This past week was a wild one! Winter conditions still persist with windy and cold mornings and warm windy afternoons. The wind has been the one consistent thing we have had around here. Yet the wind has been all over the compass, changing directions all through the day and wreaking havoc with the backcountry tides! The upside of the week is that snook season has opened at last and stays open until May 1. The opening of snook season is always a welcome event. We get to catch these fish all year long, but to keep the population of this game fish healthy the harvest of snook is only 5 months each year. Snook are a warm water species and will take both natural and artificial baits. The past few years area guides have been talking about the large numbers of small 18 to 26 inch snook that can be found all around the Flamingo area. This is great news and just indicates that we have a very healthy snook population here in the Keys. The snook is a beautiful fish that is a challenge on light tackle that we use here in the backcountry and they put up great jumps and blazing runs once hooked. The super thing about snook is that they can be found from the bridges on out to the Gulf and up into the heart of the Everglades. Find a guide and give these fighters a try. March is the season of spring break and with this comes time for family fishing here in the Keys. Kids of all ages along with their parents will be looking for things to do here in paradise. If getting off of the beaten track appeals to you take a good look at going fishing with an area guide. There is so much more to a fishing trip than just fishing. You will see Eco – tours offered and they are fun, short trips around the nearshore waters of the Keys. A fishing trip into the backcountry is the original Eco – tour, we see so much wildlife as we travel through the Everglades National Park. Your guide very knowledgeable in the where, what and whys of all of the wildlife that can be found there. This is prime time for dolphin watching and birding and the guides of Islamorada are a great source of information sitting right there in his boat. Bring a camera and a sense of adventure and you will be blown away at the sights and sounds of the backcountry. We have a listing of some fine guides in the back of this issue of “The Weekly Fisherman” give one a call.