Artificial lures are the best way to catch a big snook. In general, live bait is best for catching fish, but lures are also effective. Fishing takes on a whole new meaning when lures are involved.
There are so many options for snook lures that it can be difficult to choose the right one. You can buy lures at tackle stores that claim to catch more fish, but this can’t be proven until you test them in the water.
My favorites are listed below. While there is no one-size-fits-all lure, I have narrowed down a great lineup over the years. Here you will find topwater lures, jerk baits, and soft plastics.
In all types of situations, these lures work great for catching snook on my boat.
#1 MirrOLure Mirrodine
About the lure
- Price: (Click to check current MirrOLure Mirrodine price on Amazon)
- Lure Type: Suspending Twitchbait
On my boat, you can always find MirROure Mirrodine lures. Mirrodine, my favorite twitchbait, is a suspending twitchbait that can be used in a variety of situations.
You can fish it slow, fast, or somewhere in between. Grass flats and open water are good places to fish. Depending on the depth of the water column, you can either pull it up or let it drop downward. The possibilities are almost endless when using this lure.
You’ll be glad to know that snook also enjoy them. These fish are perfect for almost any kind of fishing. I caught more snook with the Mirrodine than with other hardbaits. Snook seem to love the Mirrodine’s ability to imitate whitebait very well.
The Mirrodine is also the top pick in my guide to the 11 Best Speckled Trout Lures of All Time.
How to fish it
Mirrodine is a versatile twitchbait that can be fished in many ways. You can adapt to the snook’s style on the fly since it bites in a variety of ways.
Due to its weight, the lure is ideal for casting long distances that cover a lot of water. If you just want to locate fish, you can rotate your casts 360 degrees and change speeds as you go.
Mirrodine is an extremely easy lure to change speed with, so you can catch fish with any lure that you use. The lure can be moved in a natural fashion by using a variety of retrieval techniques.
Fishing a Mirrodine with nothing more than short rod tip jerks is my favorite way to retrieve it. My mirrorodine usually sits still, twitches a few times, and then sinks before I repeat this process. I can truly imitate an injured baitfish when I do this. It is during this retrieve that most strikes occur, just as the lure starts sinking, that the majority of strikes will occur.
I prefer the slow twitch retrieve, but the Mirrodine is still effective if you speed it up. No matter if you’re throwing it around mangroves or hanging it over potholes on the flats, this rope performs well.
You should pair a twitchbait with a rod that has a fast tip if you’re using one. You want plenty of “play” in the rod tip when you twitch the lure in the water.
#2 DOA Shrimp
About the lure
- Price: (Click to check current DOA Shrimp price on Amazon)
- Type: Soft Plastic
DOA Shrimp should be included in every snook fisherman’s tackle box. It should not be an exception. The DOA Shrimp is an extremely versatile lure. Almost anywhere is a good place to fish for snook. From flats to beaches to docks, you can catch them anywhere.
Beginners and experts alike swear by these little artificial shrimp. It doesn’t matter what the conditions are, they can be used to produce fish. There is no risk involved.
DOA Shrimp is one of those rare lures that can be used every day of the year, according to me. It can be used at any time of year. The nets have proven effective both in hot weather and cold weather.
How to fish it
DOA Shrimp are easy to catch, but there are a few ways to do it.
To cast out this lure and let it sink, work it slowly as you cast it out. All you need to do is reel slowly and throw in an occasional twitch to make it crawl on the bottom.
You can use the slow, straightforward retrieve over a sandy bottom, but for grass flats you’ll need to adjust the retrieve. The rod tip simply needs to be raised as you work the grass. By keeping the line angle up, shrimp are pulled to the top of the grass. The idea is the same, but now you want the shrimp to move very slowly over the grass.
A popping cork works well for me in the case that a standard retrieve doesn’t yield results. You fish a live shrimp with a cork, just as you would a live shrimp. It’s as simple as attaching your cork, giving yourself a leader, and tying your DOA. Pop it again. Trout and snook like this pattern as well.
