Snook (also knows as Robalo, Sergeant Fish or Line fish) is one of the more popular fish to go catch here in the Dominican Republic. It is a fish that will put up a good fight and its soft and mild flavored meat makes it extremely delicious to eat.
The average size of the Snook is about 50 centimeters (1.6 ft.), however they do grow up to about 140 centimeters (4.6 ft.). The biggest one that I have ever caught in the Dominican Republic was about 20 pounds, and I have seen them up to about 50 pounds (is my guess).
It is a hermaphrodite fish that for some unexplained reason changes sex from male to female. You can easily recognize the Snook by the black line that runs horizontally throughout its entire body.
Where to find the Snook:
The Snook is rather sensitive when it comes to temperatures and, as it cannot stand cold water, it lives in the warm waters of e.g. the Caribbean, Florida and the Pacific. The Snook can tolerate a wide range of salinity (salt in the water) and can therefore be found in both the ocean as well as in fresh water.
The Snook is a predatory fish, a carnivore that lives off shrimp, small fish, crabs, etc. and is commonly found in areas with mangrove, close to land by rocks and cliffs, under docks or bridges, around currents in the water and even in murky water.
Here in the Dominican Republic the Snook is a common fish to catch on inshore fishing trips. You can even catch them when fishing right off the beach or shore.
Tips on how to catch Snook:
I usually fish Snook with a simple spinning rod and reel on a 20-pound test line. You can use live bait such as sardines or pinfish as well as artificial bait such as gulp. I like to fish with e.g. a white shrimp gulp, which has worked for me many times in the past when catching Snook.
Once you catch a good-sized Snook, you can look forward to an excellent meal e.g. as a ceviche or on the grill.