Tomoka Snook Fishing

Tomoka State Park snook fishing

Snook Fishing Takes An Unexpected Turn…

My quest for snook this year took an unexpected turn – actually two unexpected turns.

I live in Titusville in the northern end of the Space Coast, not exactly a mecca for snook fishing. Sure, there are spots I can pick off a snook or two, or even three, but honestly, snook are just a welcomed side catch while chasing reds and trout. I’ve been itching for a technical, hardcore snook fishing trip. I wanted to spend a day skipping soft plastics into tight openings among the shore cover, where accurate casts are rewarded with the thump of an aggressive snook.

I figured I’d have to head south for such fishing, maybe to Sebastian, or even farther down to Fort Pierce. Unexpected turn number one came with an invitation from Jackson Kayaks to fish a media trip north of Daytona Beach with Bart Swab of Action Kayak Adventures. I figured trout, redfish and flounder would be the prevalent species so I was surprised when Swab said we would be targeting snook.

True to my luck, our fishing days were greeted with small craft advisories and 20+ knot winds. I thought for sure our trip would be canceled, but along came unexpected turn number two. Swab wasn’t the least bit deterred by the foul weather. “We’ll be fine,” he assured us.

Fishing the Tomoka River

On the first day Swab had us meet him at a creek that branched off of the Tomoka River near Ormond Beach. Joining the party were fellow outdoor communicators, Misty Wells and Captain Debbie Hanson. We paddled and peddled around creeks and canals in a fishing friendly fleet of Jackson Coosa FD and Kraken kayaks. I’d be lying if I said the wind wasn’t annoying at times, but the narrow waterways offered enough protection to provide fishable conditions despite winds that howled over the treetops above us.

Swab wasn’t exaggerating about the snook. We fished several stretches where virtually every fishy looking nook and cranny held a snook that would pounce on a well placed lure. A bonus was pods of juvenile tarpon that frequented creek intersections and the back ends of little bays. By the end of the morning we tallied fifteen snook and four tarpon.

Tomoka State Park and Bulow Creek State Park are great places to explore on your own, but it is even better if you go with a local pro like Swab. I can tell you from personal experience that the excitement level ramps up a few notches when Swab points to a downed tree, ditch mouth or creek bend and says, “we should catch a few snook on this spot.” Most of the time he was right. Bart Swab can be reached through his website, or at (904) 325-0344.