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Don Jorge
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[*] posted on 1-19-2021 at 05:37 PM
Snook fishing?


Over the years have managed to cach a lot of different species of fish in Baja but never a snook.

I rented a house and have the panga in Puerto San Carlos for this year.
The last trip down, December, spent some time fishing snook in the estuary. Had no luck on snooks, but lots of trevally, pargo and corvina.

They are beginning to remind me of white sea bass, ghosts we say, because you never see them, that is until you do.

So, any favorite snook techniques out there? Right now we troll for them and do some live bait while on the hook fishing too. Live mullets, croakers, sardines have all been tired but no luck yet on the snook.

I personally believe my panga is too loud for effective trolling in tight to the mangroves, although it doesn't seem to stop the other fish from biting.

Thus, one thing we are going to do now is use the panga to take our kayaks to the fish zone. Once at the spot we will anchor the panga and use the kayaks as our fishing platforms.

We put 55lb thrust electric trolling motors on the kayaks and are hoping by using kayaks we can troll and cast, lures and bait, quietly.

Snook are current dependent hunters and we fish the decent + tide swings always. Outside of that I am clueless on snook fishing.

The attached picture is of a snook caught the day before we fished and the day after we fished again in the same general area too. Same guide too.

So please share your hints, ideas or how to do its. They would be quite welcomed.



snook 1.jpg - 39kB




�And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.�― John Steinbeck
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Ron_Perry
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[*] posted on 1-19-2021 at 06:53 PM
Snook


Never caught one, as most of my fishing has been on the East Cape for the last 40 plus years. But free diving off Las Arenas, north of Muertos, south of Isla Cerevallo, I spotted a beautiful 5 pound snook in 5 feet of water. Visibility was crystal clear, 40 feet. Now that I am retired I may hold up camp on the Pacific in winter and target ....everything.
Looking forward to any advice on how to catch these fish, Ron
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mrioux
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[*] posted on 1-19-2021 at 08:19 PM
Campo Rene


I like to fish the estuaries and mangroves at Campo Rene just South of Punta Abreojos but have had no luck with Snook, any info on techniques, lures etc. appreciated.
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Hook
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[*] posted on 1-20-2021 at 10:20 AM


Hey Jorge! I like your idea of social distancing!!!

Anyway, what were the day-before and day-after fish, caught on?

Were the fishermen/women targeting snook or was it an incidental catch while fishing for something else? Can you get an estimate of the time of day they were caught and deduce anything from the location and the estimated tide? Sky conditions? Tackle used? Get as much data as you can.

Based on that mouth, I wouldnt use too large a lure or bait. One thing I've always believed, over the years, is big gamefish and small gamefish aren't above going for a small bait. And some baits are too big for medium sized gamefish. And sometimes, when the forage of choice is small baits, that's ALL any sized gamefish wants. Too big of bait reduces your chances, in some cases.

There is some indication that they feed on juvenile snook, especially after the spawn (which probably isnt until April or May, at the earliest). So, you might consider putting a small, black lateral line on a few of your lures. Maybe a small Crystal Minnow/Rapala in the silver-sided pattern where there is enough depth to troll. Or maybe even on a silver Kroc in shallow casting areas.

Or maybe try fly-lining small live baits on a light wire, live bait hook. Throw it out, freespool with clicker on.............and commence fishing with the lures from a stationary location. Cover all depths and distances from shore that can be reached. Then, move. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If it sounds like I know what I'm talking about, I don't. Never caught one. But never tried, either.

Probably, you just need to put in more time targeting them, to increase your chances. They aren't common, so time spent probably increases your "luck".


[Edited on 1-20-2021 by Hook]
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Lobsterman
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[*] posted on 1-20-2021 at 12:11 PM


Fished for snook for many years in my youth in Ft Myers Beach, FL.. We had a dock on the backwater between the island and the gulf. We had a deck light on all night. I would use live shrimp, sneak up on the dock in the dark as quietly as possible, throw the live shrimp with no weight out into the dark and slowly draw the shrimp back into the deck light. Caught many snook with this method. Never caught one anywhere else and only with live shrimp.

As for Baja black snook fishing, I use to go down to Lopez Mateos and fish the estuary with Chico. We would go out and trap the shrimp the day before and pick them up early the next morning before fishing. Chico would anchor his boat at an arm emptying into the main channel. We caught our limits in no time and moved on. According to Chico, the snook would bite only after a rain not before. We were lucky to get there shortly after a rain.

Chico is no longer available due to his age and health as a guide but his son is a local commercial fisherman. Mula would have his contact info if needed.

Tight lines,
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westafricancaptain
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[*] posted on 1-20-2021 at 01:33 PM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R1PX6BejoM

Campo Rene on Yo Zuri pencil REAL GIZZARD SHAD

http://yo-zuri.com/products/3dr-pencil/

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[*] posted on 1-20-2021 at 01:47 PM


Sunset magazine's Baja Book has a hilarious Snook fishing story that takes place in Mulege.



