“The Fish I observed here mostly, were what we call Snooks, neither a Sea fish nor a fresh Water fish, but very numerous in these salt Lakes.” So observes William Dampier in his 1699 travel narrative documenting his voyage to Australia and New Guinea, one of the first British voyages of discovery and the earliest known written mention of a fish called snook. At least since 1791, you could “cock a snook” at someone if you wished to deploy a derisive gesture. You can play snooker if the mood strikes, a billiards game in which opponents use a white cue ball to pocket other balls (fifteen red and six colored) in a set order. You wouldn’t want to be a schnook, from the Yiddish: a patsy, dolt, sucker, sap, milquetoast. Nor would you want to be snookered: thwarted, tricked, enticed, trapped. But you might be a Snook, if that happens to be your surname. 164 Snooks fought for the Union during the United States Civil War; only six fought for the Confederacy. One Snook, first name Kelly, apparently lives in my little burg today. Livies work best. Try a pilchard, pinfish, mullet, or greenie, quivering beneath a popping cork. Or a brown shrimp pierced across its horny ridge on an eighth-ounce jig. Quarter-ounce in stiff current. Cut-bait works in a pinch. Ladyfish. Heads or tails. Or go artificial. Topwater plugs and poppers on cool mornings. Skitterwalk, zara spook, super spook, popa dog, glad-shad, bangolure, high rollers. Mind your retrieve. Walk the dog. Switch to suspending twitchbaits once the sweat beads on your lip. Bomber long A, goldeneye, cisco kid, X-rap, rat-l-trap, crystal minnow. Young guns favor soft plastics. Jerkbaits, Texas-rigged and weedless, dunked in Carolina lunker sauce. Paddletails, splittails, curlytails, shadtails, baitbusters, worms, frogs, what have you. Don’t forget your colors. Natural presentations a good rule of thumb. Match the hatch. Rootbeer or motor oil for daylight dark bottoms; gold flake at night. Chartreuse, all else fails. Salts swear by white bodies and red heads.

more from Andrew Furman at AGNI here.