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Cocoa Beach fishing charters for snook with a couple of kids

Saltwater Fishing Charters by Lagooner Fishing Guides

Cocoa Beach Snook Fishing

Dreaming of Snook Fishing in Cocoa Beach Florida

Sunday January 21, 2018

Charter Captain Richard Bradley took Justin Thummel and his father Jeff snook fishing off Cocoa Beach. Altogether they landed 7 redfish, 6 snook, releasing all but a few for the table. Captain Richard's daughter Savannah went along at the request of Justin, she caught and released her first sizable snook by-herself while casting a mister-twister jig in the rolling surf.

"I wanted to show my dad that I could cast and catch without his assistance this time, and it was great. I really showed him with the BIG snook I caught on the first cast, right off of Cocoa Beach" explained Savannah.

"We never got a chance to fish! These kids kept hooking up and reeling in the fish!" Explained Jeff Thummel after returning to the boat ramp. "It was incredible, I've never seen anything like it... with kids, Captain Richard looked for easy quality fish for our kids and scored big time. I'll keep going on charters with Richard as long as I can hold a fishing pole."

"Keeping kids occupied while fishing is the biggest challenge in fishing. You want them to win... and win quickly. If you don't they'll quickly loose interest and that's when the things can get challenging." explains Charter Captain Richard Bradley. "I always try and put kids on easy fish that can pull a line and make them excited, then I persuade them to use their patience to try and catch a really big fish later in the morning or day."

Where to Find
Cocoa Beach Snook...

This is a difficult question to answer in a brief paragraph, but I'll attempt. Cocoa Beach has a saltwater lagoon to the west and the ocean to the east. I found the fish pictured during the fall mullet run around the mouth of Port Canaveral adjacent to Cocoa Beach, but I often find great snook fishing at night during much of the cooler parts of the year in the Port itself. During the Spring, the lagoon's thousand islands can have great early morning snook fishing with fly, light tackle or bait casters around the mangroves. The fall can also produce some of the larger inshore snook lining the shorelines when there's a good amount of water in the lagoons.

When is the best time to pursue Cocoa Beach Snook?

During the warmer months is typically the best. Big snook are spawning on the beaches during the summer so look for late spring and early summer to be productive. As the summer winds down you can find them eating up calories during the fall mullet run at inlets or in the lagoon itself. Then as winter sets in... Snook can become less predictable and seek out warmer water or migrate further south to take advantage of warmer climates. Snook are usually caught during less sunlight hours or at night. Early morning anglers can find them along mangrove shorelines and late night fishermen can look around lighted docks or wharfs. Sebastian holds the lion's share of snook in our area during the fall and spring months. The kids in the story above caught their snook during the fall mullet in Sept/Oct near the beach when it was calm (a rare combination in the fall).

What Do You Catch
Cocoa Beach Snook on?

finger mullet for bait

Lures and livebait are favorites of snook fisherman. However, you won't nail down anything as a all time favorite as many anglers seem to specialize in their own domains. Captain Richard likes to live bait snook, but you'll find him lofting flies under the mangroves in the spring for fun almost every year. Others like topwaters as snook will often attack noisy plugs chugging on the surface. "Growing up on Merritt Island I thought subsurface lures like mirrorlures and rapalas were the only thing that caught snook", explains Captain Richard. "Then in high school a friend of mine introduced me to live bait drifting at Sebastian Inlet and that was the end of the that era and launched a decade long search for big snook in around Florida's inlets and waterways. Live bait seemed to be the most consistent and that's my favorite nowadays too."

I'm a big finger mullet fan during the fall mullet run because they're easy to come by and fish are relating to them anyway. Many people don't have the confidence to try a live bait but with a little patience and experimenting, snook are usually pretty accepting to one of these tasty little snook baits.

Book Your Fishing Trip with Lagooner Fishing Guides Today

Vacations are meant to be a way to "get away and relax", that's why Lagooner Fishing Guides prides itself with helping customers with their vacation plans to the Orlando Florida area. We take care of it all from the when and where's to what equipment and boats to use for each situation. After all it's your fishing trip and it should be easy. Call us or fill out the form on this page for additional information. Our belief is that a fishing trip should be an easy thing and no worries about what to bring other than your favorite food and/or beverage. Call Lagooner Fishing Guides and reserve a date today!

Snook Fishing Charters in Cocoa Beach, Florida

Snook are inshore fish with an attitude. They are generally a golden yellow in color with a dark black lateral line (stripe) running the length of their body. Their mouth is similar to a large mouth bass' size & shape, yet their gills are razor sharp so watch out when handling these guys.

Most anglers don't know about or haven't caught the four species of snook in Florida. In East Central Florida waters we have alot of common and fat snook. The tarpon and swordspine are more frequent in South Florida.

Snook are revered as one of the most prestigious fish to catch, partly because they tend to be finicky about how and when they will approach a presented bait but mostly because of their fighting tactics (which seem unfair). But if you want to tangle with a fish thats' bound and determined to give you a brutal fight... SNOOK is your fish.

Varieties of Snook Species in the Atlantic
Common Snook
Fat Snook
Tarpon Snook
SwordSpine Snook

From central Florida south, usually INSHORE in coastal and brackish waters, along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges; also on reefs and pilings NEARSHORE. They are usually low-light or nocturnal feeders so get up early or fish at night for these large inshore preditors.

