Cold weather and snook don’t go together very well. In colder water temperatures, snook do not do very well. When water temperatures dip below 60 degrees, the fishing can be much more difficult and as the water cools in the mid to low 50s, there is a good chance that some snook will die from the low water temperatures. When the water temperatures get cool, snook will move into the canals, rivers, near freshwater springs and warm water discharges to seek out the warmest water they can find. When the water temperatures are warm and a cold front comes through, it can still shut down the fishing. Most experienced snook anglers will say that the fishing can be very tough, especially for bigger fish after a cold front. It usually take 2 or 3 days of stable weather for the fishing to pick back up. When the bite gets tough, live baits such as shrimp, pinfish and pilchards are tough to beat when the water is cold.
Warm fronts can drastically improve the fishing during the winter and spring. Snook prefer warmer water temperatures, so a warm front passing through can help improve the bite big time when water temperatures are cool. Even though snook feed better during low light conditions, a warm front can actually improve the fishing during the afternoon when water temperatures are cool. Once water temperatures warm up in the summer, a warm front will actually seem more like a “hot front” and the hot summer water temperatures will usually provide better fishing opportunities early in the morning, in the evening or at night.
The wind can definitely play a factor when fishing for snook. Sometimes, the wind may affect the angler more than the fish. In high winds, boat control may be a problem as well as presenting your lure or live bait to the appropriate spot. The direction and strength of the wind can also affect how much water will move onto or off a flat as well as into or out of a backwater area. A strong wind that goes with or against the tide flow can definitely change how little or how much water will move into a specific area.
For example, a 20 mph wind going against the tide may result in less water movement through an area and lower water as a result. This may turn one of your favorite high water fishing spots into just another place to fish. A 20 mph wind going with the tide can help move more water onto a flat or into a backwater and this could result in more moving water through an inlet which can really get the snook biting. This could also push a little more water into a backwater, which may push snook even farther back in the backwater areas during a high tide. When fishing the backwaters, it can definitely pay off for you if you pay attention to how the winds and tides will affect the water movement in the area that you will be fishing.
Fishing for snook is usually better during low light conditions than during the middle of the day when the sun is out. However, the tides play a bigger role in how well the fish will be biting. On a bright sunny day during the tidal change, the fishing can still be very good, but it will usually be a better bite in the early morning, late evening and at night. One of the advantages to fishing when the sun is out is that you will have more sight fishing opportunities. However, sight fishing for snook on a sunny day is not the most effective way to target these fish.
The clouds will usually help to improve the fishing for snook. These fish do feed better in low light conditions, so if you can get some cloud cover and a tidal change, the odds of you hooking up with some fish is much better. You can also approach some of the snook that are in the shallows a little easier without spooking them.
The rain can help to improve the fishing for snook. The low light conditions and higher water levels can definitely help anglers catch more fish in the backwaters. Some anglers report having good success in the shallows right after a hard, cool rain. This can help bring the water temperature down a couple degrees or more and a small increase in oxygen, which can help turn on the bite. If you don’t mind fishing in the rain, a steady rain with no lightning and no thunder can be very effective especially if you are fishing during a tidal change.
Stable weather usually provides consistent fishing for most species of fish and it is no different for snook. With stable weather, anglers can figure out the pattern much easier and it’s a lot more pleasant to fish as well for anglers when they don’t have to deal with cold fronts, thunderstorms or extremely windy days.