The snook

                                                          THE SNOOK


                                               centropomus undecimalis, centropomus parallelus


This carnivorous, called robalo in Brazil and Venezuela, is a kind of  tropical american counterpart of the european seabass and north-american stripped bass. This fish is as widespread as the tarpon in areas of mangroves, estuaries and coastal rivers of the amazonian rain forest, principally during the rainy season. This superb cousin of the african Nile perch and of the australian barramundi takes very well the fly. Its research moreover, is full of subtlety, accuracy and discretion, because we do know that our fellow uses to hide in the middle of the most intractable and interlaced mangrove roots, springing like a devil from its box on the infortunate baitfish or shrimp that commited the foolhardy to swim closer to its lurking post. However, a streamer or a popper skillfully presented close to these sensitive areas have a maximum of chances to be taken by a snook whose distrust has not been awoke. The largest specie of snook ( centropomus undecimalis) can reach and even exceed 50 pounds, which makes it an adversary that we must consider seriously.

The tackle:

N° 8 to 10 rod with a strong backbone, because we have to know that once hooked, our client sometimes offers runs worthy of a bonefish's one,  or tents to return desesperatly as soon as possible to its cache that is no more than a harden vegetal canvas whose elasticity annihilates the effects of all kinds of tractions, as frantic as it can be.

Floating line, il you also want to use poppers, or intermediate line if you only fish with streamers. The reel will be a baby-tarpon/bonefish model, with a strong and smooth disc-brake and a spool plenty of backing.

    mangrove-tree roots: the snook's home

The technique:

Like for the tarpon: explore the mangrove edges slowly by boat, and cast your flies as closer as possible to the roots. Some centimeters can make the difference. Considering the distrust of the snook, the distance factor of your casts can be decisive to get good results.

Take advantages of the natural elements: particularly during the interval between the last two hours of the ebb-tide and the first two hours of the flood-tide. Indeed, the roots are not more submerged, and our adversary cannot more really hide. He only can stay outside of its cache. The same for its customaries preys wich are temporary unprotected. So the snook will evolute in free water and take advantage of the situation, delivering a mercyless hunt for baitfish, shrimps, and other tiny beasts of the mangrove. So, he becomes vulnerable. It's probably in these circumstances that we have the most chances to capture a trophy.

The flies:

All classic tarpon flies work well for the snook: key style, seeducers, deceivers, shrimp flies, clousers, candies, EPflies and poppers. The hangs up in the roots will be less frequent, if you use bent-back patterns or clousers, of if you add a wire-guard to your imitations.  So,you will evite to shake the rots every five minutes to hang-out your fly, and so to frighten all the snooks of the spot,  and your guide will apreciate it.


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