Okay, I've never had any trouble playing snake while collecting gas.
Here's the secret: Use the Nexus client or code the ship window into your client.
Go out in an interceptor they turn better. They turn on one square. I've acquired a corvette, horrible turning.
Deploy your gas scoops before you set out. Your ship sensors can't see gas clouds without a scoop deployed.
I've flown past gas clouds and my ship beacon never picked it up without the scoops deployed. test it if you don't believe me.
Never direct your ship to turn west or east. Do it by increments: NW then N, or SW then W. So if you need to swing west, turn NW/SW and then wait for the ship to move into the right square then turn W.
Never scoop gas at full speed, ships go too fast to collect gas. do it on the lowest default setting. This also makes turn easier. Work from back and forth from North to south. Go column by column.
Once you get the hang of it the tedious part of gathering gas is flying around looking for it.
I could be mistaken here, but as a general rule of thumb, gas clouds can be found nearer to asteroid clusters and planets. If you head towards those bodies, you'll find a cloud on the way or past it, half the time.
Hope that made sense
Admin: could you give space maps and live stream radar for gas scoops at the higher levels of captaincy and admiral? It would make mining a whole lot easier.