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Port Canaveral Snook

Day and Night Fishing Trips at Florida's Fun Port

Tuesday April 24, 2018

"One of my favorite anglers to take out snook fishing at Port Canaveral is my longtime friend Girard Middleton" explains Captain Richard of Lagooner Fishing Charters. "Girard has great fishing karma and the skill to back up his luck when the situation arises. When we were kids fishing the backwater canals, creeks and shallow water grass flats near my home, Girard was always eager to go along for long days on the water and let me show my hometown fishing haunts to him. Port Canaveral is high on his list of fishing destinations and Girard always ask me what's going on there when he makes it over my way for a fishing charter."

"I have been fishing all my life with my father and now the better part of my life with my friend Captain Richard Bradley, and I can honestly say that the snook fishing we've done together over the years have been unbelievably good! During high school and college Richard honed his snook fishing at Sebastian Inlet and I would often see him come back to his college dorm with his limit of two snook after fishing the spillways and inlets in south Florida. All that late night dedication and addiction has paid off for him, but it's really paid off for me as I get to take advantage of his knowledge, skill and techniques he's developed when I charter him," explains Girard.

Port Canaveral
Snook Fishing Guide

Guiding is a passion and involves much preparation and dedication. Snook fishing involves more time, education and skill than most anglers desire to put effort into. Fishing for snook with a prepared guide that knows his business including tides, baits, rods & reels and a specially rigged boat is a necessity for anglers to have success for a night or day of fishing for snook (rabalo in Spanish).

Typically, snook are sought after during the darkest hours of the night and into the early morning, but during certain times of the year a spawning bite occurs on the beaches both north and south of the entrance of the Port which can be profound for anglers looking for a twenty plus pound snook for their bragging rights. During the evenings and early morning hours there's plenty for an angler to do around the lighted docks and wharfs in Port Canaveral but during the day the snook can become less predictable and thus less productive. Needless to say, you need to just ask your guide when is the most productive time for the season you are looking for and he'll hook you up if to the best bet for Port Canaveral Snook on Florida's east coast.

What to expect from a Port Canaveral fishing Charter Guide.

Snook Fishing is an advanced angling activity for the most part, but you can expect your guide to do his best at locating and helping you present lures and baits if needed. Captain Richard has been fishing around Port Canaveral for over 40 years and has extensive knowledge of how to find, hookup and extract snook from the Port Canaveral area. If the angler is hesitant, a snook will show you how he earned his name and reputation as a hard fighting and tricky fish.

You can expect Captain Richard to be prepared for the day/night of fishing with the best equipment and tackle and know where to look for and find snook during different times of the year. Usually Richard or Captain Gina will tell you beforehand what's the best time, tides and seasons for catching snook in Port Canaveral. They've both lived around the Central Florida and Port Canaveral their whole lives.

Where is Port Canaveral Florida

Port Canaveral is located approximately 40 miles due east of Orlando, Florida. If you look at Florida on a map Cape Canaveral is protruding out about halfway down the east coastline. If you leave from the Orlando Airport and exit on State Road 528 and head east for 41 miles, you'll exit on Terminal "B" exit and bear left on George King Blvd (east). Go one tenth of a mile to Flounder Road and turn left again and you'll see Freddy Patrick Park ahead. This is our traditional place for our guides to meet their anglers for our snook fishing trips. Most snook fishing trips are at night, but the Captain usually meets their anglers before dusk to gather bait.

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

Snook Fishing at Port Canaveral

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: November 29 2016 20:34:54.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

April - 2018 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

April - 2018 Fishing Forecast

April of 2018 should be a great spring for fishing in both inshore and offshore coastal waters of Central Florida. Look to the Mosquito Lagoon and Banana Rivers to produce redfish and sea trout consistently and then look toward the ocean and depending on the water temps, clear skies and wind the cobia will be on their way north and migrating past Canaveral towards their northern grounds on the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Central Florida's weather during the spring is usually no less than spectacular as the college spring breakers are winding up the end of their vacation and heading back to campus to finish up before summer break. Daytona Beach host several spring events from NASCAR Races, Bike Week and Spring Break activities while Cocoa Beach and it's Space Coast offer a much less crowded alternative for vacationers to seek a more secluded and restful Holiday. The temperatures are rising and the fishing should be heating up too in East Central Florida's Cocoa Beach.

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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.

Had the best day fishing off Cocoa Beach with Capt. Richard while we were docked in Port Canaveral for the day from the Norwegian Gem. Capt. Gina was so helpful in planning our trip months ahead and even came right to the boat and picked us up when we pulled into Port! We caught some beautiful King Mackerel and had many laughs. I would recommend Lagooner to EVERYONE. If we ever get back down there, we'll definitely go again.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on March 1, 2015

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