Catch Big Snook

What Is the Biggest Snook Ever Caught (With Maps and Tips)

The snook, also called robalo or sergeant fish, is a famous prized catch among fly anglers. Snook patrol the brackish lagoons, estuaries, and coastal waters. Still, you can also find them in tidal creeks, canals, and inland up rivers. The different snook species are relatively aggressive, and they can provide you with a memorable experience.

Personally, I have dreamt of catching the biggest snook available that can challenge the current world record. In fact, the thought of achieving my goal and the fight it will give once it bites my bait keeps me smiling every time, I cast my line.

The Biggest Snook in the World (According To IGFA)

Despite several snook species, the common snook holds the giant snook caught title. The Common Snook tend to grow bigger than some snook species, and you can find them in numerous water bodies in Florida.

The world record for Common snook occurred in Parismina Ranch, Costa Rica, on October 18, 1978. This giant snook which weighs about 53 pounds and 10 ounces, was caught by Gilbert Ponzi. Gilbert Ponzi has held the record for over four decades, and it doesn’t look like his record is about to give in anytime soon. (source)

A Little Bit About Snook

There are over five species of snook in the United States, with Common Snook being the most common and popular among fly anglers. Snook are loved in the Gulf Coast for their culinary value and fighting abilities, especially among the trophy fish chasers.

snook fly fishing
Snook fly fishing

Unfortunately, the harvest of common snook is prohibited in Florida and Texas. Most snook species, including Backcountry snook, are very aggressive.

Snook originated from Central America, but weather changes resulted in these fish migrating to Florida. After the Ice Age, the increase in temperature forced the snook to migrate northwards along the shorelines of Mexico before reaching Florida.

Compared to the snook in North America, the ones found in Central America seem different thanks to the difference in water quality and weather. Snook can attain a maximum weight of about 50 pounds, but if you’re looking for huge ones, you should try the ones for Central America. (source)

Figuring Out the Age of a Snook?

The body growth rate of snook is proportional to scale growth, which means that the older they get, the longer they become. Remember, scales annulus formation occurs once per year (source)

Length Of Snook (Cm / In)Age Of Snook in Years
1.63 / 4.11 yr.
3.42 / 8.72 yrs.
4.65 / 11.93 yrs.
5.63 / 14.34 yrs.
6.60 / 16.85 yrs.
7.23 / 18.46 yrs.
7.82 / 19.97 yrs.

Table Source

Where Can I Find the World Record Snook? (With Maps and Tips)

Parismina Ranch, Costa Rica – Home to The World Record

Parismina Ranch is an exceptional ranch situated in the northern parts of the Caribbean coast. It resides in a tranquil village on a 58 sq mile island flanked by the Caribbean Sea and several rivers.

Therefore, if your main goal is catching huge snook, this is the best fly fishing destination. There are no bridges linking the island to the mainland and no paved roads on Parismina island.

Parismina Ranch Costa Rica
Parismina Ranch Costa Rica – image Google Maps – LINK

If you’re a lover of learning new cultures while fly fishing and camping on an exotic island, then you should visit Parismina. And that is because the locals will invite you to participate in their village fires and help with turtle conservation. The peak fishing months in Parismina Island are from September to mid-November and from mid-March to May.  

Everglades National Park, Chokoloskee, Florida

The Everglades has a unique ecosystem that you cannot find anywhere on the planet. The ecosystem starts with River Kissimmee, which discharges to Okeechobee Lake. The water from this lake forms a 100 mile long, slow-moving river. Water covers a third of this park. Therefore, it is exceptional for fly anglers. (source)

Everglades National Park Chokoloskee Florida
Everglades National Park Chokoloskee Florida – image Google Maps – LINK

Saltwater fishing is also available in the Ten Thousand Islands and Florida Bay. The Everglades is a renowned vacationing place, so make sure you carry your 9-wt fly rod when heading to Florida.

Luckily, you can fish all year round, but only 20 fish at a time are allowed. (source) The Everglades National Park is home to the current All-Tackle Length Fly record, so you’re guaranteed giant snook.

Jupiter, Florida

Jupiter is an exceptional beach town ranked twelfth in the U.S. in 2018 by WalletHub and the ninth happiest seaside in 2012. So, if you’re looking for the best fly angling destination in the U.S., you should try Jupiter.

This town has an exceptional geographical location that sticks further into the Florida coast than any other town. In fact, Jupiter holds three of the world’s line class world records for snook.

Juniper FL for big Snook
Juniper FL for big Snook – image Google Maps – LINK

Therefore, you should be ready for a memorable fly fishing experience every time you visit Jupiter. If you’re like me and always looking for a prized fish, then make sure you carry your 10-weight fly rod for your next fishing trip.

Plus, the fact that you can fish all year round in Florida makes this state the best destination for your family. (source)

Lake Worth Beach, Florida

Originally referred to as Lake Worth, Lake Worth Beach is an exceptional angler’s destination situated 64miles from Miami. The city is named after Lake Worth Lagoon, on its eastern border.

This city’s eastern border opens to the Atlantic Ocean via Lake Worth Inlet. Lake Worth Beach is home to Snook Islands, named after this species, and is a great fly fishing destination.

