Top live baits to catch snook (Get More Bites)

Top live baits to catch snook (Get More Bites)

by | Jun 2, 2017 | Saltwater, Snook | 0 comments

Live bait can make a good day of fishing turn great.  Snook of all sizes love to eat live bait and there are some top choices that you should try and add to your live well for maximum success on your next fishing trip.  These baits can be fished live-linned or with sinker rigs with deadly results.   Let’s explore some of the top live baits to catch snook



Top live baits to catch snook

Live mullet are hardy bait fish that can survive in both inshore and offshore conditions.  These baits can be fished both live lined and off the bottom and are a steady flow of the snook diet. Mullet should be on anyone’s list a top live bait to catch snook

top live baits to catch snook

Finger mullet which range in size from 3 to 6 inches are great bait that can be used on light line.  Larger mullet are also great when targeting larger snook.


Pilchards are probably one of my favorite baits to use when snook fishing.  When we pull up to a spot and free line out a pilchard and we don’t get hit we are confident no fish are around.

These baits can be netted easily.  Look for diving birds like pelicans on flats or offshore.  Use your recorder around markers for bait that is close to the bottom schooled up.    If you can’t throw your net a NO. 6 or 8 sabiki will do the trick.  These baits when presented free lined are deadly for not only snook for just about any other fish that eats live bait.


Pigfish are great baits for snook and we have caught some monsters on these baits.  We typically get these baits when we target pinfish on the grass flats of south west Florida.  These baits will make a grunting nose that drive snook wild.

Many overslot snook have been taking by pigfish.

Pinfish are top live baits to catch snook

Pinfish are a great bait and can easily be caught on grass flats thought south Florida and the keys.  Take a small gold hook with a split shot weight and tip your hook with a small piece of shrimp or cut fish.

Work areas that have sea grass as that is where the pinfish will hide.  Pinfish will have a tendency to search out rocks and ledges when hooked so pay attention when your free lining in and around structure for snook.  Unlike pilchard and mullet these bait fish like to hug the bottom.


Shrimp are another great bait to catch snook on. I quick trip to your local tackle spot can get you all the shrimp you need for a days fishing.  Rig this on a jig head and bonce them off the bottom.

Or fish them under a float over oyster bars, or other known spots that produce snook.


Ladyfish make excellent bait for snook and any other gamefish that eats other fish.  Ladyfish are very shiny thin fish that will school up on flats as well as offshore to eat other small bait fish.  Ladyfish are responsible for some monster snook being caught.

Dead cut ladyfish are deadly for snook.  We have landed hundreds of snook in the west coast of Florida on cut ladyfish.  The head especially is great for monster snook.

Atlantic Croaker

Croakers are an excellent live bait for snook.  This baits will stay close to the bottom so you will want to keep close contact with your bait as it swims as strikes can be light.

Rig your bait throw either a croakers nose or back and hang on.  More then just snook will eat this bait.

In Closing

These are some top live baits to catch snook and depending on your location some will work better then others.  Remember you do not need live bait to catch snook but it does help and in our opinion will catch fish that are more finicky or not interested in eating your artificial baits.

About The Author

Anthony Arcodia

A Florida Native, Anthony has been a lifelong fisherman and outdoorsman. As a child, he started fishing lakes around the South Florida area chasing bass which quickly spread to chasing snook and tarpon in the 10 thousand islands. Anthony has passed his love of the outdoors and fishing to his son and both continue to enjoy the great outdoors together while pursuing their passion of fishing.

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