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International Game fish Association IGFA

World Record Saltwater & Freshwater Game Fish Record Keepers

Thursday May 25, 2017

Captain Richard Bradley is a Certified IGFA Captain / Guide and supports the International Game Fish Association in it's endeavors. The purpose of IGFA, is "to encourage the study of game fishes for the sake of whatever pleasure, information, or benefit it may provide; to keep the sport of game fishing ethical, and to make its rules acceptable to the majority of anglers; to encourage this sport both as recreation and as a potential source of scientific data; to place such data at the disposal of as many human beings as possible; and to keep an attested and up-to-date chart of world record catches." The founding fathers of IGFA - including such sport fishing greats as Michael Lerner, Van Campen Heilner, Clive Firth, and Ernest Hemingway - obviously had foresight; the basic purposes they set forth have increased in importance through the years. Today's IGFA has not changed these goals; rather it has brought them to the attention of the angling public, enlarged upon them, added to them, and adapted them to the current and increasing needs of the sport fishing community.

WORLD RECORD KEEPING

IGFA maintains and publishes world records for saltwater, freshwater, fly fishing catches, U.S. state freshwater records, and junior angler records, awarding certificates of recognition to each record holder. Recognized as the official keeper of world saltwater fishing records since 1939, IGFA entered the field of freshwater record keeping when Field & Stream transferred its 68 years of records to the association in 1978.

The International Game Fish Association or IGFA is the recognized maintainer of all the world record fish including the game fish that we seek in Florida's inshore and offshore waters. I've been involved every few years in donating my time and money toward helping the IGFA that's located in South Florida.

Becoming an IGFA Certified Captain involves taking an exam and meeting the education requirements along with a yearly $100 fee to be listed on their web site as an official IGFA Captain. To insure that my customer's potential fish are eligible for World Record status it's important to know what the requirements are to submit and acquire a world record catch.

Captain Richard Bradley
Lagooner, Inc. / IGFA Certified Captain

It's important to all anglers to know the fishing regulations for each species they are harvesting. It's also important to understand state and federal laws as the IGFA submits the law of the land in which each record is submitted to. In the photos above each fish was captured, weighed (on certified scales), video taped and safely released and did not qualify for world records. IGFA had just opened the 8 & 12 lb test categories for snook the day we caught these outstanding fish and we'd hoped to get a quick record on the books for a quick retirement before a Central American angler gobbled up the glory. We corrected our errors the next day and to no avail... A Costa Rican fisherman had quickly caught a snook in the 30+ pound range and we were put out of our league.

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.

Remarks

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

Regulations

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

IGFA World Records

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: December 16 2015 20:17:13.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

May - 2017 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

May - 2017 Fishing Forecast

May is one of the last month's of good fishing in the Banana River Lagoon until the summer months are over and the temperatures start to fall again in late September and October. May is awesome backwater snook time for Banana River anglers. Look for the early morning bite to produce great numbers of these hard hitting game fish. Fly fisherman only need to bring white mangrove flies in an assortment of sizes, but most snook will be in the single digit size so don't go past a 10 weight. Redfish will be plentiful and healthy sized in many areas of the Banana River and the sea trout will be staging around bait along sandbars and islands. Look for sea trout to slow down late in the month and as the summer temps rise the sea trout fishing will all but disappear excepting the smaller ones in the deeper water. Sebastian and the Mosquito Lagoon will be better sea trout areas in late May and into the summer.

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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.
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Inshore Charter Fishing in the Banana River Lagoon near 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.

A very knowledgeable guide and knows the area waters well. We were on big reds and trout within minutes of the leaving the dock and ventured about the lagoon to catch different species. The scenery in the Lagoon is remarkable! Richard’s boat was well equipped with good equipment, he was well prepared to adapt to the different types of fishing through out the day. My primary focus was sight fishing for big reds on fly - the flies that Capt. Richard provided were right on! Booking the charter was a breeze, his wife Capt. Gina was very accommodating to work me in (thank you Capt. Gina). Capt. Richard seemed to know who was hungry at the right times – and we had some impressive catches! Well done Capt. Richard, and thanks for a great day on the water!
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on January 21, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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