Catching Snoek (Queen Mackerel) off a kayak
A Queen is probably a great way to describe a snoek, it is one seriously moody fish. (Sorry to all the ladies out there, truth hurts). Snoek are either on the bite or off the bite – one minute they are having a feeding frenzy next minute you can see them in the water but they won’t touch a thing. I have a couple rules that I use for catching snoek and have often been very successful. The methods I use have been trial and error over many years. If you like this article and have found it helpful, please share it on social media I will really appreciate it!!
Setting the scene
Snoek are generally caught early morning and late afternoon but have known to feed all day, you will have more success early morning though. The best depths to catch snoek are from backline to about 15m – you do catch them deeper but 90% of the time you can find them up to about 15m depth. I have always had best success just before a cold front aka. The day before or the afternoon before or the morning before a later cold front. (This has been my experience from Durban – Zinkwazi)
When first hitting the water before the sun has risen over the horizon I will pull small plastic Rapalas as fast as I can, the faster you paddle the better. I have had great success with pearl and pink colors. Make sure that when the fish strikes you paddle 3 -5 more times to ensure the hooks set. Here are two quick videos on catching Snoek with Rapalas.
as the sun starts to peak over the horizon and Snoek either haven’t bitten yet or things have slowed down as the usually do with plastics. I move onto strip baits of either sard or redeye. It’s important that they swim strait so you don’t twist your line! Making this happen can take some practice!! When pulling strip baits you can slow down on the paddling speed, but always good to go both fast and slower. I often change depths by paddling vertical lines along the coast. Here is a great video on how to make a snoek trace done by Markus Potgieter.
Later in the morning
I often change over to spinning at this point, just because it’s fun and it gives my arms a break. I use a clear sprat spoon. A big mistake I see many anglers make is they real in the lure too slowly. Often what happens is the snoek will chase the spoon all the way to the ski leaving it a loan. Trick real as fast as you can even if the spoon ends up skipping every now and again. This often changes the mood of the fish into hunting mode. Here is a video of me using a spoon to catch a nice sized Snoek, I catch it after the Tuna so keep watching.
I Hope that you have found this helpful for any comments please feel free to post questions in the forum.