The common snook (Centropomus Undecimalis) are the most prevalent snook in Florida. There are actually 12 different species of snook throughout the world and 5 species found in Florida. Some other names for these fish are linesiders, sergeant fish, robalo, and soap fish. The common snook is far from common, cannibalistic and protandic hermaphrodites, these fish have some strange traits.
With a distinct lateral line, sloping forehead, and high divided dorsal fin, these fish are built for speed. Snook have yellowish fins, silver sides, and a grey dorsal color. The colors of these fish vary with the level of salinity in the water. Common snook are all born males, when they reach 18-22 inches some of these fish transform into females. Their sizes range from 3-15 pounds and can be as large as 60 pounds.
Snook can be found in both salt and freshwater. They spawn during the summer off beach areas and passes in large schools. Mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges are other areas they frequently inhabit. Common snook can not tolerate water under 60 degrees, they can be found from Florida to Brazil and throughout the Caribbean. Some have been spotted further North, based on the water temperatures.
Snook are voracious predators, when caught they are known to put on incredible aerial displays. Their runs are powerful and can make a reel scream. Jigs, buck tails, suspending hard baits, and top water are all great artificial baits for catching these fish. Mullet, pinfish, shrimp, and ladyfish are just afew of the live baits that are effective.
One of the nicknames for the common snook is the soapfish. If cooked with the skin on, or not filleted properly the fish will taste like soap. Filleted correctly, this is one of the best tasting inshore fish. Snook are a highly sought after game fish, their pound for pound fight is second to none. Catching one of these sleek, fast moving, creatures is a must for any inshore angler.