Fishing For Snook With a Tactical Fishing Rod and a Bit of Expert Knowledge – Mr Limpett Was a Snook
I love snook; basically because I LOVED that Don Knotts movie, “THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPETT.” It’s about a wimpy guy (Don Knotts) who wanted to be in the U.S. Navy, but couldn’t get in because of his eyesight. Anyway, he finds himself on a dock, chanting “I wish, I wish, I wish I was a fish.” He falls in the water, and the movie turns into a cartoon just as Mr. Limpett turns into a fish. In the end, makes the world safe for democracy, gets a medal, gets the girl, and lives happily ever after, frolicking around with his main squeeze, a ladyfish.
Although the movie didn’t specify the exact pedigree of Mr. Limpett’s ichthean-alter-ego, I suspect he was a snook. Why? First of all, the name “snook” is hilarious in and of itself, and so was Don Knotts. Also, snook are notorious for being “spooky” (easily spooked, not scary) fish, and…. you guessed it…. so was Don Knotts. Snook are wimps when it comes to the weather, and it’s more than coincidence that “wimp” rhymes with “limp,” the active part of the word “Limpett.” Snook just can’t stand it if the water temperature drops below 70 degrees, and will absolutely croak, “fins up,” if the temperature drops below 60 degrees…so the biologists tell me. In fact, if you talk to anyone who has lived in Florida for any length of time, and they’ll tell you how the cold bothers them more than it used to. In a way, we’re all snook. Or, to hear the New Agers here in Florida talk about it, “we’re one with the snook.”
It’s not commonly known, but Florida snook wear sweaters in colder weather. Temperature-wise there’s just no pleasing a snook. If it’s not too hot, it’s too cold. Never just right. And when the water’s too hot, they like to stay under the docks, so they don’t have to wear sunglasses. Didja notice that Mr. Limpett wore glasses, but the lenses weren’t tinted? Coincidence? I don’t think so!!! I rest my case.
Like Mr. Limpett’s performance as a member of the United States Navy proved, though, snook put up a surprisingly good fight… and so did Don Knotts.
Now, here’s where my theory goes to pot: Mr. Limpett’s teeth. You see, in the movie, when he smiled, he had teeth. Unfortunately, snook do not. But, come to think of it, those teeth on Mr. Limpett looked suspiciously perfect…like they were…fake. Hey! We’re back on track! No one, I repeat NO one, said anything about snook never wearing dentures. In fact, why do people wear dentures? You got it! ‘Cause they ain’t got no teeth!
Oh, and I know what you’re thinking…yes, the dorsal fin is all wrong. Mr. Limpett had one long smooth dorsal fin, and the snook has a double dorsal fin…and there’s no pinstripe running down the side of Mr. Limpett, like there is on a snook, right? Well, heck, they were Warner Brother cartoonists, not ichthyologists (those who scientifically study fish). Gimme a break. Chalk it up to poetic license, OK?
Snook love Florida. They are often seen wearing “I HEART FLORIDA” sweatshirt (lưới bảo vệ hòa phát)-shirts and ball caps, even when it’s too warm for a sweater. They get romantic during moonlight, spawning at night when there’s a strong, full moon. Hey folks, I’m not making this stuff up. Saltwater Sportsman Magazine says so! Now, I’d like to point out that in the movie, Don Knotts had a ladyfish love interest. In fact, that’s when we saw his teeth. Oh, and when he was talking to that little crab, too. Oh, well. Full moon, night swimming, romance….you get the point. He’s absolutely a snook! I’m doubly convinced now.
Snook love to hang around near beaches (in the water) hunting for baitfish, shrimp, and crabs, but never actually go TO the beach. Neither did Don Knotts. He was afraid of getting sand kicked in his face by some fraternity brute named “Biff,” or “Brad,” or whatever.
Me, I don’t go the beach, either. The kids make me mad. I know they don’t mean to, but it happens every time I go to the beach to “lay out.” I lie down in the sun, start to work on my tan, and fall asleep in a few minutes. Then, before I know it, I’m suddenly awakened by six little kids wearing “Save the Manatee” t-shirts, frantically trying to roll me back in the water as they cry out, “Somebody help us! It’s going to die!”
Back to snook: they love structure, and…the navy is structured. Snook love sunken ships. The Navy sinks other people’s ships, and has a few of its own. Snook love mangrove roots. Now, admittedly, the movie mentioned absolutely NOTHING about mangrove roots. I’m a loss where that’s concerned, except that snook like structure, and the roots look…. uh, structural, if you look at them a certain way.
Snook feel less pressured when they’re in structured surroundings, and that pretty much explains why so many people stay in the U.S. Navy for a gazillion years. Free medical, free dental, free housing, free boat rides… ya know.
One way that snook are definitely NOT finicky is about what they eat. Snook are “Mikeys.” They’ll eat just about anything they can swallow. Snook like to eat LOTS of stuff, like sardines, pilchards, mullet, pinfish, lures with vertical jigging spoons, or leadhead jigs, but they never get fat. Personally, I think vertical jigging spoons and leadhead jigs are overrated…unless they’re sauteed just right, with garlic butter. To really catch a snook with his little fish pants down, you need to be a crafty rascal, and beat the snook at its own game. Didja notice that Mr. Limpett was quite the strategist when he went on that top secret mission for the Navy?
Now back to snook-catching strategy. If you’re using a jigging spoon, make sure the jig is just barely heavy enough to touch the bottom (of the body of water, not the snook’s bottom. Snook don’t have bottoms. Neither did Don Knotts. You probably realized that when you saw him in those deputy uniform pants in the Andy Griffith Show). You should take it slow and easy with the lure, just letting it drift along….kinda like life in Mayberry, which has not direct bearing to the Mr. Limpett movie, but it’s the same actor, right?
When they’re in the water and near the beach, snook are often close enough to the surface that you can see them. Therefore, sight-casting works well with snook…thus the incredible precision of the Emmrod dock-shooting techniques come in particularly handy. The same is true if the lighting is just right under the piers. Those eerie green lights under the docks at night are attractive to snook. They look good in green. It brings out the little gold flecks in their beady little fish eyes. Did you notice that Don Knotts had beady eyes?
During the day, snook like to hide under piers to keep from getting a sunburn. At this juncture, I’d like to point out that, when the incredible Mr. Limpett was in the Navy, they didn’t issue sun screen to the sailors like they do today, let alone to the snook.
Snook have a reputation for being voracious night feeders. Mr. Limpett was so busy making the world safe for democracy during the day, that it was at least ten, no, sometimes as late as eleven o’clock at night before he finally popped a Swanson’s TV dinner into the microwave. I’m sure it wasn’t the “fish sticks” one, though.
During winter months, snook tend to migrate into the Florida rivers. During that time, trolling is a good way to catch them. Again, we find something about snook that doesn’t seem to correlate to the Mr. Limpett movie at all. It took place entirely in the ocean…but then again, didn’t the movie come out in June? Oh, and during the winter months, they also like to migrate to the vicinity of power plants. Especially the warm waters of nuclear power plants. Hmmm…nuclear power…. as in…naval nuclear submarines.
The classic snook lures, according to Saltwater Sportsman Magazine, are lures such as the 97MR-18, the 65M mirrolures, and the Heddon Zara Spooks. Now that sounds like military code to me. And that “heddon” thing sounds suspiciously similar to “full speed ahead!” The 97MR-18 might just be a torpedo.
Well, I think that I’ve more than adequately proved my case. Hope you find this information helpful. Anchors away!
Good Fishing! Joel Johnson
write by Christabel