#3 Rapala Skitter Walk
About the lure
- Price: (Click to check current Rapala Skitter Walk price on Amazon)
- Type: Topwater
I have become addicted to Skitter Walk. Despite the fact that I know it’s not the best choice, I’ve still used it. It has been the most satisfying lure I’ve ever used.
It has a rattle in the Rapala Skitter Walk topwater lure. This attracts fish. After a little practice, it pops effortlessly back and forth. If you’ve ever fished one, you’ll know what I mean. There is a certain feel (and sound) to it.
I have fished a lot of topwater lures. Prices range from cheap to extremely expensive. Out of the box, the Skitter Walks have been the most consistent.
Furthermore, topwater strikes are nothing short of amazing. A snook goesbbles up your lure as you expertly work it across the surface of the water.
How to fish it
Skitter Walk requires a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not difficult.
It’s crucial to set up the lure properly in order to get the most out of it. The best way to rig Skitter Walks is to skip the leader and go straight braid all the way to the lure. Therefore, you have maximum control and you eliminate any additional flex or weird angles caused by monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders.
Aim for a “walk-the-dog” motion when working a Skitter Walk. The lure’s weight at the back provides the perfect balance when pulling it in and out of the water. You can pop the line by giving it a quick jerk. The lure should have enough slack to pop again after you spin it properly.
After some practice, you’ll be able to keep the lure bouncing from side to side while maintaining a steady, perfect retrieve. As much fun as artificial lures, the lure produces some giant strikes.
When I’m on my boat on a calm day, I often do a Skitter Walk in the last hour of daylight. With this technique, I have caught snook, trout, and redfish in the past.
#4 Sebile Stick Shadd
About the lure
- Price: (Click to check current Sebile Stick Shadd price on Amazon)
- Type: Suspending Jerkbait
Sebile’s Stick Shadd has the same action as MirrOLure’s Mirrodine. There are several different versions of the lure, each with a slightly different profile, despite the shape differences.
Buy Sebile lures can be difficult and costly. That’s probably the only reason I don’t rank it higher, since I usually prefer the Shadd’s motion in the water over any other jerkbait/twitchbait. Their bottom keel has always made cutting easy for me.
If you consider all the variations of the lure, the Stick Shadd is one of the most versatile hardbaits around.
How to fish it
Getting a hold of Stick Shadds is not much different from getting a hold of Mirrodine. Because of its shape and weight, it just has a different feel and flow.
It doesn’t matter what Stick Shadd model you use, the retrieve for a jerkbait is fairly straightforward. They are available in a few different styles so they can be used in a variety of situations.
Depending on their buoyancy, there are different types of Stick Shadd. The options are Suspend, Float, Sink Fast, Suspend Fast and Rocket.
For deep water, Sinking and Fast Sinking are the best options. Suspending offers maximum control no matter what you do. It is possible to fish shallow grass flats with a float, as well as more difficult areas. The Rocket is actually built heavier to cast further and with more hooks for longer casts, despite its name.
This lure is a sure-fire winner. When you’re on the water, it probably works better than any other twitchbait. Durability was my main complaint, but these days it hasn’t been an issue. I used to lose a chunk of a Stick Shadd every now and then to a strong bite, but that doesn’t happen as often these days.
#5 Spro Bucktail Jig
About the lure
- Price: (Click to check current Spro Bucktail Jig price on Amazon)
- Type: Bucktail Jig
On a desert island with only one lure to last the longest, I would almost certainly choose a bucktail jig. Almost any type of water can be used to fish for snook with these tools.
The bucktail jig has a simple jighead and collar with a feather skirt. It is extremely durable and can be fished almost anywhere.
The colors, sizes, weights, and styles of bucktail jigs are almost endless. In addition, they can be easily found. The majority of saltwater tackle shops in America carry at least a few good bucktail jigs.
Spro is the brand I listed, but there are many more. In the fishing industry, there are a number of bucktail jig designs. In water, they all behave similarly (for the most part). Just add some color.
