Complete Guide to Baits and Lures for Snook Fishing

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Baits and lures for snook fishing guide

Snook fishermen often argue about the best baits for snook fishing.

For many, they’re keen to use the same bait they’ve used for years just because it works for them and brings in the results.

If you’re having trouble with your baits and lures or are new to snook fishing, you might want to know, what are the best baits and lures are for snook fishing?

The short answer is pinfish, finger mullet, and shrimp are the best baits for snook fishing no matter the depth of the water. As for lures, you’re looking at 3-inch and 5-inch while paddles tails. These should have a 1/8 oz jig head for shallower water and a 1 ½ oz flair-hawk jig for deep water.

This complete guide to baits and lures for snook fishing will tell you all the techniques and tips to get you catching more snook.

The Basics of Snook Fishing

One reason why anglers often debate different baits is that presentation is almost as important as the bait itself.

Best lures for snook fishing

So, if one fisherman uses something different from you, it might still be good because of the way it is presented.

You can get almost anything to work in the right conditions and with the right presentation.

Where to Go Snook Fishing

Before we look at the best baits and lures, you need to be in the right place for snook.

The Basics of snook fishing lures

Here are some great locations for snook fishing:

  • Docks – snook like structures and so love to be in dock pilings where there are lots of grasses, barnacles, and oysters for example. They also like facing into a current so placing the bait up current will give the best results.
  • Sea walls – this is another excellent place to fish for snook as they like to pin prey against the walls so there is one less way they can escape.
  • Bridges and inlets – you can catch some really big snook around bridges and inlets!
  • Beaches – snook can often be found within three or so feet of the shore as they seek out whiting, croakers, and other shoals that spend time in the shallow water.
  • Creek mouths and mangroves – these are excellent spots to find snook, especially at high tide. Snook like cruising under mangrove branches when they’re hunting for food.
  • Spillways – during rainy months when spillways are in operation to stop flooding, thousands of freshwater shrimp, shiners and bluegills arrive but they struggle with the saltwater environment and so snook eat them up quickly.

The Best Baits for Snook Fishing

Now we know where to go, we need to know what to use.

Best baits for snook fishing

The good news is that you can use so many different baits to attract snook.

Let’s look at some of the best.


If you want to catch a snook, this top’s the best bait for snook list!

Scaled Sardines

Since baitfish exist naturally in the water, snook will often bite on the ones they see often. For snook, sardines are a familiar sight, so these are a good bait to use.


As the name suggests, grunts make groaning noises. These will catch snook whenever you use them as bait.


This is a great bait for any sea fishing!

Finger Mullet

A common type of fish that is often consumed by humans either smoked or fried, the finger mullet is also a popular dish with snook (no cooking necessary, of course!)


A great bait is a live ladyfish – and these can catch foot-long snook or longer!


Both silver perch and sand perch are great baits to use to catch snook.


Threadfin is also a great bait and is part of the Herring family. Their name comes from their extended dorsal fin.


Finally, crabs can be used as snook bait.

Best Baits for Snook in Different Locations

If you’re heading to the docks as suggested and want a dead bait, mullet chunks and ladyfish chunks are a great choice, especially the heads, which snook seem to love.

You can also use dead pinfish in the same way.  

As for sea wall fishing, some good live baits to use are mullet, pinfish, or whitebait.

For the beach, you can use all of the ones mentioned or try out a croaker.

Top 5 Best Lures For Snook

Now we’ve got an idea of the bait to use, let’s look at some of the best lures:

1. Dr. Fish Bucktail Jig Fluke Lure

This is a great lure that makes catching snook easy thanks to its realistic feel.

It is unique and comes in a variety of colors to make it stand out in the water.

With its 3D eyes and scaled body, it also has realistic bucktail hair that hides the hook.


This lure is really flexible. Its bulging 3D eyes and scaled body make it look enticing to snook.

The lure is divided into eight segments that are connected for life-like movement. It has a sharp hook too.

3. Rapala X-Rap Lure

This snook lure is great for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Despite its small size, it has excellent features including a 3D holographic design.

This can be seen underwater and can go three feet in. It’s great for any depth and can also be used at high tide.

4. Livetarget Yearling Squarebill

This is a great artificial snook bail for both amateurs and professionals.

The structure is lifelike and realistic and has two sharp hooks attached.

You won’t catch a really large snook with this but it’s good nonetheless.

5. Livetarget Scaled Sardine

This is a lure most commonly used by professional anglers and you can’t go wrong.

It has a flexible, realistic structure and feel, going with the water flow and catching snook in both shallow and deep water.

There are different models available. The hook on this lure is also corrosion-resistant and can be used for ice fishing or fly fishing too.

It also has great underwater visibility.

Final Thoughts

You’re not alone in wanting to catch snook; it’s one of the most sought-after species along the coast and in inshore waters.

These fish, while being abundant, can be difficult for inexperienced anglers to catch.

If you’re someone who has had trouble catching snook in the past, then we hope this complete guide to baits and lures for snook fishing has helped guide you in the right direction.

Other things that you can try are going fishing late or early in the day.

The last couple of hours before the sun sets or the first couple of hours before the sun rises are the best times to fish for snook.

You could also fish for snook at night!

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