I met Mike on a crowded Merry Pier at 3ish on September 1st, anticipating some snook action. Of course, after seeing schools of slot sized snook stacked up around the pier for the last couple of months, they all mysteriously vanished when the bell went off for snook season.
And that wasn’t all…. the fishing had changed. Not sure if it was the moon, or the tides, or the weather temperature; but, the big snapper and grouper that we’d been slamming for the last month or two were GONE. I managed a few small snapper, and a couple of baby grouper, but it was a stark contrast to the easy mangrove snapper limits we’d been getting. And it got weirder. I caught, of all things, a whiting on a frozen Spanish sardine. Unheard of! Next up was my first shark of the year, a healthy & fiesty bonnethead.
Yeah, change is in the air… next week will be interesting. Anyway, I had grunt on the Shimano BaitRunner under the dock. It got slammed, presumably by a snook, but the pilings provided a quick cutoff. That left Mike to come through on the snook front- and he did! He had a medium pigfish soaking in front of the dock. A big snook slammed it and swam under the dock. Probably didn’t even know it was hooked. Mike was fishing 50 lb PowerPro, and it was a good thing. The fight was intense, with the snook jumping, running into the pilings, and generally doing the things that snook do to escape. But Mike whipped it fair and square, and soon it was on the dock- all 36″.
DOH! A little too big to keep, so back she went, but not without a picture first:
By the way, Mike- remember those mullet? A guy had one out on a big pole after you left, and jumbed a ~50 lb tarpon. Quite a sight!
Next week the Bucs play at 4. And what will be on the menu? Snapper? Grouper? Snook? Microwave burritos? Time will tell…