Volume 13, Issue 11
6:00 am†† reach point #3 which is the end of the inlet access and which ends at the entrance channel to Sailfish point.† The outgoing tide really moves through this area.
6:15 am†† The Snook bite begins.† Everywhere you look, the crashing of big Snook is taking place.† After continued casting and with light barely beginning to show, what Iím sure is a huge Snook finally grabs my bait and heads out to the inlet with my line screaming.† I have caught 30-35 lb. Snook before and they eventually run out of gas and stop although they still pull hard.† But at first it is very scary - wondering if they are going to stop.
This one didnít.† All I could do was hold on with both hands.† Finally, it did stop.† But many times a big Snook will make another run after a brief rest.† I felt the line left on my reel only to discover there were only a couple of strands left before the spooling (no line left on reel) takes place.
In order to get more line on the reel (which I couldnít because the fish wouldnít give me any slack to reel in), I backed up as far away from the water as I could get pulling the fish with me as well.† Then pointing the tip of the rod towards the fish, almost parallel to the ground, I ran towards the water while reeling as fast as I could.† This did actually put some more line on the reel.† However, I had also tightened the drag all the way to make it harder for the fish to run.† This is also dangerous as it can put too much pressure on the hook and/or line and something might break. This is in fact what happened as the fish did decide to make another run and the line finally snapped.
Talk about disappointing!† This was a huge Snook, the largest Snook I never caught!† But I will remember this fight long after the ones in which I did catch the fish.† How exciting!
6:35 am†† by the time I rig back up, the bite is over.† I head back to Point #2, again bypassing the spawning catfish.† It is now light enough to see well.
6:45 am†† I get back to Point #2, which we call The Rocks.† Part of this area is very shallow and the last time I was there a couple of weeks ago, small Snook (18 inches) were blasting minnows in the shallow area.† I couldn't cast there as it was too easy to get hooked up on the rocks, so I moved a bit more toward the deeper ripple.† A fly fisherman (the first person we saw that day) came up and I pointed out the Snook to him which should be perfect for fly.† However, he rightly pointed out that the Snook (my assumption) were in fact Tarpon...and lots of them.† As we spoke it became obvious that this was a big school with lots of fish that varied from as low as 30 lbs. to as much as 100+ as we later saw.† As I began casting I observed many of these fish swim by right in front of me, in no hurry to go anywhere.† During the next 30 minutes I saw tarpon rolling, striking bait, swimming calmly by, and free jumping while I hooked up with two of them for seconds at a time.† Again, extremely exciting another rare vision along with the catfish.
7:15 am†† with the tarpon bite over (nothing lasts for very long in these scenarios), we (Paul and I) begin fishing our way back to the top of the inlet for our long walk back.
(Continued on page 6)