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The snoek is a long, thin species of mackerel found in the seas and oceans of the Southern Hemisphere. These fish can reach lengths of up to 79 inches, although most are around 30 inches. They make up an important part of commercial fishing, as well as being a very popular game fish for sport fishing. In Australia, it is also known as barracoota, even though it is not closely related to the barracuda. Snoek are generally long and slender, and have a bluish black top and silver to white underbelly.
These fish are found on continental shelves or around islands. They love to feed upon small fish, octopus, and crustaceans. Anchovy and pilchard are among some of its favorite. This species loves to form schools to travel and hunt in, and prefer water temperatures between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius. Snoek are primarily found off the coasts of Africa and Australia. It prefers cooler waters no matter what areas it is found in. Off the coast of Namibia and the coast of the Western Cape and Northern Cape hold the highest densities, while in Australia they are found in the waters of Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania. They can also be found in the waters around New Zealand. The snoek supposedly got its name from Dutch colonists who thought the fish looked like the freshwater pike (or snoek) they had at home in the Netherlands. While it is called a few other names in other parts of the world, the blueish black fish remains a popular fish.
It is very easy to get started fishing for snoek, in fact a very popular method of catching them is using a hand line. Using this method, all one needs is some line, a hook, and some bait. Pilchard is a favorite bait among anglers targeting snoek. Sardines also work very well. You can also use them to chum the water and bring in snoek to target. Once you find out where the fish are at, catching them is much easier. There are also a few other methods of catching snoek that many enjoy. They are predatory fish that will attack and eat anything smaller than themselves, so using spinners and lures can be very successful. A good sized rod with strong line is recommended as these fish can put up a fair fight. If you cast out as far away from your boat as possible and let your spinner sink, when you reel it in it will be right in the target depth for a big snoek to see and attack. Other methods while out on the water than can be useful are things like trolling and drop shotting. Fly fishing is another method that can be used, although can be difficult depending on the time of year and where the fish are hanging out at.
Snoek eat amazingly well and are heavily fished commercially because of it. Most commercial fishermen use large boats and different methods to catch them. It is usually sold fresh, smoked, canned and frozen. The most popular methods of cooking it are often by grilling, frying, or smoking. Catching snoek can be a blast with any fishing method, and sometimes fishermen can expect to catch many fish in a single day. Add to that the amazing meat and demand for a good meal, and it is no wonder why the snoek remains a popular fish species to catch. But do not take our word for it, if you happen to be in snoek waters, go fishing and find out for yourself!