Snook fishing in East Central Florida is most often during the late spring, summer and fall months and starts to fade into the colder winter months. Typically during the winter months snook either head south or look for backwater areas where the water temperatures are move favorable. Don't look for snook to be active feeders during the winter months of January - March unless we have prolonged warm fronts or indian summers that bring the snook into a more active feeding cycle. During the spring snook are migrating toward their summer June-August spawning grounds along the beaches near inlets and ports. Snook often stage between their winter holdouts and the spawning grounds on spoil islands, docks and structure before heading out to meet their mates on the beach.

Late summer and fall produce some of the best fishing for snook at locations like Sebastian Inlet, Port Canaveral or Cocoa Beach.

Backwater snook can be fished for with a wide variety of artificials from jerk baits to top waters and plugs, much like bass anglers do around shorelines and structure including mangroves, stumps, docks, etc...

Saltwater flats often hold nice sized snook, look for baitfish, nearby structure including dropoffs or mangrove shorelines or docks. Fish for flats snook with live bait like pilchards or greenies or subtle shrimp or baitfish imitations. Remember that snook like the comfort of structure and can feel vulnerable in the open flat. Often snook have to be excited with live chum to get them to cooperate in open water flats.

Inlet fishing is usually done at night with livebait by drifting during the preferred tide phase (usually outgoing) or throwing plugs like bombers, rapalas or other baitfish imitations. This type of fishing is not for the novice and can be very challenging on the angler. You often break off and must have above average skills when fishing in heavy currents at night during the outgoing tides and fall swells.

Snook spawn primarily in summer; cannot tolerate water temperatures below 60 degrees F; can tolerate wholly fresh or saltwater; schools along shore and in passes during spawning season; feeds on fish and large crustaceans.


Snook in East Central Florida have many different habitats and conditions that make them a great target for anglers looking for variable ways to catch this elusive fish. Juvenile fish can be caught in the estuaries, canals and backwater areas almost all year long. While not as prestigious as large breeder snook, they are non-the-less enjoyable to catch and will bite on everything from baitcasters to flyrods and everything between. Juvenile snook are suckers for artificial's and readily take live bait as well.

Big breeding snook spawn on or near the beaches of Central Florida and always have a passageway or access to the beaches or inlets available to them. The only time a breeder snook is generally caught in the backwaters here is because it's a cooler transitional time period usually. Canaveral snook spend their winter months in the Port under docks, wharfs and around other structure like boats and pilings. You often see them hanging around the lights at night in small and large schools. Sebastian Inlet Snook are caught in the inlet itself during the summer and fall months and many of the larger snook migrate south to Jupiter Inlet or hunker down in the fresh warmer water of the Sebastian River a short distance away.

Articles and Photos about Snook

Sebastian Inlet Snook Fishing
Catching Breeding Snook on the Beach Video
Port Canaveral Snook Fishing
IGFA World Record Sized Snook
Night Snook Fishing in Port Canaveral
Double Hookup Snook
Beach Snook From Boat
Kids Catch Snook
Big Snook On Beach
Father Son Snook Fishing
Mosquito Lagoon Snook
Daytona Snook Fishing
Orlando Snook Fishing
Canaveral Snook Fishing
Cocoa Beach Snook Fishing
Indian River Snook Fishing
Indian River Rabalo Fishing


Not less than 28" or more than 32" Atlantic - Not less than 28" or more than 33" Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park

Season Closed December 15th thru January 31st & June thru August on the Atlantic Coast.
Decemeber thru February & May thru August on the Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades National Park

State Record

44 Pounds, 3 Ounces

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: May 15 2017 16:29:26.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

Where Are Cocoa Beach Snook In January?

Winters in Florida can be deadly for the sub-tropical snook in central and northern Florida. Snook either find a stable temperature area like a freshwater outflow river, spring or power plant or they migrate south accordingly. Winter time snook in Central Florida have grown accustom to mild winters for the last decade and are overdue for a hard winter kill for those snook that refuse to find shelter and attempt to stick-it-out for another winter. Find snook in the Sebastian River, Indian River power plants, backwaters or Port Canaveral around the wharfs during central Florida winters.

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Fishing Reports

January - 2018 Fishing Report

The Banana River comes alive during the colder months of year and January is the peak season for deep hole trout, redfish and juvenile black drum. We've been fishing the deeper canals and slews with success during the cold fronts when the water is cold and also catching some great sized fish on the flats adjacent to these holes. Look for the Banana River to improve as the winter gets colder and the fish transition to their winter haunts in pursuit of cold, stable water. Look for mature fish to seek warmth on the shallow shorelines nearby.

Fishing Forecast

January - 2018 Fishing Forecast

Is it going to be an Indian Summer this January or possibly a deep freeze Polar Vortex? These are the questions that all fishing guides want to know. Depending on how this winter plays out with temperatures, winds and other conditions will dictate how our fishing will pan out in January. Unless the water is churned up by high winds, January will produce some of the cleanest and clearest water of the year in Central Florida as colder water kills of plankton life in the lagoons and mild northeast winds often push in clearer water in the ocean. Look for great inshore fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon and Northern end of the Indian River toward Titusville. If the winds and water are all frothed up it can be a crap shoot for fishing in almost every inshore locations and will shutdown all offshore fishing due to small craft warnings and safety warnings. However, between fronts, look for some of the best fishing of the year in January both inshore and offshore in Central Florida.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953

204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL

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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Captain Richard worked hard to put fish in the boat. We were able to bring in a few big Reds and some trout, and a couple keepers to take home for dinner. It's always the hope to be able to catch lots of fish, but fishing is fishing and there are no guarantees; the time of the year we travel to Florida also has an impact on our fshing success. This last trip out with Captain Richard my wife came along and thorougly enjoyed the experience and catching the big Reds. She is looking forward to our next trip to Florida and another fishing trip with Captain Richard.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on January 12, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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