How to fish it
In case you hadn’t noticed, versatility dominates my list of the best snook lures. Among the most versatile jigs I use are bucktail jigs, which are among my favorites. When it comes to maximum utility, saltwater anglers will generally agree that bucktail jigs are unbeatable.
Jigging very slowly on the bottom with a bucktail is the best way to catch lethargic fish. Jigging faster is the best technique for more active fish. The Bucktail can also be fished with a steady retrieve if that doesn’t work. Still no luck? Utilize the bucktail jig as a jerkbait. The lure is very easy to use, as you can’t mess it up too easily.
I have caught some of the biggest snook I’ve ever seen on bucktail jigs in deep, fast-moving waters near bridges and passes. It’s that simple. You can drop a heavy bucktail jig straight down once you’ve anchored up (which can be tricky in currents that rip through a pass). Once your bail is locked, you will want to repeatedly rip it up straight. It is okay if your arm gets tired after a while.
I have found that if I can get through it, I can hook up with some monster snook that way. Fish are caught in deep water with a fast current by just moving.
#6 DOA Cal
There will probably be more than one fisherman who will chide me for not placing the DOA Cal higher on this list. It really is an incredibly useful snook lure and I use it often. It’s a soft plastic that you fish on a jighead. Uber-versatile no matter what you’re after or what time of year it is. You can fish it toward the surface, midway through the water column, or slow down in the grass. The lure’s tail gives it an enticing appearance that produces a ton of strikes.
#7 Live Target Mullet
In terms of fishing products, Live Target is either loved or hated depending on the individual. There are only a few lures that have made me decide to fall into the “love” camp. My favorite lure for fishing is the Live Target Mullet.
In terms of the kind of mullet I prefer, I like the “wakebait” version. Because of its flattened lip, it sits very comfortably in the water. Because of its jointed tail, it moves very smoothly in the water. Whenever I fish it, I let the lure get a slight back-and-forth movement. I’m putting tons of snook in the boat with this one.
#8 Johnson Silver Minnow Gold
The Johnson Silver Minnow is a spoon that will catch snook, along with almost every other inshore fish. It comes in multiple colors, but I tend to prefer gold over the silver option. They’re super inexpensive and super easy to use, so there’s no excuse not to have a few of them in your tackle box. They’re also one of the best lures for fan casting in order to cover a ton of water to find fish.
#9 Zara Spook
Snook fishermen will probably prefer the Zara Spook topwater lure. It’s almost always this one in every discussion about exclusively catching snook. While I have caught plenty of fish with this lure, I personally prefer the Skitter Walk more often. Even so, I always have a Spook or two with me.
Most anglers choose topwater lures according to their personal preferences.
#10 Yo Zuri Crystal Minnow or Crystal Shrimp
I love Yo Zuri lures. All of their hardbaits have really good designs that make them really appealing in the water. The Crystal Minnow/Crystal Shrimp is no exception. They’re slightly different lures, but I really couldn’t pick one over the other. Both are lipped jerkbaits that are really erratic with any kind of retrieve.
There’s a learning curve to using these the right way, but they can pull some consistent fish once you get it right.
#11 Gulp! Shrimp
I made the decision. For those who do not understand, it’s a big deal. Perhaps no other fishing lure is as controversial as shrimp. Soft plastic shrimp are sprayed with scented liquid. When shrimp absorb liquid, their odor becomes much stronger. The bottom line is that you can catch a lot of fish on Gulps, regardless of how you feel about them.
The easiest way to use them is to just “dead stick” them; however, you can use them just like any other jig. You simply throw them out and let them sit. Quite a few snook (and lots of red fish) will eat them. It is a disadvantage, however, that you must contend with swarms of pinfish and catfish.
Whatever order you put these lures in your tackle box, you will be able to catch a lot of snook if you use a combination of them. In my experience, these lures are the most effective when it comes to consistently catching quality snook.
We have fishing spots, styles, and seasons to suit every taste. You won’t get bored with this assortment if you enjoy working with artificial lures.
Would love to know if we helped you catch more snook in your boat. Which lure do you prefer to catch snook with?