The Snook is a sleek and extremely strong fish. They range in size up to 48″ and 50 pounds. The largest Snook ever caught in Florida USA weighed about 44 lbs. 11 ounces. The Snook is a powerful fish and a thrilling catch, much like Tarpon. That is one of the reasons why it is one of the most sought after and prized gamefish to catch. Once hooked it’s strength and speed is hard to compare to any other game fish of its size.
Snook is managed in two regions in Florida: Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Regulations apply in state and adjacent federal waters. No commercial harvest or sale of snook is permitted.
License Requirements: Snook permit and recreational fishing license
Allowable Gear: Hook and line only
|Atlantic (state and adjacent federal waters)||Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, and Everglades National Park (state and adjacent federal waters)|
|Closed Harvest Season||Dec. 15 – Jan. 31; June 1 – Aug. 31||Dec. 1-end of February; May 1-Aug. 31
|Size Limit||Not less than 28″ total length (TL) or more than 32″ TL||Not less than 28″ total length (TL) or more than 33″ TL|
|Bag Limit||1 per harvester per day||1 per harvester per day|
At the June 2013 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting, Commissioners voted to let the recreational harvest of snook in Gulf of Mexico waters reopen to harvest Sept. 1 after being closed since Jan. 2010. Gulf waters were closed to harvest due to a 2010 cold kill that negatively impacted snook. Learn more.
Previous management measures:
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.
At the June 2011 Commission Meeting, Commissioners received a staff report on the status of the snook population, which suggests that snook on Florida’s Atlantic coast were less severely impacted by cold weather than Gulf coast snook. Based on this information, Commissioners reopened snook harvest season September 1, 2011, in Atlantic waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River.
Catch and release of Gulf coast snook is still permitted at this time. When snook is open in Gulf waters, the bag limit is one fish per person, per day; the slot size limit is 28 to 33 inches; and the season is closed from Dec. 1 through the end of February and May 1 through Aug. 31.
Links for more information:
- How Florida’s snook permit benefits Florida’s snook population
- FWC News Release
- Executive Order 12-11: Closure for Snook in Gulf of Mexico
- Cold-weather Fish Kills Regulations Information
- FWRI Snook Cold Kill Report
If you have questions about your snook permit visit the Snook Permit page.
Research and Biology
To learn more about snook biology and research projects conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, visit their snook page.