Capt. Ethan Hamrick
Call or Text 727-242-1672

Snook are one of the most elusive fish on the planet and it takes great patience and skill to catch them. Targeting these fish at night is one of the most effective and fun ways to target these powerful fish.

1. Dock Lights

When fishing at night for snook, anglers are typically looking for boat docks that have lights on them. Both underwater lights and lights mounted on the dock that shine down into the water will hold snook. Those lights attract baitfish and other types of forage, in turn drawing snook and other game fish in to feed.

Anglers can target snook at night using both artificial lures and live bait.

2. Artificial Lures


Some of the best artificial baits to use when night fishing for snook include small ¼-½ ounce bucktail jigs, imitator shrimp, and soft-plastic jerkbaits or flukes. Typically, lightweight subtle lures are the best options when artificial lure fishing for snook at night. I usually prefer using white, gold, chartreuse or dark green colored artificial lures when targeting snook at night. 

My top 3 picks:

  1. Spro Bucktail Jig
  2. DOA Shrimp
  3. Link to Gulp Jerk Shad

Live Bait

When it comes to live bait, large, frisky shrimp are my number one choice for fishing dock lights at night for snook. They are less likely to spook wary fish and will often get the most bites at night. Shrimp should always be hooked in the tail, which allows them to swim better and appear more natural.

Greenbacks or whitebait, sardines, pilchards, pinfish, or small grunts are other reliable options for catching snook at night. Each of these baitfish should be hooked either through the nose or in the belly near the tail for the most natural look.


Penn Battle 4000 rod/reel combo

When live bait fishing, I prefer to use a 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook without a weight, and allow the bait to free line over the dock light. Letting the bait to swim freely allows it to have the most natural appearance possible.

As far as rod and reel selection goes, I like a 7’ medium action spinning rod, paired to a fast action reel. I will then spool that reel with a couple hundred yards of 20-30 pound braided line and tie a 25-30 pound fluorocarbon leader to my mainline braid. I rarely use less than 25-30 pound leader because snook have such abrasive jaws and can fray line very easily.

A popular rod and reel combo and one of my favorites for targeting snook on dock lights is the Penn Battle 4000. It is strong enough to handle large, powerful snook, but light enough to not wear an angler out too fast. This combo is excellent for fishing either live bait or artificial lures. 

Here’s my go to choices:

  1. Penn Battle 4000 rod/reel combo
  2. PowerPro Braided Line
  3. Vicious Fluorocarbon Leader


When night fishing for snook, it is important to remain quiet at all times and approach fish slowly. Snook can be extremely finicky and difficult to catch if they sense something is not natural.

Any sudden noise or vibration can scare snook and cause them not to bite. Stealth is of the utmost importance any time anglers are snook fishing.


Oftentimes, when fishing dock lights for snook, it will take a while to find a light with fish on it. Some dock lights won’t have any fish on them at all, while others will have hundreds of snook swimming around them. If you have the patience to search until you find the right dock light, it can pay off big time.

You don’t even need a boat to night fish for snook. Many public docks have lights on them that hold fish.

So, if you’re looking for a night fishing adventure, be sure to use these techniques to help you catch a few hard fighting snook on your next outing!


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