Oh No!

So this morning I’m walking the beach looking for Snook on Sanibel Island in Florida.  This was the first fishable day in a week (we’ve had several storms combined with wind from the SW which is a bad combination).  I picked up two fish chasing bait in the trough just off the beach.  Then nothing for another hour.

I saw a huge dark shape five feet off the break in a 2 feet of water.  At first I though it was a small Bull Shark but then it looked like a huge carp….Yeah, it was a Redfish at least 30 inches and maybe bigger.

I’d caught a few Redfish in the past off the beach on the Gulf side but they were always small. About a week ago a fly fisherman from Minnesota showed me a picture of one hook one he caught on the North end of the island near the lighthouse that taped out at 22 inches.

I’m roughly 20 feet away and drop a fly on his left side, but he doesn’t see it it.  Another quick cast to the right.   Three quick strips and he’s on.  Both the fish and I are startled.  He just sat there wondering what was going on and I’m thinking, wow he ate it!.  When I applied a bit of pressure he took off and was into the backing in a matter of seconds.

I felt the strong head shakes as he tried to get rid of the hook and he starred moving parallel to the shore.  Now I’m running and hoping he doesn’t get into so rocks another 100 yards down the beach.  This is exactly where he is heading.  I’ve got to keep him away from that area so I start to apply pressure on my 8-weight….PING…he’s gone.

I sit down on the beach and curse myself for not using more care.  The hook just pulled out.  I think ok, maybe I can fine another one….fishermen are eternal optimists and fly fishermen are the worst!