In fact, Lake Worth Beach city is home to one of the line class world’s records. Therefore, if you want a memorable experience, you pack your 10-wt fly rod and be ready for anything. The snook island offers an exceptional snook fishing experience; plus, you should be prepared to fish all year round. (source)

Map Link to LAKE WORTH, Florida

Guide Tip: Many of the same flies that will take snook will hook redfish. Reds grow to enormous sizes, read how big in this article. – Biggest Redfish Caught (World Records)

Big Snook in The News

In 2020, Wesley Brough caught a monster snook that threatened to shatter the record over two decades. The snook weighed over 51 pounds, while the current record of the heaviest Pacific White snook is 47 pounds. Several news websites captured this exceptional moment, and you can read more about it at For The Win website using the following link:

Techniques For Finding Monster Snook Close to Home

Suppose you are looking for some massive snook near your residence. In that case, you should visit your state’s natural resources department offices or their website. If you don’t reside near Florida or along the coast, then you may need to settle for landlocked snook stocked in the local lakes or ponds.

But if you’re sure they exist in the local waters, you should do your research and talk to other fly anglers. You may end up finding out more details on where you can find colossal snook at any given time of the day or night.

Tips For Catching Big Snook on Your Fly Rod

When looking for your prized snook on your fly rod, you should ensure that you have the right rod weight and line. The best fly rod weight for fly fishing snook should always range between 7 and 10-wt.

Snook are a perfect introduction fish to saltwater fly fishing, BUT I would say get some good quality gear. Saltwater tears up fishing gear, pay a little more and get fly fishing gear that’s going to last. Remember to rise off all your equipment after going out with lots of freshwater.

A 10-wt fly rod like Sage Salt-HD can help you tackle the strength and weight of the snook, especially backcountry snook. A matching reel like the Sage Spectrum Max Fly Reel can help you reel in your catch after it bites your bait.

A floating line is the most common kind of fly line that you may ever need for your trip. The SA Amplitude Grand Slam lasts longer and can help you cast even further.

Favorite Snook Fly Fishing Technique

The wildest snook live in the deepest parts of the lakes or ocean, but you can find most huge snook in shallow waters. Topwater snook fishing is one of the best techniques that can guarantee you huge snook along the river or lake’s shorelines. The best fly-fishing technique that I have always used for snook is blind cast fishing.

But when looking for the wildest snook, I always use dead drifting.

Favorite Flies for Snook

The best flies for snook fishing that always feature in my arsenal include sinking flies like deceivers, gummy minnows, and Puglisi’s sardines. I always include floating flies like crab and shrimp patterns, poopers, and gurglers. Some of the best brands for your next fly fishing include:

Favorite Flies for Snook
Favorite Flies for Snook – image Umpqua

1. Gummy Minnow

The gummy minnow is a revolutionary fly that has always been successful every time I cast it. Plus, it works with a wide range of fish, including snook.

You can make this fly using a self-sticking, flexible, soft plastic called Siliskin that looks and feels reel. Here is why they always work for me:

  • It’s durable
  • It’s available in a wide range of colors
  • It’s available in a wide variety of sizes (source)

2. Clouser Minnow

I can never leave the house without a Clouser minnow every time I’m going fishing; after all, it has never disappointed. Initially made by Clouser Bob for freshwater fishing, this design originated from Pennsylvania as a smallmouth bass pattern.

  • It’s available in a wide range of sizes
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • It’s colorful (source)

3. Dahlberg Diver

Even though it is a general-purpose night and day pattern, Dahlberg Diver is exceptional when it comes to snook. This diver pattern works perfectly with floating lines, but you can use it with a clear floating line when the snook are spooky. Other reasons why I love this fly include:

  • It an available in a wide range of sizes
  • Available in different colors
  • It can do more than catch snook (source)

Guide Tip: If you’re serious about chasing with a fly rod, I’ve got a complete list of what to put in your fly box. -> 11 Best Flies for Snook

Get Out & Cast Your Line to Some Massive Snook

Snook are aggressive creatures that can guarantee you a great fight while being reeled in, and in some cases, they can break the line and swim away. Therefore, you need a powerful fly rod and line to match this species’ strength and aggressiveness. Snook may be aggressive, but they are fun to deal with and can guarantee you a memorable moment. 

More Snook Articles

Hi David Humphries Owner of Guide Recommended. I love everything to do with fly fishing. Casting, Tying, YouTube, writing about it and even teaching. I’ve got a FREE video workshop teaching how to dry fly fish at this link How to Fly Fish


  1. IGFA Staff, common snook, February 23, 2022
  2. Wikipedia contributor, Age determination in fish, Accessed February 23, 2022
  3. Wikipedia contributor, Common Snook, February 23, 2022
  4. National Park Service, Fishing in the Everglades, February 23, 2022
  5. Wikipedia contributors, Everglades, February 23, 2022
  6. Wikipedia contributor, Jupiter, Florida,,_Florida#Geography_and_climate/Accessed February 23, 2022
  7. Wikipedia contributor, Lake Worth Beach, Florida,,_Florida#Geography/Accessed February 23, 2022
  8. Umpqua contributor, Gummy minnow, February 23, 2022
  9. Umpqua contributor, clouser minnow, February 23, 2022
  10. Umpqua contributor, Accessed February 23, 2022
Scroll to Top