait, dredge the bottom with jigs or get the explosive top water bite during early mornings, late evenings and in low light conditions.
Captain George says the really great thing about the Stuart, Florida area is the diverse estuary that provides a lot of different fishing opportunities. He is able to showcase the area and other great fishing destinations on his show "Unfathomed" on Outdoor Channel, Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. ET. "Unfathomed" isn't a typical fishing show, he says. It's not just about catching fish, instead it's about telling stories. Everybody likes to fish for a different reason and the show explores those reasons why people fish. Now in its third season, Captain George says it's his goal to create high quality content for the whole family, a show that anglers and non-anglers alike will enjoy watching.
Listen in as Captain George Gozdz talks snook fishing in eastern Florida. Also, watch "Unfathomed" on Outdoor Channel, Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. ET.