Fly Fishing For Monster Snook
<p>The guys wanted to sleep in a bit, victims of the Tiki Bar no doubt. That was fine as the morning tide was weak. We went out in the afternoon with the tide and worked our way into the backcountry bayous and creeks. There are many creeks that feed the bayous here and there are usually some nice holes. It can be problematic getting a flats boat into the backcountry without enough tide and more importantly, getting out again. Our window was not a big one and we wanted nothing but huge snook. Today on fly! We scouted along the various little cuts which are all mangrove lined. I of course was up on the poling platform to get the advantage on the snook. I started seeing small ones just inside the mangrove roots waiting for bait to ambush. On fly or spin for that matter, you have to be quick on the trigger to clear the fish from the roots. This may not sound like too much of a task, however a 25 lb. Snook may think otherwise and test your will and your equipment. I rode the current back deeper into the mangrove jungle. Thank God for GPS because I have gotten turned around at a slack tide before and that is a strange feeling. I worked our way further back into the maze which goes on for miles. I started seeing feeding birds which is a great sign. I slowed the boat to a drift. I could feel the tension and excitement as it was universal between us all. It was very quiet and slow, no unnecessary movement or talking. I saw a very large object lying alongside the mangrove, facing the current. I said make a cast up current and let it drift past what looked like a motionless shadow. The cast was perfect and about 1 or 2 feet off of the mangrove line. Suddenly the shadow charged the bait. 'Strip, strip, strip, Bam! It was on! We were only in 2 feet of water in the deepest part and the monster snook knew every rock, oyster bar and mangrove root in the neighborhood. She had slammed a white pattern that I tie and there was great satisfaction in having put him on a huge snook and the take of my pattern. The snook was unable to make it back into the roots and was kept in the deeper water. What a sight. She fought and ran and fought some more then she was gone. … No sadness there. We were just beaten by the best and we all enjoyed the education. Like I said, she knew every rock and oyster bar in the neighborhood. I tide on the same pattern and we made ready to do it again. The excitement was so thick, it could be sliced and served. It gets tricky casting in some of these areas but that's where the girls live. We were using a 30lb leader but the oysters and the gill plates are as sharp as a razor. We continued our quest inward. Deeper and deeper into the jungle like landscape. What an incredible setting. The guys had never seen anything like this and were anxious for another monster. We weren't disappointed. I saw movement in the mangrove roots and instructed the cast to land 3 feet of line and mend a drift. It worked like textbook. A smallish snook charged out from another pocket and took the fly. We placed the second fly back onto the drift, but no taker. The water had exploded with the 10 pounder who was putting on a nice show for us. What a kick. Not that a 10 lb snook is small. It just wasn't what we were after. The fight was short and the fish released, of course. They wanted to stake out and wait for the pool to settle down and we did. We waited a good 40 minutes and made several casts to some nice snook without any action. It was time to move on. I hate to leave fish to find fish but this was the right thing to do. We went along a very long run to the next pool. We were seeing large snook moving around but did not get any action on that. Finally we got into the last pool before coming back out onto the flats. There was a lot of life going on. They made few great casts and then one paid off big. Another she monster and she was not too happy about being hooked. She jumped and ran all over the pool and how he kept her out of the roots is a story in itself. This one was defeated and released after she was revived. We celebrated the victory with a cold water. It was time to go, ….the hardest part of the day. We had a great adventure together and we will do it again soon. Very soon.
Florida Guide Assoc.
About The Author: Captain Pat Horrigan
Company: Tropic Bay Guides
Area Reporting: Central west coast of Florida gulf- Nature Coast
Bio: IGFA Certified fly fishing guide fishing the waters from Homosassa south to Green Key. Fly fishing for tarpon, permit, snook, redfish, sea trout, pompano, jacks and shark. Fishing from a new Hewes Redfisher 18 flats boat powered by ETEC motor.