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Skipjack Joe
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[*] posted on 1-20-2021 at 03:16 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Don Jorge  


I personally believe my panga is too loud for effective trolling in tight to the mangroves, although it doesn't seem to stop the other fish from biting.



I agree with your assessment. I bought an electric motor for that very reason.

The gas motor frightens the corvina as well. And broomtail grouper.
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Don Jorge
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[*] posted on 1-21-2021 at 03:51 PM


Hook, that snook was caught using the rapala trolling method. X Rap. the small ones and red head is sometimes hot, sometimes not. Same place, time, tides and technique as always but no luck yet. I log that stuff.
Of course you are right about needing to spend more time targeting snook, period. Serious time. I am guessing that one day, after enough time on the water in the zone it will click. Hope so.

My last trip down in December, my guide/friend/tocayo, Jorge, the dude in the pic i posted, his 3 boys were on school vacation so we basically took them out every day and let them fish as they very rarely get that chance. It was so much fun helping them learn and feeling their excitement at this fishing disease. The youngest boy is only 8 years old and is a fishing fiend indeed. He has it in his bones just like his dad.

We are going back down again soon and between now and offshore season, say July, we are going to work on the snook, roosterfish and white seabass fishing.

If nothing else have found yet another way to keep spending money on this bad habit many of us share in common. Now have a few new trays of trolling and casting jigs and combined with the quiet electric trolling motor on the kayak hoping to make it happen.

westafricancaptain
Nice catch. Did you troll or cast for that snook? Is your kayak pedal, paddle, electric or a combo of? That lure you showed looks like a few I have in the new "snook kit."

Lobsterman, Yes live shrimp is great bait for those snook. Going to give it a try too. The story about rain and only after rain will they bite is a classic fish tale. Might save that one for bar stories.

I am in the other part of Mag Bay, Puerto San Carlos, although I have fished out of Lopez Mateo. The wahoo wisperer shared some info with me last season and it was most helpful. Ruben is the go to guy in Lopez Mateo now.

But I prefer PSC as it has everything I look for in a Mexican town:
Dogs everywhere, barking all night long; loud music and parties all night long; traveling speakers on cars blowing out the windows on the house at 2 in the morning; roosters crowing all night long; a fish and shrimp taco stand operated by some pretty gals; great bakery nearby: municipal water supply and very few tourists except during whale season. For some strange reason the smells and sounds of PSC are comforting and familiar to me.

Any one caught snook from shore in Baja?




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[*] posted on 1-21-2021 at 04:13 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaTed  
Sunset magazine's Baja Book has a hilarious Snook fishing story that takes place in Mulege.


I looked... snook is mentioned, but I saw no story??

In case you meant Tom Miller's book, I will look there, too... :light:

books 029.jpg - 45kB

[Edited on 1-21-2021 by David K]




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[*] posted on 1-21-2021 at 05:22 PM


So for a newbie Baja fisherman with a Kayak, what would be the recommended line weight, rod and lure set up? I come from stream fishing in the Sierras and bass fishing ponds.
I know nothing of surf or salt water fishing of any kind but really want to try it out on the next trip down.
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Mulege Canuck
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[*] posted on 1-22-2021 at 07:01 AM


I only fish the reefs in my kayak, so I don’t do a lot of trolling for yellow tail, etc.. I have a spin casting rod with 20 lb test braided line. I mainly use a lure called a Crocodile (3”). It seems to catch everything. I even got lucky and caught a Snook near San Cosme with one but that as a fluke. In the mangroves I use swim baits “curly worms” with short flip casts against the edge. This can be a blast if you get into some corvina.

I put corrosion guard on my reel and rod after each trip to keep things from rusting.
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Don Jorge
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[*] posted on 1-22-2021 at 12:04 PM


Quote: Originally posted by advrider  
So for a newbie Baja fisherman with a Kayak, what would be the recommended line weight, rod and lure set up? I come from stream fishing in the Sierras and bass fishing ponds.
I know nothing of surf or salt water fishing of any kind but really want to try it out on the next trip down.


Most people are using 30- 50 pound braid as the mainline and using a 40 lb floro leader about 5 ft or so. Snook have very sharp gill plates and floro helps keep them connected to the reel. I personally prefer using mono as mainline. especially for casting, although some reels are setup with braid.

As mentioned by Muelge Canuk, crocodile lures are great and work well especially when fish are up and crashing bait. A crocodile or two for casting, a few x rap rapalas in small and medium sizes for trolling and you are good to start fishing the mangroves.




