1 hour ago
A good friend of mine #pamelakwirth relayed some information on the correct handling of Snook (and most game species). After some careful reading, here are some important dos and don'ts to insure a successful release of these magnificent fish and remember --- this applies to most gamefish 🐟
1. Do use tackle capable of landing snook in a relatively short time. A long fight on light tackle impairs a snook's ability to swim for an extended period after release.
2. Don't use a lip gaff. It punches a hole in the membrane behind the snook's jawbone and may inhibit suction (tarpon are also gulp feeders, so this applies to them as well).
3. Do land the fish with wet hands rather than dry gloves or a net. The fibers in the twine tend to scrape off a significant amount of the body slime that protects snook from infection.
4. Do hold a big snook in a nearly horizontal position with one hand on the lower lip and the other gently placed under the belly if you feel compelled to take it out of the water.
5. Don't keep the fish out of water any longer than necessary. As a gauge, consider how long you can hold your breath.
6. Don't release a snook by just throwing it back or holding it by the lower lip and moving it back and forth in the water (it cannot breathe properly). If there's current, hold it by the lower lip facing into the current until it is able to swim on its own. Lacking current, move it in a figure-eight pattern until it is ready to go. Often the fish will signify this by clamping down slightly on your thumb.
If we are able to release more snook in healthy condition, there will be that many more left to reproduce. In the end we will benefit from greater numbers of fish to catch, definitely a winning situation for all involved, including anglers and snook. Love and respect this great pastime - hope you all do too 🎣🐟🎣