Snook action is hot around lighted docks and bridges. At night, the forage that is most readily responsible for the pop made by Snook as they slam the surface is a small shrimp. A fly fishing friend, Brad Lowman, was night fishing along the sea wall at one of our passes during a strong outgoing tide and could see small shrimp being devoured by large Snook.
Always spend a few minutes observing the water conditions before your first cast. Keen observations will tell you what pattern to use, size they are taking, location of most fish, and if their take is deep or shallow.
Tackle for nightime fly fishing
A 9-weight rod, with a weight-forward line should work. Spend the extra money for fluorocarbon leader material. I usually use a thirty pound tippet, which you should check carefully for damage after each fish. If there is any structure around, Snook will head for cover. When this happens, if you can't turn the fish with rod pressure, ease up on the tension and the fish will occasionally swim out to deeper water.
Shrimp patterns can be simple or complex. I'm including a simple pattern that works.
Additional Information for Simple Fly Pattern
Captain Rick Grasset of Sarasota uses a shorter version as his Grass Minnow; Florida outdoor writer Norm Zeigler's Schminnow has a longer body length, and usually uses Maribou material for the tail. The name implies a shrimp/minnow resemblance. White is the color that is most popular. I used this pattern years ago on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania for smallmouth bass in chartreuse, white and black. The black version, when tied with a longer tail represents a hellgrammite or clipper which is deadly bass bait.
I couldn't think of a simpler pattern which is so effective. A few minutes with a little instruction will have you turning out beautiful flies. Grab a handful and go fishing.
Captain Pat Damico
Web Site: http://captpat.com/
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