The recreational harvest season for snook starts Sept. 1 statewide, with the exception of state waters from the Pasco-Hernando county line south to Gordon Pass in Collier County. These waters remain closed to harvest due to impacts from a severe red tide in 2018.
Unique to the region, snook is one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to use proper handling methods when releasing snook to help ensure the fish’s survival and the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come.
A snook permit, as well as a recreational saltwater license, is required to harvest snook unless the angler is exempt from the recreational license requirements.
Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. For the county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” then “Snook” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”
These carcasses provide biological data, including the size, age, maturity and sex of the catch. This information is important to the FWC in completing stock assessments.