Monday evening I caught a beautiful 38-inch
snook that I fought for 15 minutes on my 7-weight. Prior to that I
lost another big snook that broke me off after making a long run halfway
into the backing. I put too much pressure on the 16-lb. tippet in an
attempt to stop her from spooling me. My pal Chris Coile and a buddy
watched me fight those two. Did not have a camera that night.
About five minutes after I landed the 38-incher, I hooked the snook
of a lifetime and fought her for 15 minutes, until right before dark.
As I eased her into the wash to beach her on a wave, two sharks (I think
they were bulls) rocketed in to shore at my feet. One bit off the fish's
head, the other neatly sliced off her tail. I never saw the sharks coming.
If I had, I would have broken off the snook to give her a chance. I was
glad, though, that I did not have my hands near her when they hit.
Hard to say how big that fish was. Guessing, I would say mid to high
40-inch range. Made me sad to pick up what was left of her midsection
washing back and forth on lip of the strand. A few people who had been
watching the fight just stood there with their jaws dropping.
All three big snook hit fat Schminnows with extra large black mono eyes.
Tuesday I took my 8-weight and landed another 38-incher. Got a photo
of that one. Again, a fat Schminnow. Had to stick my hand and forearm
down her gullet to remove the fly. Missed a couple of other big ones
that hit when I cast to them. That is the kind of sight fishing we dream
This is the time of year when the big breeding females spawn in the evenings,
noses down and waving their caudal fins on the surface. The spawn was
triggered this time by super-low, new-moon tides. Strangely, in years
past most of us have been unable to interest them in eating during the
actual spawning ritual, though the smaller males that hang around them
will often shoot ahead and grab a fly.