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A buddy of mine wanted to know how the heck I catch and release so many snook over 25 pounds. I told him to stay consistent you have to fish a lot of dead baits! He just looked at me like I was pulling his chain. "Dead bait"?

Oh yes...DEAD BAIT! Mullet heads work the best. The bigger the head the bigger the snook too. I have never been scared to use a head off a 3 pound moose black mullet. And old man showed me this technique when I was just a little squid, and it really works!

For the most part BIG snook are lazy. They don't like to work the bait schools if they don't have to. They'd much rather cruise below the schools after the jack crevelle's have come trough and tore up or injured the schooled bait. That's when they move in nice and slow and scoop up a tasty & easy treat.

Not only do I use mullet heads but I use the middle portion as well. We call our bait "heads and middles". Take your knife cut off the mullet head on a slant just behind the pectoral fins. Then I cut the tail off just prior to the top anal fin. I don't use the tail due to it seems to always catch a tarpon.

I use a gamagatsu circle hook (size 8 0's). I use a short piece of 80 to 100 pound mono leader sometimes florocarbon, depending on the water clarity. But in the Ermon River it makes no difference. I've used that Berkley nylon coated black cable sometimes when I'm live baiting a huge shad off the Prosperity Farms Road bridge and have caught many a slob snook.

No current in the river, then I use no weight. Again just like the permit these snook are very weight or clicker shy. Even more-so than a permit! They will take the bait sometimes, run, feel that clicker and spit the bait. Or by the time the clicker goes off they'll jump before you can get up out of your chair and grab the rod. Beleive me when I tell you, use a light clicker reel like a Shimano TLD-15. I have an Accuplate that I had the tension of the clicker adjusted just for this purpose, and it raised my hook up ratio and snook catches probably 85 percent or more.

So I let my buddy from New Jersey come with me and try to catch a 25 pound snook just to show him how easy it was. He tossed out a mullet head on his Shimano baitrunner and that night he fought, caught, photographed and released a 29 pound snook. He was in his awe! Since that night he knows the power of fishing with mullet heads and middle chunks!

So if you want to be in the 25 pound snook club, or just want to consistently catch and release over the limit snook, then take my advise and try the dead bait approach. Mullet, ladyfish, bunker, sandperch and even dead sardines have worked well for me. Some fishermen will go a lifetime without catching a snook over 25 pounds. My biggest to date is 36 pounds. But to of my friends have caught fish 40 and 41 pounds. All in south Florida, all on dead bait! Until next update, wishing you bent rods and screamin' drags!
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