How To Fish Nearshore Reefs For BIG Snook & Tarpon


If you like catching big fish, then you’re going to love this tip!

Today, we’re talking nearshore reef fishing for snook, tarpon, grouper, and kingfish.

Joe, our dad, and I went out exploring some nearshore reefs as a plan B a few months ago and we stumbled into some monster snook and nice tarpon.

To make sure this wasn’t a fluke, I’ve done a bit more nearshore and inshore reef fishing and have fallen in love with it.

This type of fishing is so fun because you never know what you’re going to catch and in this video, I’ll share with you the strategies I use to catch fish with both live bait and artificial lures.

Let’s dive in!

Catching Big Fish On Nearshore Reefs [VIDEO]

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Catching Fish On Nearshore Reefs With Live Bait

My favorite way to fish these shallow reefs with live bait is to slow troll a pinfish across them.

Just put the hook up under the chin and out above their lips and freeline them as you use your trolling motor to go over the reef.

This method can catch snook, tarpon, grouper, kingfish, barracuda, and more.

I like trolling, but if you find a single spot where all your bites keep happening, then you could anchor down and pitch your pinfish over to that area.

Catching Fish On Nearshore Reefs With Artificial Lures

After I battled with some snook and tarpon on this trip, I was totally exhausted.

And since I had had enough for a little, I decided to try out this new DOA Swimmin’ Mullet Lure for the first time, not really caring if it didn’t work.

But I was in for a surprise!

I immediately hooked up to a snook, then proceeded to hook into several more, plus a barracuda and tarpon.

This lure is great because the eyes are a 1 1/4 oz. weight so it casts far and you can cover a ton of water.

However, the only downfall is that since this lure is so heavy, it doesn’t make for a great tarpon bait because they easily spit it out when they jump in the air.

But if you’re targeting snook, kingfish, or cobia, then I definitely recommend trying it out.

You can get this DOA Swimmin’ Mullet from our shop here.


doa swimmin mullet

If big fish are what you’re after, then you’ve got to try nearshore reef fishing.

You can slow troll a pinfish hooked through the lips, or tie on one of these DOA Swimmin’ Mullets and cast it out over the reef.

Have any questions about fishing nearshore reefs?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you want to try out the DOA Swimmin’ Mullet, we just got them in our shop and you can get them here.

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Mike Connelly
6 months ago

Luke and all. That swimming mullet is GREAT for Redfish on jetties…. just a thought…

Brett Laws
5 months ago

Luke, when you say nearshore reefs, are you speaking of old ship wrecks or natural reefs like sand or rock reefs?

Brett Laws
5 months ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Great, thanks, Luke.
I’m assuming that the same rules apply to this as inshore: structure, current and bait are the key to getting bit.

Gregory Cook
5 months ago

How are you rigging the life bait and the DOA Mullet? I know you are free lining the life bait. However what # line, leader and hook size?

Tommy Clark
5 months ago

What Blue rod and what reel were you using?
What is the difference between the new Blue TFO and olderTFO rods?

Joe Gilbert
4 months ago

I’m so happy you guys are starting to cover near shore / reef fishing. I have a bay boat and can’t get super skinny so this really gives me something to look forward to.


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