�And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.�― John Steinbeck
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Don Jorge
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[*] posted on 1-22-2021 at 12:22 PM
Lots of info


on the web of course. Simple searching and lots of info on Baja and snooks.
https://www.bdoutdoors.com/baja-snook-mexico/

Search on here turns up info too. Many threads over the years on these ghosts of the mangroves have been posted on Nomads.
http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthread.php?tid=77692#pid9638...
Even a pic of an old friend.

fishing - snook at Mag Bay Medium (1).jpg - 87kB




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David K
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[*] posted on 1-22-2021 at 03:55 PM


Missing Roger!:(



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[*] posted on 1-22-2021 at 08:25 PM


Thanks for the info, I'm going to have to invest in some Baja fishing gear soon. Lots to learn.
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westafricancaptain
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[*] posted on 1-22-2021 at 09:37 PM


Don George, I have a 10' sit on top kayak with paddle power. Really recommend a sit on top so you can maneuver around inside the yak. Another arrow for your quiver could be this 1-3 ft diver Yo Zuri Hydro Minnow mullet. 2 sizes, both work well and not too expensive. Like 9$ on Tackle Direct. Shallow diver as not to get hung up. Works good on grouper too.
http://yo-zuri.com/products/hydro-minnow-lc/
My big fish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PshZiTevMf8
Snook seem to like the backwater. back in the back of the channels.
These were from Campo Rene
Tight lines...
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[*] posted on 1-23-2021 at 01:07 PM


https://youtu.be/OVwqUKim9Pc?t=752

Some Mag Bay snook fishing.




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Don Jorge
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[*] posted on 1-23-2021 at 01:51 PM


Quote: Originally posted by westafricancaptain  
Really recommend a sit on top so you can maneuver around inside the yak. Another arrow for your quiver could be this 1-3 ft diver Yo Zuri Hydro Minnow mullet. 2 sizes, both work well and not too expensive. Like 9$ on Tackle Direct. Shallow diver as not to get hung up. Works good on grouper too.

Thanks for the tips. Sit on tops work for me too and of course one always needs another lure. In the end almost everyone agrees live shrimp is the best bait and the best lure is the one that caught the last fish. The one thing about live shrimp is everything eats them and you always get bit and bit quickly. Just in my case never did a snook make it to the shrimp first. Next time right?

I was checking in with a friend yesterday and asked him to share a snook story. He sent this to me. BTW, he is well, hanging out in the PNW, getting older like all of us and still a hoot with a story to spin for everything.

From Pompano,
"My story for snook centers around a trip with motorhome and boat down to Mag Bay many years ago. Stories I'd heard about fishing the mangroves had intrigued me for a long, long time...and I had to find out for myself. The billfishing and wahoo just outside the Bay along with breaching whales were just frosting on the cake.

Like most good trips, things got a little dicey right off the bat! We found a good open area to camp with my motorhome....nice and level, too! We had the place all to ourselves and we thanked our good fortune to have found this place before nightfall. We found out why the next morning when I looked out the door at 4 inches of water all around us. We had camped in a tidal estuary at low tide! With a sheepish grin I said to Randy..."Maybe we best move...Quickly!" Thank God the ground was firm and we gurgled our way to higher ground..drawing some astonished looks from some locals. "Always check on tides before camping near Mag Bay!"....became our motto!

With the rising tides experience behind us, we set off to find a regular campground with a launch ramp. We asked around for some information on catching snook, halibut and whatever else we could encounter...possibly a guide? With luck we found a guide who would take us on his boat out into the Bay to catch the elusive snook. What do we use to catch snook? I asked. "Live shrimp!" the guide said. as he loaded a 5 gallon pail with some nice large (huge) shrimp. Good God, I thought...those look delicious! I thought we had struck gold and would be eating our bait for supper! We struck off in the guides panga across the Bay, heading for the mangroves. On the way we spotted several whales by their spouts. We pointed them out to our guide and he told us to ignore the whales and not to even look at them. They are only for paying customers to look at...the police are patrolling the Bay to enforce the Whale Sighting rules. Don't look at them!

Well, we boated right up to the mangroves and started chucking juicy big shrimp on light leaders .. getting them underneath the over-hanging mangroves. A few minutes of this and I had the first hookup! Whamo! It was a nice 4-5 pounder. I had visions of a tasty fish supper...with my robalo served with a huge shrimp in his mouth...much like a suckling pig with it's apple!

To round off our day's fishing, our guide motored us up north into the Bay to fish for some pargo near the pilings of an old cannery. The place was overrun with pelicans who were very interested in our bait! We caught some nice pargo with those shrimp!

On the way back we spotted a police patrol boat bearing down on us. Having just spotted a couple whales who were spouting right behind our boat, we pulled over to answer questions from the whale police. "Have you seen any whales today?" No..not us! we replied as the spouts filled the air in our wake. "Are there whales in this bay?"

Our guide gave us a thumbs-up sign as we motored thru the whales and returned to the launching area."

See, shrimp again.




�And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.�― John Steinbeck
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