Re: Need help with Snook
It's been a while since I've posted on here, but I don't see any problem with targeting snook for your first time in salt. My family and in-laws have lived in the Sarasota/Sanibel area my entire life, and if I were to take a friend out who'd never fly fished salt before, I'd take him to the beach to hunt snook in the surf rather than throw blind casts all day at "easier" fish. Sight fishing snook will show you everything you're doing right, and wrong, faster than anything I can think of. You see the take, the refusal, and how accurate or inaccurate your casts are.
An 8wt will be fine w/ a floating line. It will help you out if you do encounter structure, and if not, you may find it useful in the wind. My advice is to stay out of the water, and bring polarized sunglasses. Look for fish in the trough close to shore. When you cast to them, don't try to intersect them - you're limiting your chances of the fish seeing your fly. Cast to fish who are swimming towards you along the shoreline, and cast in front of them by a yard or so. That way, as soon as you start retrieving, your fly becomes a "fleeing" baitfish, not a "suicidal" baitfish. If I had one fly to bring, it'd be a white Crystal Schminnow. Likewise, the snook on Sanibel cruise the beaches at all hours of the day, but to make things easier on yourself, go out in the morning and evening when it's cooler and look for birds diving in the surf.
Anyway, I hope you catch fish whatever you end up doing. It's hard to beat beach snook fishing.